Coronalone: Weeks 12 & 13: A Double Feature

Updated: Jun 26

"Coronalone". It's like "Home Alone", but without Macaulay Culkin. And without the burglars (we hope). It's our ridiculous name for the surreal and strange circumstances in which we currently find ourselves.

And we currently find ourselves watching as the Coronavirus cases begin to rise again here in the States due to “opening” the country, and witnessing the curve we were supposed to flatten looking more like a mesa:

Just out of curiosity, does anyone else look at the Spain map and see the hat/boa-constrictor-swallowing-an-elephant drawing from “The Little Prince”?

Maybe it’s just me.

This week’s struggle—at least for me—is an attempt to balance my gratitude for being able to work from home-- and continue to keep “the moms” as safe as possible-- with a sense of guilt at our good fortune. I think it is akin to “survivor’s guilt”, in that it feels unfair that others are struggling with isolating in environments far less ideal than our lake cottage, or unfair that we are able to protect ourselves and our loved ones when others do not have that luxury. How does one remain grateful without taking everything one has for granted? It is a tightrope, for sure.

I’m also finding myself slightly short-tempered and searching for a (false) sense of control by doing things like tackling clutter, reorganizing work spaces, and weeding out “stuff I don’t need”. I know it sounds productive, but when done in the slightly manic way in which I am currently operating, it’s a) probably not an indication of good mental health, and b) really frustrating for poor Mike! A friend of mine posted a list on Facebook recently of often-unrecognized ways that anxiety attacks can manifest, and— boy, howdy! — did I ever see myself in that list, especially right now. I’m glad she posted it, because I had not even recognized that this was anxiety rearing its ugly head. “You don’t know ‘til you know”, as they say, and sometimes we are blindest to our own struggles. I might see someone else having a hard time and be able to recognize the signs, but I do tend to overlook them in myself. So much for that “self-awareness” thing I’ve been attempting, eh? Thankfully, I am not alone in the struggle, and I have wonderful friends who can help me open my eyes, even while socially-distanced. I’m including the graphic here in case anyone else’s eyes need opening, because just being aware of what was happening made a huge difference for me:

So, as we enter a fourth month of isolation here at the “House in the Rocks”, I would encourage you to check in with yourself to see how you are doing. I would encourage you to express your gratitude for everything you have, to reach out to the people in your life that mean the most to you—virtually, of course, not in person right now!—and to remember that you are loved, that you have value, and that we are facing this all together, navigating this strange and surreal experience known as 2020… even though we may sometimes feel alone in our isolation.

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