- John Markowski
Am I enjoying this too much?
I sent my mom one of those texts. The kind that attempts to indirectly address a topic without really addressing it. Maybe it can be more accurately described as a preview text. One that ideally gives her a taste of what is to come so she can chew on it first so when the real ask is delivered, she doesn't feel blindsided. And maybe when all is said and done, she believes it was her idea in the first place.
Confused? K, let me try an example.
Me: Hi there. Crazy over here. Work, softball, golf, graduation prep bout to kick off. Wish cloning was available. LOL. How are you guys?
Mom: I don't know how you do it. It was never that crazy when you were kids.
Me: I know, right? Impossible to be four places at the same time. Grrrrr.
Mom: Wish we could help out in some way?
Me: Thank you, but that's okay. We'll somehow find a way to pull it off. [praying hands emoji]
Mom: Seriously, if you ever need us to step in.
Me: Hmm? Do you use both of your cars during the week?
We have yet to buy a car for my seventeen year-old son so having an extra car in the mix would give us a fighting chance to pull it all off.
But we never did borrow the car. Quarantine and social distancing took care of that.
This was to be my daughter's last year of school softball. It ain't happening. And it's a shame because they had a real chance to win it all with the new crop of 6th graders in the mix. Travel softball is in serious jeopardy as well. And this was going to be her last year participating. The 8th grade class trip to Washington D.C won't be happening. And if I had to guess, neither will the formal end of the year dance at the fancy banquet hall. Eighth grade graduation won't be what it was. She may be wearing her cap and gown in front of laptop on Zoom.
My son won't be attending his senior prom. And he won't get the chance to show off his ever improving golf skills on the varsity team. There may be a formal graduation event, but it won't include him walking on the football field and mom and dad won't get the chance to be blubbering idiots. And his college decision is on hold indefinitely. There are still too many unknowns.
We went from anticipated chaos and anticipated memory making to stressing over our toilet paper supply and homemade mask making.
But pushing the kids and all that they're missing aside, I don't know that I've ever felt better. I've relished giving up control. I've relished not having to plan. I've relished not wishing time away or dreading the quick passage of time. This feels like a reset. A chance to get our priorities reconfigured. An opportunity to appreciate what we have and what we really need.
I like the mid-day kiss from my wife while we're both working from home. I like the serenity of working from my bed each day. I welcome the time to tinker in the garden without concern for time. I cherish listening to my kids commentary as they binge watch Survivor. I cherish not having to get on them about their schoolwork. Their maturity and independence has made this ridiculously easy. And I know deep down this lesson will be ingrained in their DNA moving forward even if they're unaware of it now.
I also feel guilty. Not only are we healthy (knock on wood) but we have shelter, we have food, we still have our jobs and we still have healthcare. How do I get to revel in this quarantine when I'm not on the front lines and the bad numbers keep escalating? I've already seen three businesses go under in this short period of time and so many others struggling to stay afloat. I watch neighbors set off for work because they have no choice and I do it while sitting on a conference call wearing my comfy pajamas and sipping my fancy coffee.
Even writing this blog post seems silly. What am I gaining from it? Am I seeking a few likes? Am I seeking approval that's it's okay to be fortunate? Am I trying to gain a following through this new website?
I'm good with the questions. Not so much with the answers.
I don't know. How do you ever write anything if you become too self-censoring? There will be a day when I write while mourning a personal tragedy. There will be more moments of sadness, confusion and anger.
All I know is I write.