ACTUALLY missing out

93140480_10158250632807889_2315330858258530304_oThey say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, someone lassoed me and my village, sprinkled some of us with a deadly virus then set us free to fend for ourselves – alone.

In isolation.

I’m in a funk. A “the-world-is-fighting-a-deadly virus” funk. A funk I can’t easily shake.

Basically over night I turned into teacher, janitor, lunch lady, ground duty, principal, clergy and best friend/sole entertainment provider to each of my five kids all at once.

I’m exhausted and failing – big time. 

Our family decided early on that in order to help “flatten the curve” we would be extremely restrictive in our activities. My kids basically don’t go anywhere and I don’t really go anywhere – unless you count Winco.

We don’t visit family and we don’t play with friends.

While this may be all right for some people like my introverted husband, my extroverted self is depressed.

I keep asking myself why this is so hard. I have everything I could possibly need – food, money, family, housing, Netflix and a yard I can work in.

Why am I struggling?

I see other people doing just fine. Which makes the mom guilt incredible for me.

I see amazing parents doing amazing things with their littles and saying how they are so grateful for this extra time with their babies.

Yet all I can think about is how I have absolutely no time alone and no where to go and no one to see.

Then it dawned on me – rather than experiencing a FEAR of missing out, I’m ACTUALLY MISSING OUT. I am missing out on all of the wonderful things I had planned and then some.

I’m grieving the life I wanted to live. The life I was supposed to live the past month. 

I haven’t volunteered at the school, seen my kids’ end-of-year programs or watched my 6th grader kill it in the district spelling bee.

I didn’t get to take dinner to my grandma after her recent surgery.

My mom took a really bad spill and went in for X-rays and I couldn’t give her a hug.

I didn’t watch my oldest on the main stage in his big performance of Music Man last month and I didn’t hear the results of my 11-year-old’s Newsies audition.

I haven’t shot any of the photo shoots I had on the calendar.

I miss walking with my friends at 6 a.m.

My nephew turns one this week and I will miss the big party – we all will.

I can’t tell you how many google calendar reminders I have had to dismiss – each time crying a little inside.

My life, all our lives, has been put on hold.

And while I have absolutely everything I could possibly need, my heart is grieving for these missed opportunities.

And I don’t know when the missing will stop. None of us do.

My 5-year-old asked how old she would be when the Coronavirus was gone.

Who knows baby girl but I swear I just turned 97.

The past month has lasted an eternity.

I am fine. My family is fine. We are healthy and taken care of. We have good moments where we play games together and start new family traditions. I have had times I have laughed so hard I wanted to cry. And then I have times I have actually cried.

I’ve decided that’s all right.

It’s all right for me to grieve. It’s all right for me to be scared and anxious and nervous. It’s all right for me to panic about having enough hand sanitizer, flour and toilet paper – which we have plenty of by the way.

It’s all right to give myself some slack.

Who knows how long this virus will circle the planet. Who knows how long I will sit in my current funk. Who knows if I will wake up one day ready to finally clean my house again or if I’ll sit in my pjs until dinner and not only ignore but contribute to the mess at our place.

No one said watching the world shut down due to a deadly pandemic would be easy.

And while I have a truly blessed life filled with so many wonderful things, I am going to let myself be sad about the missed opportunities – sad when I think about the life I should be living.

The world I have always known has been flipped upside down. I’m going to give myself time to grieve and heal. We all should.

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