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Waking Up

Today, I woke up.

After what has felt like so many days of the unknown, now we know. It’s here and it is going to burn through our country as it has others, match tip to match tip, a flame reshaping the landscape of our lives…and the only thing we can do, the thing we’re being explicitly told to do, is to be home.

In my text threads this morning there were Hamilton lyrics, there were Schitt’s Creek references, memes, photos of a birds’ nest on a bright morning walk, so much desperately needed levity. And I remembered, right, yes, this is spring. This is the time for waking up, the time for something new.

In our house, we’re talking about spending the weekend as a household, both families deep cleaning the basement, prepping it for some renovations, working to make it a useable space and not just the place where my laundry goes to wait in baskets or all of the stuff of five years of life lived here spills out across the floor. Maybe the long-awaited basement bathroom finally becomes a reality.

Maybe we’ll end the day with grilling together on our deck like it’s spring and only that.

Today is the morning I woke up and I welcomed the weirdness, leaned into it like my cheek against my pillow. Is this like the sensation of peace before one drowns, when the struggle gives way to calm? Is this the acceptance stage of grief? Or, is this, as a friend suggested, Stockholm Syndrome?

Yes? No? All the above, and none of it at all?

It simply is what it is.

Today is the day I woke up and saw the sunshine and saw that coffee was made (by my husband, who is home, working at the dining room table). I woke up and realized: I have time. I have stretches of hours of time. Time that I haven’t had in months (years? Decades?) to be here, to just be.

I woke up and thought, I can write without feeling guilty that I’m not doing something else. I can daydream my way through drafts.

I can take a long walk or run, or I can put my camera around my neck and take pictures – just for fun.

I can pull back the furniture and sweep and scrub up sticky stains that have been there for who knows how long.

I can play games with my children without feeling like it’s one-more-thing I’m trying to squeeze into the hours of the day.

Maybe this is the feeling of accepting what I cannot change, or it’s my tired brain taking the chaotic uncertainty and reframing it into something I can understand. Here, see the storm for the bolts of lightning, the flashes of brilliant light. See the silver linings along the tenebrous edges of hurricane clouds.

All I know is that today I woke up to the weirdness, and I was not overcome.


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About the Author

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Writer, Photographer, Wife, Mother to four rambunctious and amazing children.

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