Learning the Lessons We Don’t Want to Learn

Facebook Memories is starting be a real pain in the ass. This time last year, I was living my normal life. I had a job I loved, I could travel where I wanted to, and I didn’t know a damn thing about toilet paper shortages and lockdown procedures. Those were the days.

One year later, and I don’t have a normal life…I no longer have that job I loved, I can’t travel where I want to, and I know way too much about Covid-19. I want my normal back…and I know that’s not possible right now.

Every time I look back at a time in my life when I didn’t get something I really wanted…it was because there was something else coming that led me down a better path. Whatever unpleasantness I experienced either put me on a better road or gave me skills that would make me a total badass later. So why doesn’t that make me embrace the changes that I perceive as negative when I know from experience that they’re preparing me for something better? I have no idea.

I recently when after something that I’d lost last year. Something that meant the world to me. Something I wanted desperately back in my life. Instead of success, I was met with roadblocks. The universe has sent me a memo that clearly states I can’t have the thing back right now. I must be patient. I must wait. Apparently, somewhere, there is something else for me to do. And so I have a choice: I can spend all my energy banging my fists against a door that will not open, or I can turn away…walk away…and have a look at what else I can do (until October 1st when the thing might be possible again).

For me, for this time in my life, that is needlework. I’m sure that’s incredibly awful for some of you to read…but that’s just how incredibly uncool I am. I am a social person. I’m a hugger. I’m a cheerleader. I am a passionate lifter-upper of people. You can imagine how difficult living in a pandemic world is for me. I can’t see people. I can’t travel. I can’t go hang out. I can’t spontaneously squeal and hug people. There is a huge part of me that has had to find another way to be…and it’s been extremely difficult.

I turned to needlework when I couldn’t hug, hang out, go to work like a normal human. Giving my hands something to do and my mind something to focus on has gotten me through it. It continues to get me through it. What’s funny is…I always thought I would turn to writing fiction when I had a lot of time on my hands, but that is not the way for me. I tried it. I had the whole “now I finally have time to write that book” moment, but writing makes me think…and then overthink…and then doubt myself…and it brings anxiety during a time that has already brought enough of it. The answer for me is not writing, it’s stitching.

You’re going to see a lot of needlework in my social media feed, peeps. A lot. And a lot of updates on my Couch to 5K training, since I’ve figured out the best way to get in shape for that fabulous trip to London the next time the borders are open is to train my legs to walk a lot. Those are my two projects right now. Stitch and walk. Stitch and walk. Stitch and walk.

How are you getting through the pandemic? Is anyone out there still hating this? Or has everyone snapped into the “new normal”? I really hate that term. I want MY normal back. I know I’ll feel normal again someday…but until then, I will stitch and walk…and stitch and walk…and learn the lessons I don’t want to learn. I have faith that they’re making me a better person.

5 thoughts on “Learning the Lessons We Don’t Want to Learn

  1. If you don’t mind me asking, (and I COMPLETELY understand if you don’t want to share) do you plan to get the vaccine? If so, do you feel that will help you achieve your normal (somewhat) again? I’m on the struggle bus with our decision to do it or not…

    1. Allison, I don’t mind at all. 🙂 In fact, you reminded me of what I have NOT shared!

      I received the first dose of the vaccine on January 27th.

      I was pensive about the idea and then eventually warmed to it. There’s a lot we don’t know…but in the end, I reminded myself that scientists and doctors are smart in a way that I am not. I decided to trust it. Easier for me to do than someone who has a swarm of allergies or other medical issues. I qualified because of my weight.

      I’ll write another post about my decision…because a lot went into it. I understand why you’re on the struggle bus. I was as well.

      1. That’s wonderful! I’d love to hear more about your decision and experience with it! We are leaning more towards getting it, but still have some reservations.

  2. Your post explains me to a T…except the stitch and walk part. Lol I too am a hugger and an encourager. I also love to travel. My mom was in a Nursing home the last 15 months. I got a Second job at the NH so I could see her and care for her everyday. And it almost killed me…7 days a week for 4 months… but I also enjoyed it because it gave me more time around other people instead of being so isolated. But as fate would have it my mom passed away on dec 12th. At the wonderful age of 92. Dont be sad, she was ready…but now, I can’t hug her either. So no, you are not alone…we are not alone… there are a whole bunch of us that are dying inside not being able to hug. I have debated about the vaccine. I just found out I am eligible because I am over wt. And it is available. So I guess I will bite the bullet and go for it. My husband is a Vietnam veteran and he got his first one a few weeks ago and hasn’t keeled over yet, So I have made an appt for Thursday. One incentive is that I hope it will enable me to travel sooner. Hang in there and thanks for your posts, I enjoy reading them.

    1. Tami, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I know…she was 92…but still. We only have one. My mom is 94 and lives in California with my sister. It absolutely kills me that I have all this time on my hands and flight benefits that allow me to fly there and back for free – and yet I can’t – because I am afraid that I will bring this awful germ with me somehow.

      Even the vaccine can’t protect us from getting it…it just gives us better resistance to it if we do get it. And I am also eligible for it and got my first dose last week. I waffled back and forth for a long time, but there was something that convinced me to go forward. I’ll post about that next week.

      I hope travel opens up as well. Not just so that I can go places but so that my friends at American Airlines and everyone else who works in travel can breathe a little easier about their jobs.

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