I’ve been hesitant to do any blog writing recently, because it seems there is only one topic any of us are able discuss. It begins with P and ends in -ic. It has consumed us in more ways than one, and every one of us, everywhere, is somehow affected by and attempting to deal with the -ic. To be honest, I’m completely weary of thinking about, talking about, and coping with the -ic. So I’ve been avoiding writing. Which is not the right answer.
I will also admit that for the past two days I have willingly been the proverbial ostrich with her head in the sand. I have not read, listened to, or watched any news. It’s not that I don’t care, or that I don’t feel the importance of what is going on around us. But for my own sanity, I needed a break. I think we all need to take breaks from time to time to be able to recharge our coping mechanisms.
As part of this break, the only social media content and information I’ve read are positive posts. I have scrolled past anything sad, frightening or worrisome. And guess what, the longer we go in this -ic situation, the more positive bits I’m finding. There are so many people out there sewing masks, delivering groceries, raising donations, and showing up at appropriate distances to show support for those on the front lines, it warms the soul and gives hope.
I am one of the very fortunate ones who is not only healthy (knock on wood), but still employed (please knock again), working from home. I am beyond thankful for both of those key points. However, because I am still working 9+ hours a day, I feel limited in how much I can do to help others. This is why I jumped at the chance to do one tiny simple thing for a friend. She asked if I could hem her scrubs. You see she is a pretty amazing Doctor who is still going every day to a medical facility. She is one of many other essential and incredible humans out there who risk facing the -ic up close every day while I stay safe and albeit stir crazy in my home.
The funny thing is my sewing skills are rusty. But I uncovered ye ol’ sewing machine, was all proud of myself when I remembered not only how to thread the machine but wind a bobbin, and got the scrubs hemmed so my BFF hero can avoid tripping and falling on the job. Did the hems look great? No. Luckily, they are scrubs. If my sister, who is still a fabulous seamstress, saw my project, she would give me the one-lifted brow that says “really? You learned better than that.” Then would giggle at me.
As I did my measuring, pinning, cutting, stitching and ironing, I thought about the ways we are all resurrecting lost skills in this time of the -ic. One trip to a grocery store (with disposable gloves and masks in place) will lead us to believe that a lot of us are cooking and baking far more than usual. We are picking up actual pens and hand-writing letters and cards to those who need a boost. There are young mothers re-learning how to use cloth diapers. We are cleaning with washable rags to save paper towels. We are tackling home projects like painting and carpentry. We are having family game nights and going for hikes. We are playing music to lift spirits. We are making gifts, and calling people to actually talk vs. texting. Lost talents and skills, newly found. And it’s kinda wonderful.
There is no denying that the -ic is overwhelming and we can easily let it get all-consuming. When we don’t take occasional moments to let ourselves regroup and breathe, everything feels huge and impossible to conquer. Yet when we let ourselves think about something else – even for a few hours – we remember that we have skills that have laid a bit dormant during the rush of “normal” life. Perhaps we can find small little things to help each other fight back against the -ic beast. And feel better in the process.
By the way, did you know that the myth of the ostrich hiding her head in the sand came about because she’s actually tending to her eggs in her ground nest? So she’s not really hiding and avoiding the world. She’s doing one very skilled, tiny little thing to make her world better.