Coping is great. I am all for coping. And making do, one of my other favorites. I am all for coping and making do. I like both a lot because when you’re coping and making do, normal expectations are suspended. One is let off one’s own hook, if you will, released from aspirations and goals, released from the future. This is especially true for older people of whom little is expected anyway.
The pandemic has cast many of us into the land of perpetual coping and making do. When it first began, the smaller, tighter, and more cloistered we could make our lives, the better. Safety was found in holing up, hunkering down, going nowhere, seeing nobody, living on groceries delivered to the front door and washed in the sink with soap and steaming hot water. And then things loosened just a bit and we filled our days with tiny scraps of bravado – getting take-out, venturing into a drug store, arranging camp chairs six feet apart to talk with our friends, but still inching our chairs further away when we thought no one was looking.
For a while I thought this was all okay. Getting through the day was my goal, still alive at five with my rum and Coke, my anxiety tamped down by a steadily more generous pour. And then it just seemed like my life was evaporating while we waited for everything to get back to normal, a stalled car parked on the lawn so long that the grass underneath had died.
So I decided to call AAA and get the battery charged and see if I can get the old girl moving again.
I got the book project off the shelf, re-opened my consulting practice, and asked to be considered for a government appointment. I remembered where I put the clothes that weren’t sweatshirts and took my own head shot with an actual scarf around my neck. I’m still cool with coping and making do but I’m adding creating and changing to the mix.
I can’t just tread water anymore, it’s exhausting me. I need to put my head down and swim.