This has been a crazy time for us all. Not only in this country, but all across the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown everyone for a loop in 2020 and has halted many of us in our daily lives. I (like many others) have found this time to be very odd. Thousands of people are sick, thousands more are dying. Each day the news comes on, I can hardly bare it. Honestly, if I watch too much I only become debilitated. It sounds dramatic, but it is true! I have always lead a very busy, nonstop lifestyle. I am social. I like to interact with those around me. I lost two (new) jobs due to this virus, and while I am trying to find gratitude it has been challenging. Lots of uncertainty. However, I usually can step back and acknowledge the good things. I am with my fiancée, I am not alone. He has job stability for now. We are healthy and or families are healthy. My mother just retired from the medical field this past October and is not in the hospital. For all this, I am truly grateful.
At the same time, I have a lot a friends in the medical field. Nurses, doctors, PT’s, OT’s you name it – who are on the front lines everyday. I am worried for them, while trying to give them hope and comfort. My fiancée works with kids of all ages who are stuck at home after being used to swimming 2x per day plus other land training that keeps them going nonstop beyond school, and they are struggling. They crave structure that they cannot have during this time. My former swimmers who are at the collegiate or professional level missed out on their biggest meets of the year (NCAAs, Olympic Trials). Some of them had legitimate chances at winning a National Title and have been training the last 4 years for Olympic Trials to make the 2020 Olympic team. Let’s hope they have another chance in a year from now to get to Tokyo. All these people who are sick and dying, are dying away from loved ones. Watching families on TV talk about it is chilling. We are all suffering and it is sad. At 30 years old, I have called my parents who reside on the opposite side of the country from me in tears telling them I just want to come home to see them. I have had days where I lose hope of what is to come, and others where I feel like we are all going to come out of this thing way more united and stronger than ever. I am sure pretty much everyone relates to these experiences and feelings in some way.
With that, I have been determined to find a way to control what I can control (I am not good at this). What can I control? My attitude when I wake up, my effort to make phone calls, send cards and messages to friends and loved ones, my ability to move my body and get outside, my willingness to understand my personality and what I need to stay mentally healthy during this time. So that is what I aim to do. Going outside and writing really ground me. I will blog each week with a poem of mine or someone else’s. Outside of this post, I am going to try to stay away from talking about Coronavirus too much, for my sanity. I want this blog and my work to help distract people, to take you away from reality. My focus will be more on the outside world and the beauty that surrounds us, even during hard times. I find solace in that and I know others do, as well.
I thought it would be fitting to share an early poem of mine. It is from tenth grade: “The Coo Coo Bird”. I found it fitting because it was the first time my poetry was ever recognized or published (a high school contest). It was after this that I became more confident in writing poetry and started to write more when I needed peace. I also found it fitting due to the nature of what the poem discusses. The bird sits in her home watching as people come in to tear in down. She must accept this happens and find a new tree. She must adapt to difficult times and change. Kind of like many of us are struggling to adapt to this new (hopefully temporary) life. This isn’t the best poem I have ever written, but it makes me happy. It takes me back to being a 16 year old kid again.
If you are stuck at home or have more free time on your hands, I encourage you to go back to your roots. What did you do as a kid that made you smile, feel accomplished, or inspired? Maybe it is time to revisit those things. Stay safe, everyone! XX – Sarah