The daily grind

Things here at home feels ok with the kids--they are settled into a Spring Break kind of vibe, trying to not sleep in too late, to eat regularly scheduled meals and to find ways to keep busy at home (video games, painting, board games, etc)

But these are early days and, to be honest, as a person who was alone 90% of the time during the days for almost a year, things feel surreal with everyone home 100% of the time right now. There is a lot of anxiety around the totally unknown factors of this virus and even knowing if we are successfully "flattening the curve". Things change so quickly by the hour that each day feels like a year's worth of news.
That said, I am appreciative of the supportive communities around me--the gym 's online St Paddy's day get together, the Sexual Assault Centre's outreach through video conferencing our therapy sessions--have proven invaluable to making sure that the feelings of deep isolation and loneliness is stymied at least a littl…

A new normal

The most startling for the kids has been the closure of schools--potentially for the remainder of the school year! In an effort to maintain social distancing and to ensure kids dont become exposed to covid 19 in casual contact, the very difficult decision was made to close all k-12 schools, post secondaries, and daycare centres beginning immediately.

What does it mean? Apparently the schools are trying hard to put learning online for students to complete their curriculum but students are all to be passed forward to the next grade and all grade 12 students who were on track for graduation would still graduate. 
It is a shock to the system, late on a Sunday afternoon, to receive this information and we went out of a last restaurant dinner before it became unavailable to us. The kids were a mix of gladness for extra time off to complete annoyance that this was how school was going to end for the year. We will see what the daily grind looks like from here on out.

Flattening the Curve

As the news continues to pile up, there is a lot of discussion of this idea of "flattening the curve" and how we need to be socially responsible on a large scale for the interventions to be effective for everyone, so as not to overwhelm the health care system.

If I thought people were panic-buying before, it has reached new levels--grocery stores have bare shelves--bread, pasta, sauce, rice, soup, and of course, toilet paper, Even milk aisles have a pittance left. It is weird because the supply chains are not interrupted and stock is still coming in, but I suppose the notion of quarantine and shelter in place makes people nervous.

Chaos and Uncertainty

Two days later, March 11, everything has begun to escalate, with the Alberta government advising all Albertans to cancel travel internationally and to begin to warn people of the risk factors for covid19--symptoms ranging from fevers, cough, difficulty breathing, headaches and to ask people to be aware of passing it on to high risk groups (seniors over 70 and those with immunocompromised systems).

New words started to permeate our conversations: social distancing, quarantine, self-isolation. Social gatherings of more than 250 people or more requested, then demanded, to shut down. It was so odd to see, in real time, the shutdown of the NBA, the NHL, major league baseball.

The markets start tanking as the economy takes hit after hit--large scale layoffs begin to be apparent.

We were holding out for the Government of Canada but today it happened: no non-essential travel internationally. Our trip to Mexico officially cancelled because what if we werent even able to make it back home?

Thingadailies #whatever: Fear of the Unknown

We had begun hearing about the novel coronavirus out of Wuhan, China sometime in December, or early January. It felt remote and only vaguely unsettling since it was happening on the other side of the world. Of course, we were concerned about this new virus and how quickly it seemed to overtake the population there and how vigorously it was quarantined by the regimental government. But it wasn't anywhere close to mind.

Eventually it began to spread outside of the bounds of Wuhan, making it's way via travellers to other Asian countries (Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, etc) and becoming more frightening with the climb of infected and dying people. But it still wasn't top of mind.

March began with cheer and countdowns to vacation. As soon as the first case appeared in Edmonton on March 6th, things began to shift noticeably. When the spread began to effect countries such as Italy and Spain, the numbers took on a more pallid hue, and governments here began to pay closer attentio…

Thingadailies 6: Control Issues

The next thing I had to do was make a list of things I can control and things I do not have control over, I understand the function of the list--concrete things that I ought to know so that my mind doesn't keep turning the powerlessness I feel into recurring nightmares.

But there is a part of me that previous therapy has reminded me: that I often hang onto TOO many things/want to keep a tight rein on many "daytime" controls precisely because of my "night time" fears and this pushes me to the other extreme, which is also unhealthy.

And so what I actually need is BALANCE of my mindset/expectations and also of the obstacles/setbacks that pop up.

Mostly I have to learn to let go and be ENOUGH.

Thingadailies 5: Hurt People Struggle to See Themselves

My lack of/struggle with my identity often makes me feel out of control and child-like, when I wasnt permitted to exert a lot (any?) control over even minor things. I was dressed in boy-ish clothes and given a boy-ish nickname with a boy-ish haircut, in direct contrast with my older sister with the floral name, long hair and dresses. It seems like such an odd thing to be hung up on but to this day, wearing clothes that are floral or feminine gives me pause and I dont feel like they are appropriate for me. I have been making in-roads into my grey, black and blue wardrobe with yellows, pinks, corals and reds, but each purchase has to be made deliberately and with an eye to change, everything just outside my comfort zone.
My therapist asked me to complete a self portrait so I could try to figure out a bit more about my identity issues and how those manifest themselves in my nightmares. Ironically, on the same day, I received the gallery photos of my resilience photo shoot from way back …