I think of the pandemic as the time in between. It is the period after normal has ended but a new normal has yet to be established. It is the time life is still dizzingly out of control.
I feel as if I’ve been holding my breath, waiting to resurface from the depths of a vast ocean. I’m longing for a gulp of air now. I’m tired of a life on pause. I want in between to stop.
Thinking this way mirrors grief. Yes, I recognized it early on. My mood during the pandemic reminded me of the months after my parents’ deaths. After we’ve lost someone, we intellectual recognize we cannot return to normal. But our hearts are still there in the past. And we don’t yet know what life will look like for us next month or next year.
It is the time in between.
What about you? Are you yearning for what used to be? Are you in between a beloved past and a fearful future? And is this what we’re supposed to be doing? Is it okay to be “in between”?
We always want to know if we’re “normal” in grieving a loss. Typically, we are normal. We are not alone. You are not alone.
Maybe your in between is due to the loss of routine or job security or friendships, or maybe your in between is due to the death of a parent. A sibling. A spouse. A grandparent.
As I’ve realized my frame of mind, I’ve also recognized it’s normal to be here in the in between. I’m bummed because the in between isn’t a particularly productive place in a tangible sense. It can produce many intangible rewards, however, that we often don’t recognize until we are past the in between season.
We must be on guard to allow ourselves the time in between. Now, we cannot dictate the timeline of grief, however, we also must be on guard not to languish in the in between longer than necessary.
It is isn’t healthy put our lives on hold for an extended period of time, waiting for something to happen to us. For me, that breeds chronic depression. Sometimes we need instead to step out and engage in life.
Eight months into the pandemic, I think it’s time that I go to work on my “in between” frame of mind.
I cannot go around grief. I cannot snap my fingers and stop being depressed and angry, but to successfully navigate loss, I must go through it. To feel what I feel but also give myself permission to shift my outlook into the future and embrace the blessings of the present.
There are times we may need to nudge ourselves. Mind you, not force. Nudge. And then evaluate.
Did that action feel good? Was it healthy? Or was it too much?
This post is my personal nudge. As we’ve been ordered to social distance, it’s been hard for me to not also emotionally distance, to do one but not the other.
I need to nudge myself to connect better.
No, you haven’t heard from me as often. I’ve not been as productive in my writing during this in between time. While I haven’t been writing as much, I have been undergoing training on connecting with likeminded people in a way that offers value to them. I’ve been working on organizing my life to be more efficient and effective.
What is this going to look like for readers like you? If I can manage to nudge myself enough – smile – I will be asking you for feedback. I will be asking you specific questions about what you need from me. What you need to hear, to learn, to be encouraged about.
I will be revamping my website next year so it will be a better product. I will be stepping out with ways to connect with you in a more personal way. Be more responsive. Personal. Helpful.
I hope you will stay on board for this. I’m excited about the possibilities. Know that you will be kept in the loop on all the changes as they unfold. And that you have a direct impact on what I will do and what it will all look like. This is your blog. It is for you!
So, what have you been doing with your in between time? Drop me a comment. I’d love to hear your perspective.
Remember to be patient with yourself. It takes time to go from normal to new normal. At the same time, be alert to shifts in your needs. If you feel like you are in a rut or need to step out, allow that nudge to move you a centimeter – or a kilometer.
Copyright © 2020 by Toni Lepeska. All rights reserved. www.tonilepeska.com