The In-Between—CoronaLife Day 334

Have you ever been sick for a few days or more? Long enough for it to really drain you? As you recover, there is a time I call the in-between, where your spirit has rallied, but your body isn’t there yet. It is a restless, impatient time, where you WANT to do things, you feel READY to do things…but you don’t have the stamina or strength to do those things. It usually only lasts a few days, but it is an incredibly frustrating time.

I am in the in-between right now. I have not been physically ill (thankfully), but I have been in a creative slump for many years now. It started in November 2016. I am not the only creative deeply affected by that election and the years that followed. My anxiety ratcheted up, and that always saps my creative energy. Still, I was able to work in spurts—I would be very productive for a week or two, then crash back into nothing.

The pandemic wiped me out completely. Lockdowns, remote schooling, anxiety overload…I had not a drop of anything left for creating. I went from berating myself for not doing ENOUGH to berating myself for not doing ANYTHING. It got to the point where, when I turned 50, I thought, “Maybe I should just be done with this. I clearly don’t have what it takes.”


I am stubborn. And I am still here.

The vaccine—as imperfect as the rollout has been—is promising a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. Promising a time when we might get back to something approaching normalcy. And, after the horrific events of January 6th, having Biden sworn in successfully has slowly brought me some peace. Promising a time when we as neighbors can talk to each other again without insults, without shouting. When we can listen to understand, not just to respond.

Thus, I find myself once again at the in-between. I am, finally, feeling like I WANT to work on my projects. However, my writing muscles, so long out of use, are flabby and weak. It will take more time for me to have the strength of mind to get back to my work. So for now I am poking at one project, then another, trying to see which of them sparks something. Maybe I will round-robin them for a while—write a scene here, edit a chapter there, wonder what the heck I was even thinking on the other. When I first started writing, I always had more than one story going at the same time. It kept me from getting stuck, because if I did I would jump to another until I figured out the problem. When I got older and the demands of adulthood and motherhood constrained my time, I focused on one project at a time, just so I could finish.

The in-between is painful. It is frustrating. But it is also hopeful.

Maybe it’s not time to hang up this dream after all.

Stormy Weather – CoronaLife Day 145

We got hit by Tropical Storm Isaias on Monday night into Tuesday. It was not the worst storm to come through here, but we did lose power for 11 hours, and part of our fence came down. The fence will be relatively easy to fix (the nails just pulled out of the support post), and the power is back on. Thankfully the past couple of days have not been as dangerously hot as the past few weeks. Many in the area are still without power, with estimated times of return as late as Saturday. I hope they get it back sooner.

Inside my head was pretty stormy during the blackout, too. Everything had been building up on me and the blackout was the final straw. I retreated to my room for a good cry. After a cathartic amount of wallowing in “life sucks” and “I’m a failure at everything,” I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and went back downstairs. I’m still a bit fried today, but pushing onward.

The hard thing is trying to figure out how to shake this all off and get back to something that feels more like “me”. So much is out of my control, and the things I do control I seem incapable of controlling. I think I just need to pick something and do it. When I used to travel to VA from NJ once a month, packing myself and my then-infant up, there was always a moment when I felt so completely overwhelmed with packing I would just stand in the middle of the room, paralyzed. The only way to overcome it was to just do something. Anything. Just start with one thing, complete it, and move on to the next. Maybe that’s the key here. Life can feel overwhelming. So I should just pick one thing, even a small thing, and get it done.

On the good news side, I am happy that my mother’s back surgery went well and she is a week post-op today. She is recovering nicely and keeping my dad hopping with chores to do. I wish I could go over to visit, but the coronavirus makes that dicey, especially as cases are rising in both our areas.

I have no idea how much longer all this will last. It will be on the order of months, for certain. I am rather surprised it took me 5 months to reach a crash point. If I last another 5 months before the next crash, it will be January 2021, and hopefully the new year will be a new direction for all of us, and we may see light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope everyone impacted by Isaias is recovering, and that power is restored soon. We all could use some light in the darkness about now.

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