I am tired; people are tired; professions are struggling, and society is wearily discontented. It has been a long, difficult year. Most of us just did what we were supposed to do, what we had to do, and continued on trying as if nothing had changed (daily life – short of toilet paper concerns).

How Could We Have Known

 

We didn’t know that our lives were being turned upside down with no end in sight. We didn’t know this wasn’t going to be over in a few weeks, even a few months, now over a year. It is a hard mindset.

When this started, I remember thinking it was a lot like preparing for a hurricane. North Carolinians understand that. We are good at hurricanes, we are a hardy bunch. It is a well-established process. We listen for school arrangements, shelter openings, get supplies, get our stuff in order, and then we settle in for the hurricane to either hit or pass. That is what we all did with COVID. We got prepared and hunkered down.

The Storm That Was, Is, And Yet Still To Come

The funny thing is, it seemed like the “hurricane” neither hit nor passed. It became that stagnant time waiting on the disaster – that is the WORST! And yet we were/are living in “the worst!” In actuality, the “hurricane” came, is here, vaguely seeming like it happened, and then passed and yet has not! It makes no sense. We knew we had to prepare for a disaster but pinpointing disaster, in this case, is nearly impossible.

The Normal For All Of Us

It has emotionally and mentally drained us all and we still aren’t out of it. HOWEVER, much like the damage of a hurricane, we are now dealing with the aftermath of the devastation, all the while still in the outer bands of the storm, some might even argue the eye.

The brain isn’t wired to handle all this. I have found myself just wishing for normal but now, even when I can do “normal” like eat inside at a restaurant, grocery shop, or enjoy the park, I feel uneasy and it doesn’t feel normal at all. Like many, I find myself shocked at photos or videos where I see people from not so long ago without masks. All the while, I longed to hug my kindergarteners when they run to me, but I cringe too. That isn’t normal!

Moving Forward With That New Normal

I am watching our Board of Education make a ruling on returning all our students back to the classroom today. This hit hard when my memories on FB showed one year ago today all the teachers seeing their students one last time as they came to pick up their computers and assignment folders for the start of this COVID pandemic.

Most days we all go on and just do what we are supposed to do, but every now and then it hits us that life isn’t normal and probably will never “return” to the normal of just a year and a few days ago.

For me, it isn’t the sense that I have to wear a mask to go out, or that I can’t get a socially distanced reservation at a favorite restaurant, or even as simple as it is difficult to go to a high school ballgame, it is wondering if I will ever feel easy with the hug I get around my leg (runny nose and all) from a sweet little five-year-old who runs to me as I enter the classroom. That makes me tired and weary and sad with this pandemic-stricken world we are STILL living in a year later.

This is part two of our “Unimaginable-versary” series. Stay tuned for more content that will be published regularly as part of this series.