Image Description: A picture of a June calendar. Public domain image.
So… real talk: Today is my 100th day of isolation. It’s been pretty total. I’ve also been mostly okay. Or okay enough.
I’ve been wondering what I might say on Day 100 about Day 100. And the truth is, I don’t know what to say exactly. I just have some need to acknowledge it somehow. And maybe that’s mostly okay. Or okay enough.
I do want you to know I don’t just sit around and count every single pandemic isolation day as it stretches out. There’s no tally on a wall somewhere or even in my mind. At one point, I simply asked myself, I wonder which day is Day 100? Siri told me it was June 19, so now I know I’ve reached it.
So here I am, finding some need to acknowledge this. As I’ve gotten closer to this date, I imagined writing a post called, “No Silver Linings,” in which I would challenge myself to talk about this with no positive spin at all. No need to make it shiny. I’ve not gone anywhere public, even the grocery store, so I haven’t been the same room as any human beings for 100 days. 100 days straight. I’ve also had no hugs for 100 days. Me — highly extroverted me. It isn’t easy.
And sure, I could have written that post and talked about how I’m known for being so positive — which is actually authentic, by the way; it’s my number one strength on Strength Finders — and I could have challenged myself to say nothing positive about this time.
But the truth is, I’m mostly okay. Or okay enough.
Not always, but often.
Would I choose this? No.
Do I regret this? I don’t regret staying safe indoors, no.
Will I find ways to get a bit closer to others in the next 100 days? Probably. At least a bit. But the truth is, sometimes I sincerely wonder if I’m going to end up living like this for another year. I don’t quite want to imagine a year and a half without a hug though, so… perhaps something’s gotta give at some point. I’m living alone for a while, and I’m not the only person doing that. This means there are lots of folks out there who haven’t had a hug in 100 days. Maybe longer.
I’m very committed to not getting COVID or spreading it. I think odds are very high that I have some vulnerabilities in my immune system. I’m also not cowering, living in fear. Some may assume so when I haven’t even gone to the grocery store. But it’s not fear; it’s commitment.
So no positive spin, but here’s some real talk too: I am okay. I don’t like this, and I don’t think it’s particularly good for me in some ways. But. Or rather, and… I am taking very good care of myself. I sleep very well, and I can hardly believe this (used to struggle with this a lot). I love my work — all three jobs. Yes, I have three part-time jobs and three roles, and I dearly love all of them. Even though they’re within various organizations, I get to be a community-former in all of them. I am quite literally building community, even across distance, even virtually, and even over the phone every single day. And that energizes me.
I have also been astounded at how much care finds me, even living like this. This may be my number one take-away from this time. People send me mail. People call me. People text me. People confide in me. People invite me to confide in them. I am loved, and I know this every single day. I honestly feel lucky ducky — definitely not in the situation of this moment, but in that very real love. It meets me pretty much every single day.
So here we are. Day 100. I just need to acknowledge it. No silver linings. But also, no catastrophic misery. Difficulty and love, right together.