Turning Inward

With the boys back in various schools and programs, and Steve returning to the office this week, things should be returning to normal. I should be gearing up for a return to freelance writing. I really want to have an opinion on the Biden’s budget, Congressional battles, and mask mandates, but I haven’t yet thrown myself into the debate. My social calendar should be booked solid. I should be returning to back to pre-March 2020 me, but I’m not.

Things that I thought were important, don’t feel so important anymore. Socializing takes more effort. My entire world for a long time consisted of three other people, one suburban home, and a Netflix account. I am not sure that I can go back to pre-March me. There are too many scars.

Last week, I spent 20 to 30 hours on chores for Ian. He probably should go to a residential program that specializes in kids with high functioning autism, which can help him with the transition to college, social skills, and independent living. The status quo is not sustainable. One of the tasks last week was organizing a movie/burrito night for teens with no friends last week. Those poor kids, and their families, are in really rough shape after the past two years. I can’t solve these problems on my own.

I wonder if other people are also struggling with reentry into the real world.

6 thoughts on “Turning Inward

  1. You’re definitely not the only one struggling with reentry. I’m still struggling with working in the office, and we’ve been back since late June. I worry about being in a car collision and unable to get help at the hospital because there are so many COVID patients.


  2. I am struggling too. The kids are back in school and back at some of their activities. We’re back at work at about 50% capacity and suddenly I have my 15 direct reports and a whack of everything going on – with what seems like a lot of extra emotion. Our parents and students are coming in wounded too. And I’m exhausted. I am doing it, but almost every day I’m like “how did we used to do this?” And I don’t feel like I can or want to go back. But I’m not quite sure where forward is. It’s a weird time.


  3. I was at a parent night at my 11th grader’s school last night. (It’s this thing where you spend about 7 minutes per teacher following your child’s school schedule through the day.)

    No refreshments, and there weren’t as many parents as usual, but it was EXTREMELY festive.

    I saw and talked to more people than I have in months. There was some academic content–but not a lot. Super fun!


  4. Love hearing about ways that people are turning outwards and moving forward. Someone I know just won an award to do a sabbatical in Europe in January 2022 — she’s been dreaming of that sabbatical since she was a young mother and junior faculty member and it is fabulous to see to happening.

    Amy’s festive parent’s night counts, too! (and Bahamas trips, . . . .)

    I am very much an introvert and need lots of time to recharge after social interactions and have to push myself to make sure i don’t retreat completely. I also think that we have now learned that we can’t wait for things to bet “better” and have to define what our comfort is and move ahead when things are good enough.


  5. So, coming from NZ, where we had a hard lock down – 18 months ago, and then virtually back to normality until another hard lockdown in August.

    It took a while for people to get back to ‘normal’ – probably 6 months or so of gradual widening of horizons.
    However, people were utterly furious over this latest lockdown (drunk the Govt kool aid over keeping Covid out) and were much less compliant than last time (we’ve had household to household transmission, which simply didn’t happen the first time round). Also it’s become (even to the government) apparent that criminal gangs simply won’t follow quarantine regulations (happily going on dealing drugs, and spreading Covid as they go). I have no idea why the government thought they’d behave any differently (well, actually, I do, they are insulated from the real world in a rose-coloured cloud of optimism)

    But the consequence seems to have been a bounce-back to social normal a lot quicker this time (and a lot quicker than the government want us to). We’re having families getting together on the beach, and at parks, etc – when they’re not ‘supposed’ to in Level 3.

    Personal care businesses (hairdressers, etc) and businesses that can’t operate when only a small number of people are allowed to be present (e.g. restaurants) are still closed – and are bitterly unhappy and resentful about it. It’s even worse in Melbourne, where they are having riots.

    But there’s a strong push for more connectedness (theatres, restaurants – concerts!) rather than less.

    There are a few hermit-like people (we’ve just had a past prime-minister describe us as “smug hermit kingdom”) – who want to strictly limit their social interactions – either for good health reasons (immunocompromised), or social preference (enjoy not having to go to social evens), or fear.

    One of the big outcomes and social divides emerging, is the ‘right’ for people to know the vaccine status of those people offering personal services (massage therapists, hairdressers, restaurant servers), or anyone whom you have to be in the same space with for some time (teachers, nurses, bus drivers, etc.)
    For those who want to know, it’s framed as personal choice (I can choose to use a vaccinated massage therapist, or decide I don’t care)
    For those who don’t want this made public, it’s a matter of both personal privacy (the ‘rights’ of the workers) and, more philosophically, about not entrenching a social division between the vaccinated unvaccinated.

    The govt have mandated certain types of work for which 100% of the workers must be vaccinated (border workers, quarantine workers, etc.). But aren’t actually enforcing this in any meaningful way.
    They’ve ‘encouraged’ health workers to get vaccinated, but haven’t mandated this.

    And are completely unwilling to give direction to employers over whether they can even enquire over whether their employees are vaccinated – let alone require it as a condition of employment. Employers representatives say that they can work with either situation – but they need direction. Legally they have to balance the ‘right’ of an employee to retain their health information as private, over the ‘right’ of other employees to be provided a safe place to work (our health and safety in employment legislation is fearsome in its penalties – and is actively enforced). Which ‘right’ prevails? (I see expensive court cases coming)


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