Our first Journaling through a Historic Event class is in the books. We met Wednesday evening on Zoom, myself and young folks from all over. I saw some familiar faces and met some new kids too. Each one is brilliant and strong, and I am thankful we are together at this time.
I encouraged the young people in my class to be journaling during this time because we are all living through a significant event in history. I admit that I have not been journaling quite as much lately due to trouble concentrating, stress, and anxiety, and so I will “practice what I teach” and journal a little here on this blog.
Journal Entry, March 20, 2020
Our family has been in our home since Monday, March 9. On that Saturday, before we realized the seriousness of this, we went to Clifty Falls State Park in southern Indiana. It was the last time for who knows how long that we would leave our home and go for a long drive. Long drives are therapy for me and I so wish we could go on one. Technically we could because it would just be us in the van, but I would be so afraid that we’d get in an accident and injured or break down. So here we stay.
We camped out in our tent in our fenced-in backyard the other night. It was fun until most of us woke up freezing in the middle of the night and so we came inside around 2 am, to our warm beds that we are so very thankful for right now. It was rainy yesterday so we didn’t go out but a couple of days ago we all spent some good time in the backyard. We have a lounge chair out there that I have to be honest and say I have never used before but it was nice to lay back in it and have the sun on my face and fresh air around me. We live in the middle of the city but it’s been quieter lately than ever before, and I can hear the birds more clearly. Still though are the sounds of the sirens nearby and in the distance. I say a prayer every time I hear one, especially now. They’re a stark reminder of how many people whose lives are truly at stake right now because they’re putting them on the line to serve others.
I have to admit too, that being a homebody introvert, it’s been a little nice being stuck at home with my family. Both my husband and I work from home as online teachers and tutors, and we already homeschooled and have since 2015, so we voluntarily began staying in earlier than many others. I feel guilty saying that I have mostly enjoyed this time with my family and teaching online and being stuck at home.
But at the same time, there is grief rising to the top. I don’t know when I’ll be able to see or hug other family members and friends. I miss my parents. I miss my in-laws. I miss my sister and brother, and my nieces and nephews. I miss my neighbors, too. And though we text more than ever and talk on the phone and video chat, what I wouldn’t give to hug my mom. My parents were out of town just before all this hit for two weeks, and we made a quick stop-in to see her before they left town. Little did I know then how meaningful that small visit would be to me now.
This has been surreal. Every time I wake up, it takes me a minute to realize again our situation. I try to maintain a balance between being informed and being addicted to the news. I am on my phone a lot, mostly connecting with family and friends, though. But I am making an effort to be present with my family. I am so lucky that my husband is also my best friend, and we have our three amazing kids. I am thankful for the technology that allows us to remain connected to our friends and family and the ability to make new friends now too. In spite of it all, I see community rising up all around us in ways I never thought I would. People are creative and we are finding ways to keep each other’s spirits lifted. From the artists and preachers and zoos and museums and authors and musicians live-streaming for all to hear to the teachers who have learned new ways of communicating with their students with such little notice, to people putting their Christmas lights back up and having sing-alongs on balconies, I see just how resilient the human spirit really is. We are all in this together. We are all in this together…