What’s up y’all? First of all, how are you? Are you doing your best to be well and stay healthy?
Am I? As best as I can.
If you’ve never met me in person, or haven’t chatted with me much, let me tell you: I like making plans. I find purpose and usefulness when I set a goal, break it down into steps, make a schedule, and grind through until I see the results. I am a person of action. I like to-do lists. I like checking things off. I like my calendar to be full of events that are the building blocks to achieving the herculean things I plan for myself. Yes, the approach can get overwhelming and eventually, I have a small temporary breakdown; that’s another blog post completely.
What you should take away is that action is my aspirin. Plans are my sanity. Constant movement is my normal. And now our lives have ground to a halt.
I writing to you from the East Coast, not my normal Denver. Why? Well, that’s a story. Two Saturdays ago (?, the 14th. I’m losing track of time), my favorite person and I trekked up to Big Sky, intent on seeing out our plan to fit in 3 days of riding some powder. We’d watched the news. We’d weighed and measured options. We still thought, “Eh, maybe this could work.” We arrived that Saturday night after 12 hours of driving to hear that Gov. Jared Polis of CO ordered all the ski resorts to shut down. Fortunately, we were optimistically blind, believing the Big Sky website proclaiming it was committed to staying open, that fresh air was good for the body and soul. Sunday morning, we woke up to the announcement that Sunday would be our first/last/only day to ride Big Sky because the mountain was closing.
So ride we did.
Monday morning, we packed up and headed back to Denver, watching the Coronavirus story unfold on the news. After seeing SF get hit with a shelter in place, I decided that staying in my 500 sq. ft. apartment for an unknown number of weeks would drive me bonkers; my favorite person had similar feelings about his place, so we hit the road to the East Coast, where he is from and where my parents are currently hunkering down. We trekked 27.5 hours, 1795.9 miles to get to a place where we felt safe, sane, and supported.
Extreme? Maybe. But extrapolating the numbers we saw last Saturday, theorizing about the next actions states and the federal government would take (none, on the fed level, seems like), we decided to put ourselves in the best situation possible. (Out of the way of Colorado snowstorms? Yes please)
Well, I’m lucky.
I can work remotely. I am staying busy; running again, yoga every day. Doing puzzles, reading books, playing Mario Kart. I’m hoping to get better at harmonica and to reach deep into the depths of my brain to pull out piano and guitar skills, long dormant. I’m cooking. I’m playing with Photoshop and Google Cloud and Docker and writing an API to return information about my skydiving gear. Why not?
I’m not out of work. I’m not overworked and worried about my personal safety, as our brave and harrowed healthcare workers are. (I promise; as soon as I get access to a sewing machine, I’ll start sewing masks and anything I can to help.) My family isn’t sick, nor are they likely to get sick, as they’re following precautions.
Still this situation, the isolation, the sleep deprivation of the night shift of driving across Illinois/Indiana/Ohio, the constant barrage of news, and the worry, is too much; I have too much time to think. My calendar is empty. I’m stuck reliving how my previous focus, my plan for 2 years, my goal of competing at the highest levels of skydiving, was unceremoniously and perfidiously ripped away from me (RIP Tamara-on-XPG4). After some reflection about that team, it hits me that it wasn’t my choice at all, just a carefully staged illusion that I had a choice. Not a lot of people have the misfortune of seeing me mad, but now I’m furious and I’m left to stew about how that team played out, how I was treated, in quiet isolation, with no plan at all right now.
This is where a lot of us are now; fine enough, we guess, but still maybe bouncing around in a head-cage of our own making. Without the daily busyness and our future plans to keep us moving, we grind to a halt and our brains rev up, living and re-living where our lives were when the coronavirus hit pause.
Don’t fall down a think-hole that you can’t get out of during all this madness. Text me. Call me. Send me pictures of all your activities that you’re doing to stay sane. Let me know about your triumphs, like saving money because we’re not out drinking at bars or your 10 pushups or remembering to brush your teeth before noon. Hit me up if your demons start yowling too loud and you want someone to talk to.
This is a mess. Our world as we know it will fundamentally change going forward. I hope for the better. It’s too soon to really know. But in the mean time, I’m here for you.