Normally, fall is my favorite time of the year. I welcome the gentler, cozier season after the frenzy of summer slows and the world moves inside by the fire.
Problem is, this summer, while the weather was surely hot the calendar was not. Most plans were postponed and the small group gatherings that we said “yes” to came with a hovering cloud of guilt and apprehension.
Five years ago, if you’d told me a global pandemic was on the way, that would side-line six months and counting, I’d have said: “Is that even possible?” And, then I’d have silently looked forward to being stuck in my house, with the people I love.
I did that. (Please refer to early pandemic blogs.)
And, now I am officially here to say: I’m done. Time to move the hell on. Which, of course, hardly matters because COVID is not done with all of us.
I am resigned to the severity and ugliness of what we are living through and am determined to do my part to keep this horrible virus away. But accepting what that means, with winter closing in…well, that’s left this comfy-sock-wearing gal stymied.
I’ve read the blogs and well-written articles. I’ve meditated and eaten better (some days) and made exercise routine (thank you, neighbor Vicki.) I’ve had the supposed-to-be calming mug of tea and kept a gratitude journal (turns out those don’t work for me).
I’ve watched comedians on social media that made me laugh out loud, then consumed Facebook posts that had me spiraling down the rabbit hole of shame and regret. How can they be doing just fine? I’ve wasted the last twenty minutes!
So, what do we nesters do when we’re all nested out and there’s no end in sight until potentially next pumpkin carving season? Buy more Halloween candy?
The Halloween candy is indeed lining the shelves—like it’s a normal year. In fact, the candy at my local Stop & Shop is already half gone. Does anyone think the usual princesses and Jack-the-Rippers are going door to door this year?
Will those of us living in heavily populated neighborhoods leave our lights off? Or, replenish big bowl of candy on our stoops, with a nifty legal disclosure making it clear that we cannot be held liable for viruses caught while consuming snack-sized Snickers.
Maybe the people buying that candy are giving in to what anyone over the age of eleven already knows. Halloween is an excuse to buy a big bag of your favorite candy and chow down. And, this year, of all years, we deserve it.
Problem is, if I were to eat a mass quantity of Milk Duds (gosh they are just the best), in my caramel haze, I’d still have to reckon with the fact that this is one of the most difficult, depressing years on record. And, I’d have gained back the two pounds it’s taken me four weeks to lose.
So, to re-count, I’ve tried:
Watching funny videos
A chocolate coma
And, it’s still 2020.
Perhaps it’s time to do the most difficult thing of all: stop trying.
Nothing is going to turn this year around. In fact, we don’t want to—ever—turn this year around. I want to go forward. And, so far (knock, knock, knock) the earth is still rotating around the sun. So, that’s something.
In different places and shapes and states of gratitude and chocolate euphoria—we are all collectively moving forward.
And for now (maybe?) that has to be enough.