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Getting Back Out There

Updated: Jan 2, 2022

How is everyone doing? It’s definitely been a strange time. I keep thinking back to 2019 recalling myself saying “2020 is our year, my year, kick ass and throw in a few trendy motivational words!” Instead in March we were fed words like social-distancing, pandemic, economic collapse, why is our governor such a prick, how the hell do I file for unemployment and why haven’t I received it? My brain is foggy and my direction was halted. MY BRAIN IS FOGGY! What the hell is happening? Will we ever get back to normal or what?

Normal? What is “ normal.” What was yours? Did this lockdown change you in any way? I can’t speak for everyone but I can share with you my experience...

Everything seemed to go down around St. Patrick’s weekend, 2020. The question was do I go out? Does my youngest meet her friends in Newport for a pub crawl? Was the news doing what they do best? Never get it right! We went out! A couple of days after America was given daily, sometimes hourly updates. At the same time the economy took a crap. When I turned on the TV we were doomed! It was a matter of time that we’d all get sick and possibly die. The mainstream media stations put so many fear driven updates that we ended up having to stay away from family, friends, and work. Schools and colleges were temporarily shut down!

My youngest was a college senior and her life was somewhat turned upside down. Little did she know that when she came home to Huntington Beach for a visit she would not return back to her campus until possibly graduation? What? Graduation from college? That may not even happen! So now what? Shelter in place? That’s the what?!?

What the hell is this “ shelter in place” term? What is that? Hey Channel 5 News! Why are you telling me I have to stay in place, under shelter? In fact we were all learning new terms. There was also “social distancing.” Hold up again! Let me get this straight. You include “ social” in “ social distancing” but we are not suppose to be social at all? To be clear we are to stay at home, don’t see anyone, and if you aren’t “ essential “ you don’t even go to work? Where are we? The Twilight Zone? Other measures were in place also. One being you couldn’t even be with your family member if they were hospitalized or in line for surgery. My oldest daughter Ashley was pregnant with twins and due in April! What? We can’t be there? We need to quarantine to even see anyone before the birth? What is quarantine? But I’m not sick? I thought you quarantine sick people? Not healthy ones. Oh wait! Is it backwards month again?!?

Quarantine. That was my challenge. I had to stay put for 2 weeks to go to Arizona to be with my daughter and her family to watch Knox ( he wasn’t allowed in the hospital) and to help with the twins when they were able to come home. Mind you, I was supposed to stay put yet still try and make a living as a realtor and fulfill my role at the firm I get a small salary from. But wait, everything was shut down. California, pretty much the United States was standing still in utter confusion. My logical self was in turmoil. Stay inside. Go outside for Vitamin D. Take more Vitamin D. Don’t touch stuff. Wash your hands all the time. Wear a mask. Don’t wear a mask. Your youngest is in Arizona helping. I’m quarantined. Wait? How do I pay my bills? I have to breathe. I’m going outside. Wait! Groceries. Am I allowed to go to the grocery store? Confusion, fear, loneliness. Wait?!? I can’t see my elderly parents? They are alone. “Mom, we’re tracking your phone so we know you are quarantined.” I was a hot mess. I truly felt like I wasn’t present or grounded here. I was just beginning to feel truly settled and was back in the swing of things. Now I felt like a caged animal. I didn’t know what to do or how to feel let alone work? Work where? Home? The office?

Our office was in limbo. We are in the financial and real estate arena and we’re not considered essential at the time. Not only that, our office didn’t fall into any of the relief categories? Filing the PPP loan was close to impossible. The website kept crashing and soon our lovely governor was handing out fines and closing businesses that we’re trying to remain somewhat functional. All of our hard work was just about to pay off! We were ordered to work from home. Download the ZOOM app! This became interesting! Our whole office had to adapt to working from home and chatting with one another on our computer screens. It actually became quite entertaining. A couple of times had to move the camera from my boobs of course. Embarrassing. But, we were doing it. Eventually it became business as usual but mainly from home. We had smiles on our faces but we were all pretty nervous about what was happening with our economy. How were people making it?

The economy was basically shutting down and I felt so much anxiety. On the real estate side I was prompted on the COVID-19 restrictions and showing houses became difficult. On the investment side I had to file for unemployment. Listening to the news the numbers were staggering of people losing their jobs and filing for unemployment. Like mentioned earlier I had to navigate on-line how to file and collect a weekly stipend. What a nightmare! I was kicked off - line so many times and the web address for unemploymente kept crashing. I felt the tension and uncertainty anywhere I ventured to. This pandemic was playing mental head games on us and we couldn’t get a straight answer on when the end of this mess would be. Will there be an end or is this a way of life now? 2020 came and went and now we are in 2021 sorting through more challenges that we faced. Do we get vaccinated? Am I safe at work? School? Safe while shopping? I remember when….

I remember when? One thing I truly believe is that my generation, Gen X , will be story tellers. Our world is changing so much and it’s difficult to keep up. For example, you finally buy that IPhone you saved up for and a newer better one is being released in 3 months. Everything moves so fast anymore. Hell, I remember as a kid trying to get some privacy to talk to my boyfriend via phone that had a long cord so I coukd sit in the hallway, around the corner from the kitchen! Now, everyone including elementary aged chikdren have a dreaded cell phone! Everyone is looking down on that screen including myself! Put that phone away! Gen X will tell the stories of life without a computer. I remember walking into my high school library, searching the dewey decimal system file to find a book. Yes! A book! The distinct smell of opening a book and actually a scent of paper surrounds you for a couple of seconds. I remember piling in a few extra people to go to a drive in movie, horrible speaker, yet smiles on our faces. We will tell the stories of riding our bikes for miles at a time ( no helmets) and not being afraid of someone trying to “ steal us.” Our storytelling will include playing outside until the street lights came on, playing in the waves with a “ surfrider “ raft, walking or riding a bike to school, waiting years to have sex with your high school boyfriend ( poor guy), Friday football games with after game dances that EVERYONE went to, lockers outside of our classrooms with combo locks, after game parties with wine coolers, players, and coaches! ( that woukd never happen now!) butts up against the ball wall, showers after PE class…

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