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  • Writer's picturePat Birnie

Who's Got the Blues?

"How are you feeling? No, really – how are you feeling?"

This is a question I’ve seen multiple times on social media over the past weeks. I do believe that people are sincerely trying to connect with and support others, as opposed to showcasing their perfect self. I love mankind and how we show up. I want to analyze my feelings with the goal of dealing with them and handling this situation in the healthiest way.

First, just WOW - this is the most unusual time we are in isn’t it? Funny how life takes us in such unexpected directions (well maybe 'funny' is the wrong word choice?). Who among us could have predicted that this is how our world would look as we enter spring 2020? Not me, that’s for darn sure and I’m guessing not you either.

Perhaps that’s why it is so hard to identify and analyze our emotions. Are we a little shell-shocked? We’ve lost all sense of time – hmmm, heading into a 'long weekend' - Not the usual excitement around that is there?

My days really are not that much different than they were. I’ve worked from home in my own biz for many years now so I’m used to that routine. I like my home and I like my own company. But I also like the freedom to go out, to meet up with people in person! I am so fortunate and grateful that my income hasn’t been interrupted.

So, why are my tears hovering just below the surface? How do I come to terms with these feelings? First and most important I suppose I need to acknowledge and accept them.

I have been through much more challenging times in my life, times where I often thought "I just cannot do this, I can't". But I did. And I came out stronger and more resilient! So I wonder, why am I so sad? I definitely miss our kids and grandkids so so much. I cannot wait to hug all of them again. I miss the lack of control in my life. My husband has been doing all the shopping and errands. We decided on this as I have asthma, putting me at much higher risk. That plus the fact that I cough a lot with my asthma and it would just freak people out (I know, as I’ve seen it when we are out walking or running – I really try but cannot always hold that cough in. It's hilarious how those rare people that refuse to allow space on the sidewalk move the heck over when I let a cough slip. It's like they are airborne! )

What I am so sad about? Let's see....

:( The parks and playgrounds being taped off.

:( Those separated from their elderly, ill or housebound loved ones.

:( The front line professionals that are out in the public and worry that they’ll unknowingly bring the virus home to their family.

:( The small businesses that have closed down and don’t know how they’ll pay their bills.

:( Those who have lost their jobs due to all the businesses that are closed indefinitely

:( The wonderful restaurants who have held on by a thread for years or decades, but have now had to close their doors and cut their staff.

:( Those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19 or any cause, that cannot come together to celebrate, remember and mourn that person.

:( Those that live alone and are lonely.

:( That I can't use emojis on this site - truly a first world problem :)

Oh my gosh, there is just so much sadness - so let's switch gears! Gratitude and focusing on the positive is my default. Smiling & laughter are great de-stressors, so let's go.

What I’m happy about - well this made me happy!

Some family took the time to put a colourful grass skirt on this pole - just to brighten the day for passersby.

>All the teenagers out for walks with their parents – when does that happen? (also that I'm not quarantined with teenagers!)

>The unbelievable kindness that is showing up everywhere in our world – people making masks, CEO’s taking wage cuts, food drop-offs, the list is endless.

>Almost everyone we pass while walking or running shares a big smile & greeting.

>I love and know how to cook. And that everyone is cooking and baking with their kids.

>The little ones having so much time with both mom and dad. Moms and dads are able to have so much time with those little ones instead of an hour or so before and after work (Please treasure that time).

>Seeing so many runners out and about. As a long time runner I’m hoping that some people are discovering that it’s really a great way to get some cardio, some fresh air and endorphins. (but where were they on this chilling windy day?)

>Oh – how fresh the air is! What beautiful stories we are hearing about how the earth is healing. Sea turtles taking over once-busy beaches. Dolphins swimming in the canals of Venice, a significant decrease in worldwide pollution.

>All the hilariousness on facebook – people are SO funny and creative. It’s a great little escape when you need a chuckle!

> Stephen King says he's sorry we feel like we're stuck in a Stephen King novel

Here's what I've decided will do. I'll continue to look for and focus on all that I have and all the goodness around us. But also, I'm going to cry when I feel the need. Just let those tears flow instead of suppressing them. This can be truly cathartic, so I may even look for a really sad movie to fuel those tears. I know that it is healing and even detoxing. I'll continue the online course "Mind Control: Managing your Mental Health During COVID-19" that I started just for 'interest' but now realize I need. And I'll continue to reach out to friends and family daily because those relationships are my greatest treasure. Finally, I will accept that we are living in a moment where we don't know what the future holds. I know we will, for the most part, be 'ok' but I don't know what will be forever changed or lost.

How about you? What's your solution when having a challenging day? Do you reach out to someone by phone or are you afraid you're bothering them (hint: you are probably not; bothering them I mean) So, pick up the phone -click on the video. You just may make someone's day!

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