Sometimes I Just…Can’t

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I Just Can't | Central Mass MomLet me start with a quick recap of the past month or so: global pandemic, social distancing, school closures, layoffs/furloughs… This is not even an all-inclusive list – it has been eventful to say the very least. COVID-19 has significantly changed people’s typical routines, and we are collectively grieving our sense of normal. Some have been hit hard. Others, not as much. I personally find myself all over the place, and in the recent weeks past, there have been several times that I just… can’t.

Full Disclosure

Before I dive in, I want to acknowledge my biases and give you an idea of the lens I’m looking through. I live in a household of 4: myself, my husband of 10 years, and our two daughters – a first-grader and a third-grader. My husband and I both work in a grocery store, and we each have our own “beside-gigs”. Working opposite shifts at the grocery store is going well, however, those beside-gigs I mentioned have taken a big hit. Still, we continue to have consistent, reliable income. We’re doing our best with the virtual/distance learning to get our girls through their school year. Our girls get along fairly well. Overall, we feel like we’re doing ok, considering.

Stages of Grief

I think it’s safe to say that this pandemic has had an impact on everyone in some way or another. Most significantly, the way we go about our day to day lives has changed. Most businesses that are still open have implemented social distancing measures. Getting what you need from the store requires more thought, planning, and time. Parks, trails, and beaches have been closed. Some people have had to be shut in with their family/roommates, others have had to isolate themselves. We’ve had to make some really big changes and we’ve lost our sense of normal. Of course, everyone grieves differently, but it can get heavy when everyone is grieving at the same time and not everyone is working through the same stage. While I’m not a mental health professional, I feel like this is an important piece of this puzzle that we can’t ignore.

“Essential Worker” Guilt & Anxiety

The meme came through my feed weeks ago, and it hit me right in the feels – I’ve never been so grateful AND so terrified to have a job to go to. On the one hand, my husband and I still have a job; our household still has income. On the other hand, we both work in a place where we’re exposed to several people that we don’t live with, putting us – and, by extension, our kids – at risk. Sometimes I feel like I’m walking a tightrope as I walk into work. I’m lucky to have a job, but part of that job is being around people who are clearly stuck in denial. Instead of detailing specific examples (I have so many, and if you’ve been in a grocery store recently I’m sure you have your own, too), I’ll summarize it to say that it can be really, really draining.

Throughout all this, I keep reminding myself that there is no “hard competition” here. There is no panel of judges to determine who has it “worst”, or a medal for who has it “hardest”. We’re all fighting our own battles.

Give yourself the space you need.

I completely missed submitting anything to this site for the month of March. It’s not that I forgot or I didn’t want to. It’s just that I couldn’t organize, condense, and edit my thoughts enough to get anything out. I tried… I started a couple of posts with the working titles, “You Can Still Vent While Working During a Pandemic” and “Why Frozen II is the Movie We All Need Right Now”, but it just didn’t happen. Several objectives and projects that I’ve wanted to tackle have fallen by the wayside lately, and sometimes that’s hard for me to swallow. Other times, I’m able to remind myself that I need space to recharge, reset, and recompose myself so that I can keep showing up and keep moving forward… and that’s ok. It’s ok to give yourself the space you need.

Stay safe. Stay Sane. Stay healthy.

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Kristina is a mom, wife, and sexuality & pleasure educator. She grew up in Spencer, and now resides in North Brookfield with her husband of 9 years, Paul, their two daughters (born in 2011 and 2012), and two cats, Smudge and Yoyo. Kristina has two “beside hustles” - working in a grocery store bakery decorating cakes, and talking to people about sexuality and pleasure. She loves doing her “edutaining” show at events like home parties, workshops, and Naughty Bingos, and she has recently started holding multi-vendor fundraising quarter auctions in central Mass. Kristina enjoys kayaking, crocheting, and crafting, and she loves connecting with other local parents. You can check out her site at (www.MyGoddessKristina.com) 

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