This morning I woke up and did the same thing I did yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that. In the early months of the pandemic, my growing belly served as a visual marker of the passage of time, and in the months that followed, my newborn’s progression from not sleeping, to somewhat sleeping, to peacefully sleeping signified that a new day had arrived.
Now, as we approach the one year mark since all of our lives were turned upside down, it got me thinking about how we’re managing the struggles of our daily lives. The monotony, the fatigue, the isolation. “Alone, together”—the ultimate oxymoron.
As I look at the fresh blanket of snow outside my window, I can’t help but feel paralyzed; stuck in the same spot I was one year ago. And at the same time, so much has changed. For me, it’s a new business, a new baby, a new normal. But none of it without its challenges.
It’s been a hard year to be a parent. To start a new chapter. To feel connected and find purpose in each and every day. And, for those of us fortunate enough to have our health, our jobs, or a safe home to isolate in, it’s hard to complain.
But it can still be hard.
So often we feel the need to compare our struggle to those around us. To quantify our hardships by some unknown, immeasurable variable. And in the end, all we end up doing is minimizing and invalidating our own feelings.
Maybe the days have left you feeling overwhelmed, or worse, underwhelmed.
Maybe you miss the company of others, or you’re struggling to exist on top of one another.
Maybe you’re scared because life feels so different. Maybe you’re scared because you think it never will.
Whatever it is, know this; the struggle is real. There’s no monopoly on hardship, and our feelings of privilege and pain are not mutually exclusive.
For now, maybe we can just take comfort in that fact that whatever it is we’re feeling, we’re feeling together.