Unsticking a Pause button

I should be in bed.

However, today’s the start of a vacation week. Unless Muse (the cat or the one that helps me write) wakes me up, I don’t have an alarm for a week.

I was talking with my son tonight, puzzling out something aloud. Two years ago, when we had a player step away from the D&D table, I had no problem writing the subplot of Jinaari’s doings. I wasn’t working any more or less than I do now. I was writing those stories, active on social media, working on at least one book.

I had it all balanced out.

Over the last year, that’s changed. It’s not that I don’t have the time. I do. An abundance of it. Ever since COVID started, though, I’ve felt like I’m holding my breath.

2020 was not a good year. Very few people I know would say it was. Yes, there was the odd good thing. I signed with my agent. Friends of mine got engaged. My son graduated from high school and started college. I only know of 3 people that have had COVID, and all survived.

Like the rest of the world, I’ve spent a year constantly wondering what’s going to hit me next. It’s been a constant thing, one after another, of things that make us wonder what the (*&)(* is wrong with the world.

We lost a year. Not just shortened life expectancy, though that’s what some researchers believe. But a year of living. Of concerts, birthdays, graduations. A year of soccer games, movie date nights, and sitting on the couch with friends. And those of us who survived this long are so tired of holding our breath. We’ve been in fight or flight mode for over twelve months, never sure if a cough is just a cough or something worse. We don’t know if our jobs will be there next week, if our heat will stay on, or even if we can actually get toilet paper at the store.

We’ve spent a year in limbo, unsure of what is coming next but certain something will. The other shoe (at this point, we’re dealing with the universe cleaning out the closet and discarding dozens that don’t fit any more) drops, but we know it’s not the last one. There’s going to be something else.

It doesn’t matter how strong you are, how much of an introvert, etc. This is wearing on all of us. The veil of civility is fading. People aren’t even trying to not be openly racist any more. Because they’re tired, too.

We’re all tired.

And that’s what Josh thought my problem is. It’s not time, or lack of ideas. It’s based in being so tired of thinking tomorrow will be better, but it’s worse. That the small slivers of good are being hidden by the river of lava that is the bad. Our lives have been on pause for over 12 months. It took months for us to get used to wearing masks, enough that I’ll probably continue to wear mine each winter even after I get the vaccine. It’s going to take time to feel comfortable in a crowded movie theater, train, or baseball stadium.

It’s going to take time to not instantly take steps back if someone passes us and coughs.

COVID pushed the pause button in our lives, and now it’s stuck there. It’s going to take more than a vaccine in my system to unstick it.

Yet the stories need to be told. I have to tell them. No one else can. And it’s a way for me to do something normal when so much of my life is anything but.

BB/Chan Eil Eagal Orm

One thought on “Unsticking a Pause button

  1. I salute you. In many ways, you are doing better than I…but each of us is coping in our own way. I’m happy to be among those you trust to tell the truth when it’s needed…and not to sugar-coat it. And I’m happy to have you among those who will tell me the truth no matter what. Sometimes softening the blow, but still all truth and no bull. I treasure you.

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