Pandemic fatigue: I’m in it. I was doing so well, I thought, and for so long. I cooked, I read, I walked, I hiked, I got outside. I kept up with regular Zoom calls with friends and prayer meetings with church people and generally appreciated the safety of my own little routines. I clean on Fridays. I get takeout for lunch on Tuesdays. Worship, staff meeting, fellowship time, book studies, monthly gatherings with colleagues and community kept the calendar moving.
I knew that January and February would be hard and I tried to brace myself. I walked 100 miles in January and shifted to a goal of yoga every day in February. That turned out to be a good decision, since it has rained nearly every day this month. Cold, dreary, nasty rain, too. More people died, more people got sick, more events got cancelled and my routines are wearing thin. I’m tired of having to feed myself every day – to make all the small decisions that lead to sating my own hunger: what to cook, how to do it, when to go to the grocery store, which store to go to, whether or not to finish the leftovers that are SO FREAKING boring or get takeout…again, the weight of knowing that no matter which decisions I make in all these tiny ways, I will still be eating the meal alone in my empty house.
I’m annoyed with my schedule, annoyed with my co-workers, even – for the first time in our five year relationship – annoyed with my DOG. I am short-tempered and exhausted. I resent my to-do list, even when it is filled with things I LOVE to do.
I am not depressed (don’t worry, my therapist agrees). I am not hopeless. I understand that the vaccination campaign and the new administration and the impending spring weather and the lessons learned over the last year all have immense potential to usher us into a new kind of wholeness, TOGETHER (thank God).
But I am TIRED. And so very angry. I dreamed last night that I was in Florida, soaking up the sun’s warmth. I want the sun to return, and the virus to disappear. I want to be somewhere other than my living room. I want to go eat breakfast in a diner, a southern waitress re-filling my coffee mug and calling me “hon,” surrounded by the sounds of silverware clinking & conversations rising and falling.
There’s no reason to be writing this, other than my lenten commitment and straight honesty. The sun will return, we’re on the way to defeating the virus. I think my favorite diner will survive and I hope to go eat scrambled eggs and bacon sometime this summer.
But there are still weeks, maybe months, to slog through. I’m committing myself, again, to the things that have carried me this far: prayer, hiking, connection, sharing stupid memes, Tuesday takeout, Sunday worship, and cleaning the house on Fridays. What’s your slogging-through plan?