Red Light! Green Light!
I was thinking yesterday that it feels like we all began a universal game of red-light, green light a couple of years ago and now it has become our lives. Some supernatural being (COVID, DELTA, OMNICRON) has been given the power to start our lives going and then abruptly and often without warning, stop them in their tracks. It was never my favorite game as a kid and I like it even less as an adult who didn’t really consent to play in the first place.
The virus has allowed us the delusion that life does return to normal...only to have that same life, altered and changed up on a dime. It is how we live now. And likely will going forward.
All the stopping and starting is demoralizing. But I think it would be worse if we had stayed stopped. If we had not had any returns, even marginally, to normal life...or at least what passes for normal now.
Things are closing down again, two conferences I was supposed to attend in the next month both cancelled. Costing both entities thousands and thousands of dollars. But what choice did they have really? Bring 300 people together and then watch each attendee fall in a COVID contagion? No, cancelling was the responsible thing to do. But I think that we need to start a dialog about the emotional costs of these setbacks. We say things like, “Oh well. That happened.” “We can go next year.” But these conferences that were attended every year without fail are more than just educational opportunities. They are life events where people’s lives intersect, are enriched and expand. Emotionally, physically and sometimes sexually. Hey, they are conferences after all!
I think we need to start talking about the disappointment that is everywhere for life getting cancelled and maybe, someday rescheduled. It is taking its toll. I see it, do you?
It is a weird time to be living in. Full of great qualities of sameness while being different every single day. Starting and stopping things with such force and ferocity, its doing damage...I can feel it.
Human relations have never been this strained and isolated after having such a long run with constant connectedness. You may love social media or hate it, but there are very few people who do not connect on it in some fashion. Its been great to still be able to see your friends virtually but it is not the same and I can feel a collective wincing on the need for actual contact.
I miss hugging people. I miss cuddling with my children. I miss the casual touch of someone on the street. I miss the times when we were not immediately annoyed and afraid when someone behind us in line started to cough. I miss life before the virus.
I am tired of the red-light, green light game. I never wanted to play in the first place and find the holding of all the awkward positions trying especially for the long periods of time we are being asked to hold them. I want something different, but know that we are a long way off from that and also that different doesn’t mean better.
Having now had the virus (and maybe still have the virus) I feel this weird outcast kind of feeling. Like I somehow failed humanity by contracting it. I feel sad that I am now a statistic but happy that I didn’t do anything to negatively impact the already bursting medical care system. I am super worried about how much more those people can take...seriously. Who is going to medical school now? I wouldn’t. Fuck that.
So I begin this Thursday as a COVID positive person who is tired of the whole deal, who misses life from before and who is only marginally ok with the way we are headed. I know that surrender is my best weapon of choice here, do what I can about the things I can and then leave the rest up to whatever benevolent (I pray it is is benevolent) deity is having such a good time with this stupid red-light green light game. Oh, and I can try to not be an asshole. I am struggling with that too. I just feel so disconnected and alone that it is easy to see people as others. People who are not like me, who are irritating me and slowing me down. That is the struggle...really. To continue to live life, and stay compassionate, kind and loving to all that I encounter. It helps to remember that they likely didn’t want to play this stupid game either...and they, too, are weary.
(See, look at how weary these people look...)