Thursday, March 12, 2020 was my last day of normal. We had family friends in from California and we enjoyed several Spring Training games (Go A’s/Go Giants), big family meals with a lot of laughter by the firepit. Going to the store for household essential and food was a hassle but surely nothing to even think about. It got real, Friday, March 13th as our guests left and headed back to California with the sense of the unknown once they returned back to the Bay Area.
The entire world flipped in a heartbeat.
On work from home day 6th and my inside voice is louder than ever with “what-ifs.” I don’t know what the near future holds. I can tell you that I never, ever thought in a million years that I might have to homeschool my 14-year-old son, and that there may not be any 8th grade graduation activities. I never thought in a million years that I would tell my college age daughter that she might not be able to finish out her Sophomore year on campus and the lead role/character she worked so hard to earn (Performing Arts major), Cabaret, may not happen. They are anticipating their disappointments, which I have no control over and I find this the hardest to deal with.
We laugh at the memes, we cry with the world. There have only been two times in my life that I felt this agonizing weight on my heart, a feeling of vulnerability and uncertainty. These two events were the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and September 11, 2001. I carry the heartache of motherhood. You fear for your children, you protect your children and you tell them this will pass. They see your actions and then they question you. Are you afraid? Will we have enough food and even better, enough toilet paper? They see the empty shelves in the grocery stores and the closures of our go-to eateries.
Is this really the new normal?
I am uniquely lucky, because I can tell them with great confidence that I work for a company that is helping the world receive their food, in something called supply chain. I tell them in the simplest terms that as long as the food supply chain is not broken the distributors will continue to deliver. I tell them we will be stronger and smarter once this chapter ends.
I am sharing my fears as an outlet. In my opinion, it’s okay to be scared. You may ask, what have I been doing to help calm my nerves? I need human contact, so instead of relying on emails back and forth with my external professional connections, I’ve been calling directly. Once connected, before even diving into the very reason why I called, we share what we are going through and that we are connected through like experiences. I believe this makes us feel less anxious, then back to conducting business as usual. I have a new sense of trust and openness from the voice on the other end.
My hope is this post helps anyone who is feeling the same way and remember, we must be good to ourselves. I have decided to start a workout regimen at home and promise myself to walk away from the laptop for some fresh air. My new normal is challenging and unknown but as long as we stay connected we are not alone.