I remember when I was younger how much I loved going to Kings Island or Cedar Point in Ohio for the ultimate coaster experiences. The up and down, the flips, all of it, was exhilarating. It was also over in about 5-10 minutes, and you knew it was going to be over.
These days, the coaster experience seems to be going on and on, and it’s not so fun anymore.
Case in point, my week:
Sunday night – pass a certification exam for work that is a really important part of taking on some new client work. Very proud of myself.
Monday- realize I spent too many late night hours studying and taking that exam, and now feel very rundown, Not good
Mid-week – a couple of good night’s sleep and I’m feeling more myself again
Weds. night – find out a former coworker passed away from COVID, devastated for his wife and kids.
Thurs.. – connect with other former coworkers online, sharing their grief, support each other.
Thurs. night – find out another company I used to work for just did a round of layoffs. Good people I’ve worked with are now dealing with losing their jobs or having to let go of people they care about.
Friday – spend 11 hours working, on top of everything. Exhausted.
Friday night- express my exhaustion to my friends on Facebook, ask for some good, positive news.
Friday night into Saturday – my friends come through, stories of successes, family members recovering from COVID, pictures of baby goats, blooming flowers, reminders that there are people who care about us.
Why do I share this? To elicit sympathy? No, I am very much aware that there are people right now dealing with so much more than I am. I share this to let everyone know that it’s all OK. During this time of quarantine, it’s great if you can use the extra time to learn a new skill or achieve something you hadn’t had time to do before. It’s also OK to be sad about what is happening to you or people you care about, anxious for the future, exhausted from dealing with all of it.
And it’s OK to go through all of these extremes in the same week, because, in one way or another, that’s exactly what we are all doing. (Or even in the same day, frankly!)
We are all doing what we can. Your desire to do something productive today, and then spend Sunday in bed, is actually understandable. Your inability to focus to get anything productive done? Also understandable. Like all those cars on the coaster, we are all going up and down and all around, and we all do it at different times, in different ways on our own versions of The Beast. (Classic coaster in Ohio reference)
Just keep your head and arms inside the car, keep strapped in, and know that there is an end, somewhere, in all of this.