Oh Yeah! I’ve Been Living Through a Pandemic For a Year.

I started my Master’s program in September of 2008. Almost a year ago, in March of 2020, I defended my PhD dissertation and “graduated”. I write graduated in quotations because I never had an actual graduation. The whole thing was very anti-climactic. Sometimes I forget that I have my PhD and that I actually finished the program. Days after I defended, Ontario went into a full blown quarantine. Congratulations on finishing your PhD! You get to live in house jail with your toddler. 

Congratulations on finishing your PhD! You get to live in house jail with your toddler.

It’s funny because when we were in that first quarantine that lasted about 5 months, I remember thinking how when daycares open back up and life is back to normal, I would be so thankful to have had these months at home with Milo. And it’s true. Some days were really hard. Some days were really great. I still have cognitive dissonance when I think about it. While it was difficult and exhausting and I just wished it would end, it was also such a unique experience that we will never have again. I will never be home alone for 5 months with an 18-month old Milo. 

For weeks now, I find myself getting into “blah moods”. I don’t know how to describe what this mood feels like. It’s a bunch of feelings and emotions all at once and it kinda freezes me. I feel restless, irritated, bored, tired. All of the things. I start to get annoyed that I’m not feeling like my usual self. And then I think about what the past year has been and I give myself permission to feel this way. Of course I’m experiencing moments of feeling completely “off”. It’s odd to not know what the future holds. To not have plans in place that you’re looking forward to. To not have weekends booked off because family or friends are coming to visit. To not be looking forward to Saturday because your going to take Milo to the aquarium.

I’m trying to check in with myself regularly. Ask myself how I’m doing and what I can do that day to improve my mental and physical health.

It’s important to give ourselves the mental space to feel “off”. To be unusually quiet one day. To go to bed early one day. To read more because you like when your mind is occupied. To take a social media break. To watch more Real Housewives because it’s fun to at least watch other women get dressed up, go out, and talk shit. 

With every day feeling like an exact repeat of the previous day (with the odd sleep regression and tantrum thrown in), it can become very routine and almost robotic. Nothing stands out. The days blend together. I’m trying to check in with myself regularly. Ask myself how I’m doing and what I can do that day to improve my mental and physical health. I know I need to move more, eat better, and give myself more time to think and write. Now I have to make the effort. 

Test from caroline

XOXO Renee Reina

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Diary of a Sleep Clusterf*ck… (also known as a sleep regression)
Oh Yeah! I’ve Been Living Through a Pandemic For a Year.