Season of Denial

Barbara Kingsolver called summer the season of denial. My husband refers to winter as the season of death. So, what happens in a year of death (not just physical, but economic, social, routine, etc.) when the season of denying starts to creep up on the season of death? Apparently, migraines. I had a multiday long migraine this past week, and everyone I mentioned it to said they were either going through the same thing or knew of other people who were too.

For me, this was a culmination of my attempt to figure out a return to in-person work after working from home and opting to have the summer off. I needed the break. I’ve never taken a full summer off before. Not even in high school. These past two weeks, I’ve been reviewing back to school communications. And all I can think is that there will be a lot more questions and a lot more answers over the next several months.

To continue my coping mechanism and my nature therapy, as people like to call my drowning myself in nature, I’ve been sitting on my back steps as I’ve listened to webinars, played in my garden, gone for hikes with my hubs or on my own. I even attended a bee lecture (side note, I saw a bee with purple pollen pants).

Being outside has helped steady my nerves, boosted my mood, and sluff off the headache. I’m not going to lie; I am nervous about returning to work in person. I’m not as concerned about touching objects as I am being locked inside my classroom filled with people. I teach adults at a jail, when I say locked in, I mean it. Even with masks, the recycled air, the closed-off space in the center of the building, the lack of sunlight leaves me a bit off my nut.

My husband has been working in the community from the start, and I can only imagine the level of denial he’s needed to be there every day. Plus, he’s maintained his routine all along. I’ve kept a routine of sorts, but I’ve allowed myself flexibility and freedom as well.

A sweet friend offered me some advice as the days I must wear real clothes marches closer. She said I need to find moments of self-care during the day, not just at home. That my routine shouldn’t only be about my job but needs to include me. Since writing and being out in nature are such a big deal, I had to remember how I used to do that with walks after I got home and time to write in the evenings. I am so grateful for these thoughts now so I can shake off the cobwebs and remember what I was doing before and even come up with ways to do it better.

I know I’m not alone. We’re all going through this together and apart at the same time. Maybe after the first month or so I’ll feel more comfortable. Most importantly, I hope I find ways to take care of myself, as I hope everyone else does too. Please take care of yourselves as we begin this next phase unto the unknown.

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