This is life, right now.

When our different circumstances feel more different than ever

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Are you into podcasts? You should check out In Sickness, with Allison Breininger and Justin Bajema, and Daughterhood, with Rosanne Corcoran.

So far Allison and Justin have covered anticipatory grief and kids and caregiving, so I’m excited to listen to episode 4 when it comes out tomorrow.

Daughterhood just had a chat with Lickety Glitz Stumped Town Dementia (episode 9), who is darkly hilarious, so be careful you don’t spit out your coffee laughing.

I’d like to share some quotes I’ve come across in the past few weeks that resonated with me and might strike a chord for you, too.

“Why think of our former lives as reality and this as something else? This is life, right now.” Julia Bainbridge

“I don’t talk enough about the fact that having the right people in your life — the most supportive and loving people — is worth more than any productivity tip or hack.” Kara Cutruzzula

“it actually feels safer to remain in the lockdown bubble where things are out of my hands and I have no choice but to just be.” Nicola Slawson

Some of you are living the sort of pandemic experiences that are making the news: expected to report to the front lines and risk exposure without proper PPE, training, or support; being cut off from loved ones in residential care or otherwise outside of your ‘pod;’ in newly extreme versions of the sandwich generation struggle; and forming grassroots projects for neighbors to come together in support.

Some of us feel like our lives haven’t changed much. Maybe you were already socially isolated, already carefully managing exposure to disease. Maybe your life has experienced so many dramatic shifts that this is just one more in a stream of “new normals.”

The disruption of routines and intense emotional experience has shaken up my communication patterns with friends and family. People I typically talk with often have been absorbed into a hive. People I had all but lost touch with have reached out and now we’re texting throughout the day and spending hours on the phone.

I’ve had some heartfelt conversations about experiences that were foreign to the listener, because they didn’t need to have lived it themselves to relate to my feelings, listen deeply, and provide support.

I’ve also had moments where I felt like a teenager, wanting to shout “you just don’t understand me!”

If you use Facebook and are looking for people in a situation similar to yours, you might find those people in our private Facebook groups.

We’ve spent our whole lives developing coping skills. Sometimes when we find ourselves in a situation unlike anything we’ve experienced before, none of those coping skills work.

Four months seems like a very long time when you’re struggling, but it’s a blip in terms of adapting to a new reality. If you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, it’s not because you’re doing anything wrong. You’re a human and this is a stressful, overwhelming situation.

Everyone else on Instagram is posting pictures from the summit, but I’m pretty pleased just to be on the mountain.