Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Stop Imagining

 

 A favorite riddle for my daughter to share is "imagine you are locked in a room, there are no windows, no doors and it begins to fill with water. How do you get out?" Anyone she shared this riddle would rack their brains trying to figure out ways to find a hose, or a crack to let the water out. She would explain there were no cracks and no special tools to get the water out. She would ask them if they gave up, and when they wanted more time, she would patiently wait while they gave more magical creative possibilities for getting out of an ominous room filling up with water.

I don't give drowning in a sealed room much thought. I don't think it is very likely to happen. I did get caught off guard yesterday at the beach when I felt and heard a boom. Coincidently we were spending the day with the same friends we were with when last July there was an earthquake that shook our house. I looked up at them yesterday, with terror in my eyes, and asked them if they heard what I heard. Only one of them heard it with me and she thought it was a really big wave. The image of the worst possible scenario filled my mind. The four of us were playing Bananagrams while their two kids played in the sand and my two children were in the ocean. My body stood still while I contemplated how fast I could head away from the ocean. If a tsunami were about to strike our whole set of game tiles would lift up into the water. All of us would follow and I imagine it would be like getting under the wave-like surfing or boogie boarding, except we might not be able to come up for air after three short seconds. These terrifying thoughts are brought to me by my wild imagination. Anxiety is said to affect intelligent people because of their ability to think of so many different scenarios. Even the worst case. I'll take the intelligent compliment but would like to lose the anxiety element.

In my wildest dreams or my intense imagination, I never thought a virus would come across could impact our lives as much as it has. If a year ago someone suggested the possibility that our schools would close, that we would be wearing masks in public and we would not be able to get physically close to anyone other than those in our immediate family, I would have thought this person should write a sci-fi novel. I would not have ever believed this was possible. Yet here we are and after almost six months and this is very much our reality. There are days that I still have such a hard time accepting life this way. I miss hugging my friends. I miss holding my dad's hand when we would walk together. I miss letting my children play with their friends with the carefree spirit children should have. I miss being able to tell myself that crazy things like your world turning upside down are highly unlikely but here we are. 

There is nothing I can do within my power to change our current situation except to do my part to keep people safe. We wear our masks, keep our distance, and do our school/work dutifully in front of a computer. I try not to think of how long this will go on because it doesn't help. I am doing my best to take it one day at a time. That is all I can do. The only way to get out of the room filling up with water in the riddle is to stop imagining. That is all I can do now too. This will get better. I can't imagine when, but it will.



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