2020 was destined to be a year of transition for our family even before Corona Time became a thing, but since March 13th these upcoming changes have been overshadowed by the odd reality of living in a pandemic “hot spot”. Don’t get me wrong; that reality hasn’t been all bad. Yes, my younger daughter did spend the last third of her freshman year watching TikTok videos and Netflix, with occasional breaks for pass/fail schoolwork, but her empty schedule allowed us to build a uniquely strong connection at a time when teenage daughters tend to butt heads with their moms. I have loved watching my girls turn to each other for companionship, to become friends as well as sisters. These things would not have happened if it weren’t for the pandemic.
No ceremony marked the occasion when my oldest graduated with both her high school diploma and an Associate of Arts degree in May. I’m beginning to wonder if this lack of closure, combined with that fact that “moving clutter” doesn’t look all that different from “quarantine clutter,” has kept me in a state of denial that she’s actually leaving home in two days, COVID be damned. The expected tears aren’t flowing. Instead, there is a mad rush to make sure she has her own medical insurance card and access to our reimbursement account. I’ve added masks, hand sanitizer (a.k.a. liquid gold), a non-contact thermometer and a pulse oximeter to her items to pack and noted that Medical City is seven minutes from her new home.
She’ll be two counties away, but if any of us gets COVID, she may as well be in Australia. That’s honestly what keeps me up at night—the idea that she’ll get sick and I won’t be able to be with her.
As you can imagine, I have the attention span of a gnat for most things right now, including writing this post. I have, however, learned to push past the notion that my WIP is small and pointless in comparison to overflowing hospitals, mass unemployment, worldwide protests, and a government that appears more fascist by the day. All of that underlying tension seeps through the cracks of my fictional world, infusing the story with conflicting bursts of dread and hope that would not have been there otherwise. It is morphing into a novel that is uniquely of this time.
Getting to this place took patience and a lot of soul-searching. Here are a few ideas that helped me emerge from my rut and start working again. Maybe they will be of help to some of you as well. [Read more…]