Dependable routine is one of my most important coping mechanisms.
I like slipping from one familiar chore to the next without thinking.
It keeps my mind busy in an effortless way that leaves little room for random thoughts, little space for grief-inducing memories to sneak in and trip me up.
Change is really not my friend.
Still, change is upon me (and millions of others!) because of this virus. So I’m doing the best I can to cope.
Instead of a house to myself, now my husband is working from home. Instead of quiet mornings alone, conference calls echo off the walls and follow me out open windows to the yard. Instead of before dark breakfast and early lunch with the kitchen closed by noon, I eat early, he eats later, I eat lunch and he eats supper. Kitchen open til eight.
None of those are things I can’t get used to.
After all, I’m blessed he’s here, has a job and we have not only enough to eat but a wide variety . I like cooking and love finding creative uses for leftovers.
What no one but me knows about all the change is this: I’m walking places I tend not to go-in the house, in the yard, down our paths-and every place I set my foot holds memories I’ve been avoiding.
When we moved an old pen a couple weeks ago for new chickens we found a rusty chain attached to its base. While my husband and son were digging it out to use again I was transported to the day Dominic moved the pen years ago with the tractor. It was just me and him and he was a little perturbed with me that I needed it moved. I saw him in my mind’s eye plain as day on the tractor. I could hear his baritone voice above the trusty thrum of the engine and picture him hopping down from the seat, unhooking the chain and driving off to park the tractor.
It was a flash. Here and gone in an instant. But the rest of the day I suffered from a grief hangover that I just couldn’t shake.
These are challenging days.
So much of the routine I depend on to guide me through has been shredded. So many of the habits I’ve developed over years are unavailable right now.
So I’m doing the best I can.
One day and one memory at a time.
Breathe in, breathe out.