I enjoyed some time outside again today for a nice long walk with the doggos and a friend. This photo was a fun moment while we were waiting - what you can't hear is the dogs whimpering and whining - they knew EXACTLY the moment we reached our destination and they wanted out, like NOW. They're also displeased because I squished them all in the back of my Kia Soul - and while I love it's roominess, I am seriously doubting it's overly comfortable for them. But, my car, my rules...also my valuable time spent vacuuming to keep the car looking new before farmers market season hits.
On that note...I came home and was exhausted and I couldn't really figure out why. Walking isn't something new for me, though I've been doing tons of gym stuff the last 5 months, it's not like I picked up running again during this "shut down of all things fun and extracurricular." It's different, sure, but still. I sat at the table and just laid my head in my hands. My mind was racing and it truly sounded like an argument between two people that despise each other. One would say "I shouldn't be this exhausted, it was a walk in the sun, it was energizing!" and the other "I'm just overwhelmed," when the the first would quickly add "but you shouldn't be, it's not like you worked 10 hours or anything today." And on it went. When my husband finally asked what was up because "It looks like someone just killed a cat in front of you..." I couldn't really put into it all into words, despite the flurry of them spinning in my head and dropping at their leisure.
Then I read this on someone I love following on Instagram. The headline of the post was: Ok what we're not going to do is compare ourselves to all the people saying they've already started projects or side hustles or learned 57 new languages. Nope, we're going to let ourselves feel how we're feeling & take all the motherfucking time we need." It went on to detail:
"You are not a failure if you're struggling to do the day-to-day stuff. You are not a fuck up if you can't launch right now into something productive. Fear, uncertainty & anxiety are exhausting - it's okay if your energy feels all used up right now. And if you're struggling with the day-to-day but can't afford to give yourself time ot process because you have to prioritize paying rent, caring for someone else, staying afloat: it's ok to feel like things are shit right now and no IG post takes that away. Wherever you're at: I see you, however you're getting through these days is a-ok"
I'm so tired - without what my type-A personality determines as probable cause to be. I'm mentally drained even though I am not a skill-worker or someone that is on the front lines fighting this virus or working 60+ hour weeks. I'm going between having such amazing highs (yesterday's volunteer efforts and impromptu 3+ hour dance party and being on the news) only to wake up the next day feeling like someone took all the wind from my sails. This post summed up so much of what I was feeling - and inside somewhere, I know it's ok to feel this way, but my mind is a scary place to be sometimes. I mean, I didn't venture out to create a business by half-assing it and I can thank my brain, my personality, my soul for being the "pusher" type.
I know there are better ways to process all of this and I'm not sure if writing a blog about it is one of those. I'm trying the other things - the things I can control. Eating right, exercising, resting. Sometimes they work sometimes the fall flat. But what I do know is:
I'm a small business owner that has worked her ass off for 6+ years creating my dream, only to have a shit load of uncertainty if I will make it to my 7 year "workiversary," legitimately longer than any other job I worked in my life. Even the high paying ones. As a market manager, I have no idea what to tell my vendors about THEIR small businesses or if they'll even have a venue to share them in this summer. I don't know how to plan for 3 markets, one being brand new this year, if there's a potential that we'll have to scrap all of it and offer some sort of "drive through" style market. There is so much that I can't plan for, task list out on my colored notebooks and post-it notes. For someone like me, it truly does knock you down. I've been told "come up with something that can capitalize on the economy when it comes back." Ok, you basically just told me to come up with sliced bread or post-it notes...I'm not a big picture kind of girl when it comes to things like that. I love routine, control, itemized to-do's. I can knock that shit out of the park - but you tell me to change everything that I've worked so hard on, come up with an innovation that nobody else will have, and to have a business plan done up for it in a week? Thanks but I'll just crawl back into my hole and weep.
The next layer is all of the fun things being taken away. Emerald City Comic Con was a blow, but I got it, and in the end chalked up a blessing in disguise so I could more easily get done what I needed to for market season and my trip to Alaska---wait. Then that was cancelled too. Then my favorite shops and restaurants so even going out locally isn't really "a thing" anymore. Cancellations of events that I was planning or hosting started trickling in. It all just started to compound on itself...and quickly.
Add in the constant stream of news that we're getting. Updates, more shut-downs, more cases popping up. It's a lot to take in - for anyone. Underneath THAT layer is the one of slight panic. Do we ACTUALLY have enough toilet paper? Could I make something out of the 5 cans of refried beans, 3 jars of spaghetti sauce, 1 500-pack of Otter Pops and some soon-to-be-bad spring mix I've got on hand? Do I need to go to the store? Should I go to the store? Will I DIE or cause someone else to DIE if I go to the goddamned store?
I think the only thing that is getting me through a lot of these thoughts and "end-of-times" thinking is that I'm not the only one. I'm not the only one struggling to stay in track in my eating. I'm not the only one that has a hard time putting pants on and doing my hair if there's no legit reason to leave the house. And reading this IG post today put into words what I was feeling - even though I'm not alone, am I doing enough? The answer is - just existing in this time of unknown is doing enough. Hell, I'm probably acing the unknown test I'm being put to just by getting some regular exercise in and not eating bagfuls of M&M's (it was close though, at the 1 trip I made to the store the other day...not gonna lie) And if someone out there reading this IS eating the bag of M&M's or Skittles or sleeping 16 hours a day - kudos to you for self-caring the crap out of #CoVid19. At least you're not putting others in danger by being out and about as though nothing is happening.
So, at the end of all of this, I hope THIS post brings you some light, some humor and some sense of camaraderie. I'm here in the darkness with you and while my circumstances are absolutely not as bad as some, they could get a lot worse and this Mockingjay may need to figure shit out, quickly.