Monday, April 12, 2021

A Strange New World

Olga's comment last week about it being "a strange new world out there" resonates in my soul.  I gave myself a sick stomach last Thursday, forcing me to cancel dinner plans next door.  I think I did too much too soon. 

Reading at Prince on Wednesday, a private session with The Pilates Diva on Thursday followed by a haircut and lunch out...... it was a normal middle of a normal week set in the middle of Pandemica.  It freaked me out.

By Friday morning, I was anxious about reading to another kindergarten class.  I could have cancelled, but my heart wanted to share Caps for Sale more than my brain was feeling reluctant.  I overrode my thinking and drove down to school.

I couldn't wait to get out of there.

Nothing was different than it had ever been.  There were bright eyes shining back at me - 25 of them where before, during hybrid learning, they were 12, two days a week.  Getting used to all those extra bodies on the carpet caused some consternation.  The boys in the back were talking and the girls beside them were fidgeting.  The littlest one with the tiniest face had a mask that was just not staying up over her nose; I could have fixed those ties if I wanted to get close to her...... the shot of adrenaline that coursed through my body as I considered a plan of action stopped me dead in my tracks.

Like I said, I couldn't wait to escape.

We imitated the monkey and wondered how the peddler got all those caps back on his head when all he has is that skinny little arm.  I put stickers on chests and appreciated the few thank you's which came, unsolicited, out of a few of them.  Normally, I'd have insisted on the polite recognition of a gift, but that would have delayed my exit.

I didn't stop to chat with the office staff.  I got back to the UV and took off my lanyard and my Coat of Many Colors and my mask and realized, with horror, that I had no hand sanitizer.  My hands never left the steering wheel all the way home; no way was I touching my face.

I shouted a Hello to TBG as I stripped and made my way to the shower.  I washed off all traces of school, then joined TBG in the pool and swam a half mile.  

I felt physically clean on the outside.  I felt invaded on the inside.  

I reassured myself that I was fully vaccinated, that teachers have been in classrooms, unvaccinated and unscathed, all year.  I didn't touch any one or any thing but the chair on which I sat, and the table to which I moved so that I could be higher and further away.  No one sneezed or grabbed me.  I was in the room with the scholars for 15 minutes.  

I'm fine.  I know I'm fine.

I'm anxious and overwhelmed and when I realized that there is nothing on the calendar this weekend I calmed down.... a little.

Little Cuter advises small steps.  She knows that I get excited.  She's suggesting that I tamper my enthusiasm and listen to my soul.  Costco can wait.  It will be there when I'm ready.  She's right.  I'm just not ready yet.

I will be Doing Nothing for a few days, and I'm totally excited by the prospect.

Who knew that I'd look back at Pandemica with fondness?


  1. Oh my, yes! On Saturday I went to lunch with three friends, fully vaccinated, masks on until food arrived, out door setting. Before my salad was placed in front of me I was ready to leave. My nerves were so jangled I couldn't calm myself for well into the night. I have become extremely comfortable with my introverted tendencies.

    1. I am resentful of appointments. I have an anxious stomach after 3 minutes of"socializing". This is not who I was.... is it who I will be? I hope this is a transition and not permanent.

    2. Yes, tiny little steps are best for us as we try to re-enter the world. I have told women friends, all fully vaccinated, that I can only enjoy a brief visit and beer with them if we sit outside, at tables fully spaced, at an establishment with no college students. I am still nervous at the thought.

    3. And people look askance at my fear. I don't understand it. They accept it, but they are surprised. I love my denizens who all seem to agree with me

  2. I think it's going to take us a while to get used to social activities again. Small steps. I think that the new "normal" will be different than the old one..........Hang in there, it will get better.

    1. Hanging.... by my fingertips.... but holding on thus far!


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