Today, Donald Trump was diagnosed with Covid-19. After six months of publicly denying it (and private confirming how dangerous it was), the President of the United States has this horrible disease and the world is upended.
Before this latest news, we have had 4 years of vitriol, hate and public displays that have dispirited us all. To name a few, in the past few years we have had the Kavanaugh hearings, which raised again the ugly specter of sexual abuse. Ruth Bader Ginsberg died suddenly, creating a constitutional crisis around the Supreme Court. Putin put a bounty on US soldier’s heads and the administration did nothing about it. A foreign leader was encouraged to influence the presidential campaign. Families have been torn apart trying to come into our country. Science has been denied and our world is on fire.
And this is just a very small portion of what we have been dealing with since March 2020 and before.
Imagine if you were from another planet, looking down on those of us living in the US right now, can you imagine the empathy that you would have for us? For those of us, on both sides, who are angry and suffering and scared. For those of us who are afraid for the future of our children. How we are scared that our mothers and fathers will die alone.
If you are feeling off-kilter and like your life is falling apart, know that even the strongest, most self-confident person is really struggling right now amidst this deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
5. Too much of a usually good thing.
What is it that we all always wished for in our previous lives? What did we just not have enough of but so wished we did? What was the thing that was passing before our eyes?
Time. We always wanted more time.
And now we have it. Lots and lots of time to sit around our homes, trying to stay busy, a little bit bored somedays. Lots and lots of time.
I know that for many people the time has been a good thing. I know couples who have grown closer because their busy lives no longer keep them apart. I know of families who have done things together that they hadn’t done in years. I know that there is a lot of yummy bread and chocolate chip cookies that have been made and devoured. We have had time that we have never had before and it has been good.
The downside to all of that time, however, is that it allows our minds to run wild. The time that you used to spend riding the subway or going to the movies or having long boozy dinners with friends is now time often spent in our heads. Instead of running around, keeping ourselves busy, as is human nature, we are left alone with our thoughts.
The worst thing about our thoughts is that, more often than not, they only run negative tapes. I know that I do have some good memories that I like to play over in my head but more often than not I am thinking about that stupid thing I said in 3rd grade, about that time I chose badminton over track in junior high, about how I never appreciated one gift that my ex-husband gave me, about how my depression affected my children.
And what do those negative thoughts do? They make me doubt myself and my abilities and my future in every way.
So, while more time has been a gift, recognize that that gift can also bring us to a place of self-doubt that might not exist if we weren’t spending so much time not busy, alone with our thoughts.
If you are one of many of us who feel like your life is falling apart in month 6 of Covid, know that while it feels like it’s all about you and your weaknesses, it’s not!
The world around us feels like it is crashing and burning and even the most resilient of us are struggling to make it through.
Try to keep in mind, as you are struggling, that you are not a person who is weak or worthless or hasn’t lived up to your own expectations. Instead, take stock of the person you are in the world, the people who love you, the good things that you have done, the things that you know you have to offer the world.
You might not be able to make a big change right now but it’s ok. Someday, this will all be behind us and life will go on and you will get your stability back. And when you do, watch out world!