Reflecting on a Year of the Pandemic Lifestyle

It’s a bit cliché to write a reflection on the pandemic year, but I’m going to do it anyway. It’s been a long year, and it’s also been surprising to me how I’ve gotten used to pandemic lockdowns. Like most people, I was very nervous in the beginning, especially because of my mental health concerns. And as 2020 dragged on and all the terrible things that happened, it hit me emotionally like everyone else. But the pandemic lifestyle hasn’t been all bad.

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Durable People (a poem)

we are durable people

roughing thru pandemics,

storms, & various other

upheavals toppling

societal norms

the breaking point

must come sooner

rather than later

when frozen pipes,

price gougers, &

relentless deliriums

make folks show

true stripes

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Emerging (a poem)

traveling the dark tunnel

there’s no end up ahead

only pitch-black fear

innocent cries I hear

the virus has destroyed us

but in our weakness

we find strength

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What I’ve Been Doing for my Mental Health

January was a decent month for me, and I figured I’d give an update on things in an effort to advocate mental health. I’ve written about mental health a bit on this blog, but it usually falls by the wayside compared to the fiction and poetry stuff I share.

Over the past few years, I’ve developed some mental health routines. One of them is to track my mood every day on a phone app called Daylio. The app is free (I think) and it’s a great way to keep me present. It does feel weird to gather so much “data” on my mood – I can see charts, etc., broken down by day of the week, month, all sorts of things. But it’s still great.

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Wearing my Mask (a poem)

I don’t mind wearing a mask, do you?

It’s a symbol of safety, respect for others

our brothers + sisters living in this crazy world

boys + girls just wanting peace

something to eat

shelter from the storm

born in this age of COVID + conflict –

we rest in our bubbles, away from the troubles

I smile at you behind my mask

you see my eyes bright, hopeful

you know I love you.

(Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash)