Is it really February already? Also, how is it only February? The pandemic has made me feel like time no longer has any meaning. I can go days without knowing what actual day it is and then panic when I realize how much time has passed. I am constantly adjusting my perceptions and expectations in my daily life and in my writing process.
Inspired by Karma Brown’s THE 4% FIX, I’ve been setting my alarm for 6am in order to get some writing done before anyone else in the house is awake and needs something from me. My current focus is a revision of my NaNoWriMo project and as with so many other endeavours I have undertaken during the pandemic, I have good days and bad days. Last Friday, I sat down at my computer at 6am—fresh coffee by my side—determined to finish off a chapter. Two hours later I had written 56 words. It was a crappy feeling. I wanted a do-over for those two hours. I want a do-over for the past 11 months.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the ability to turn back time and so instead, I decided to do something I haven’t been doing a lot lately. I decided to cut myself some slack. Instead of beating myself up, I walked away from my computer, made breakfast, hugged my kids and told myself it was okay. A few hours later, I re-opened the document and got that chapter done.
We all need to cut ourselves a little more slack. While there is more light at the end of the tunnel now than there was a few months (or even weeks) ago, we are not out of the tough times yet. Pandemic fatigue is real. Stress levels are high, frustration is inevitable and whenever we feel it threaten to overwhelm us, the best thing we can do is take a break and take a breath. Go for a walk, get some ice cream, do whatever it is we need to do to feel grounded and then try again.
Above all, just keep swimming. We will get through this together.