It is apparently May now. Time is marching on, and so is this new normal we’re all doing our best to find. There are a jumble of thoughts and ideas and funny stories I want to tell you, because rest assured life is being intensely lived over here and there is no shortage of things to tell you! But finding the time to sneak away and write proves challenging these days. And if I’m honest, tapping into my writerly creative self proves challenging these days too. Either way, I felt that uncomfortable twitch of words bottle-necking inside of me and since they need to come out, this feels like the best place to start.
These are my confessions.
- All this social distancing is making me socially awkward. Bumping into a friend at the grocery store: Why does my face feel weird? What are my hands doing? What did people used to talk about? It’s like I forgot how to be a person.
- I feel bad about my face. Not the shape or general appearance of it. I just mean… I’ve pretty much stopped wearing makeup (because quarantine), and I’ve never been great at skincare, and in the last 5 years I’ve gotten SO many wrinkles, and they just keep coming, and now I obsessively notice women’s faces and compare my amount of wrinkles to theirs and wonder if I should recant my declaration to never inject botox into my face. There, I said it. The reality is that I’ll probably just start washing my face at night and wearing more sunscreen but I don’t know, man… aging is clearly one more issue I need to make peace with. Great. Grand. Wonderful. Add it to the list!
- We’ve watched too much TV. The entire Mission Impossible franchise? Check. All of Brooklyn 99 (for the second time)? Check. Ozark? Double check. Outlander? Umm, is the sky blue? Family Guy? *subtle nod*, SNL-At-Home? Chiggity Check. Schitt’s Creek? Yesqueen. Listen, anything goes right now. Obviously the kids don’t watch all this with us, but some of it they do and I will tell you that we have a lot more inside jokes with them now and I’m not mad about it.
- Even with #3 considered, THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT. Sure they’ve had too much screen time. But they’ve also slept well, had our attention, played outside, taught us resilience, learned new life skills, taken more responsibility on the farm, adapted to life without school or playdates, let boredom breed creativity, learned deeper empathy, and reminded us how simple and sweet life can be when we let it. The kids are alright!
- My weight fluctuates almost as quickly as my mood. Some days I feel anxious and have no appetite. Some days I feel insatiable and cook extravagantly. Much like my feelings these days, my body is a bit all over the place. But for once I am not upset about any of it. It’s okay. It’s a normal response to stress. It doesn’t mean I’ve failed, that I’m “off the wagon”, or that any of my prior work is wasted. It just means I put on weight. We’re in this for the long haul, remember? We’re going to fluctuate. It’s OKAY.
- I can introvert haaaaaaaard. I used to think I was an extrovert but upon further inspection, that’s mostly because I can talk to pretty much anyone, which makes me a great social buffer, which means I often found myself in social situations that I didn’t orchestrate, feeling exhausted by them. I’m capable of navigating those waters well, but it drains the life out of me. Small talk, big parties, multiple conversations that never go deep- they all make me want to run and hide. I recently realized that time alone is the thing that recharges me. Who knew! What I didn’t realize, was how much of an introvert I actually am. I can hunker down, turn inward, and avoid the rest of the world real easily. Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing but it’s definitely a true thing.
- I’ve made more 9 pm nacho platters than I’d care to admit (the trick is to stack it low, not wide, and don’t forget the pickled jalapenos!)
- All this extra time for introspection has shown me that at nearly 40, I’m barely figuring my shit out. In faith, in friendships, marriage, family dynamics, in knowing my own self… I’m learning to name narratives, ask questions, wait for answers, take ownership, set boundaries, be honest, and receive the process as joy. Even when it hurts a little.
- In the last 60 days I’ve yelled at my kids, doubled my alcohol intake, neglected my hygiene, zoned out, ignored screen time limits, forgot zoom calls, dropped the ball with work, stayed up til 2am binging Netflix (it was Ozark, okay? Come on, Meredith), I’ve skipped workouts, fed my kids ridiculous “lunches” , exclaimed that it is the “worst day ever”, felt emotional, felt pressure to “make memories”, lost the ability to make quick decisions, questioned if I’m doing this right, and experienced extreme anxiety in my body.
- I’ve also, apologized to my kids, played games, read books, cooked gorgeous comfort food, communicated better with my husband (and made big life decisions!), enjoyed that extra glass of wine with exactly zero guilt, received this season with open hands, let go of unnecessary expectations, made countless memories with my people (including the 2am Netflix binge), been easygoing (something new I’m trying on), laughed til my sides hurt, found new tools to coexist with anxiety, started a life-giving habit of UNFILTERED journaling, exclaimed it is the “best day ever”, loved people well, done a crap ton of inner work, and basically I’ve been gentle with myself for maybe the first time in my adult life…
Maybe that’s because in a lot of ways I that I don’t really know how to express yet, I feel like I’m coming home to myself for the first time in my adult life. Learning her. Sitting with her instead of posturing. Being curious instead of judgmental with her. Being true to her. Expressing her. Knowing her more fully and recognizing her more quickly. Celebrating her.
That all feels vulnerable to share, but it’s also true, so there it is.
I wonder if you’re confessions would look anything like mine. If you care to share one thing, I don’t care if it’s quirky, embarrassing, deep, or silly, I’d love to hear it! Comment below!
Christine Duncan says
I’ve learned that leaving my phone in a different room at night means I’ll sleep SO hard. Which also means I should never have scoffed at those people who said it would make a difference. Turns out, completely accidentally for me, that they were right. Oh the sleep I could have been having all this time!!!
Yours Cordially – Insomniac No More