I’ve read lots of posts online, in blogs and on social media, by creative types who are excited about this time of social distancing. They’re making the most of the stay-at-home order to just create. They are flourishing with this unexpected gift of time to write or paint or draw or knit or sing.
I am not.
I am trying to be gentle with myself over this. It is a weird time for everyone. Many people, including myself, are worried and feel a higher level of stress than normal. I mean, I have it relatively good – all my kids are still at home, so they are safe and accounted for; we have plenty of food and supplies; my husband is able to work from home so income is still coming in. It’s pretty much the dream quarantine situation.
But I still have concerns. I worry about how the kids will finish the school year, and how they will maintain friendships. I worry about what to cook every day and what we will do if stores close. I worry about my own small business and how it will survive.
On top of my mind being busy and buzzy with fretting, it’s also strange for me to have so many people around all the time. I’m used to everyone else going off to school and being alone for several hours a day. Usually this is work time, but I often snuck in some creative writing time, too. Trying to find the space I need – mentally and physically – to lose myself in a story is really hard when you’re sitting next to someone who is on a conference call, or someone else who is watching a video about Minecraft, or someone else who is asking for help every step of the way as she tries to bake a cake.
So while I imagine this time period will result in some amazing production of art of all kinds, I’m not sure what my own contribution is going to be. And that is okay. Because in these weird times, I just need to be kind to myself, remember that getting through it is the primary goal, and not piling on to my stress and worry by feeling like “I should” be making the most of this time to write.
It will be what it will be, and we’ll get through it. And I know, and trust, there will be stories to come in the aftermath.
How about you? Have you been creative during the shutdown?