Pandemic Plusses: Feel All the Feels

I didn’t post for two days. Been riding the rollercoaster. We all do it. Experience high highs, low lows, and all the climbs and sweeps in between. It is a wild ride during the best of days, and, surprisingly, more so in these times.

I gotta be honest, I hate rollercoasters. Despise the lack of control we have while riding those monstrous mechanical beasts. But life’s up and downs? That’s where everything we are gets tested, defined, and expressed. That, I embrace.

Monday was my birthday. I’ve had too many of them to make demands on the day but those around me seemed stressed that it was happening during this quarantine. My objectives were simple: be around family and have some gentle laughs. Goals met and surpassed. This, friends, is the best part of the ride. To enjoy each other’s company is to live life. What a great birthday it was.

The rollercoaster glides up…

Tuesday was all twists and turns with work, distant and in my face simultaneously. How all that is dealt with is another measure of the person. It can be rewarding, frustrating, intellectually challenging, and a spiritual struggle all at once. And so it goes. Our jobs define us not by who others think we are but by how we express ourselves after the choices. We took the job, we can show our who we are by doing it to the best of our talents, damn the torpedoes.

The incline gets steeper, but we’ve got this…

Tuesday night was the gut punch. A hospital worker friend texted about how bad it is actually getting where she works, with staff running out of room for the bodies. This trusted account forced my half shut eyes wide open. Right behind it, a second blow; a student reported she wasn’t handing in her assignments because there had been not one but two deaths in her family. At a time of quarantine that forbids wakes or funerals.Between two such reports how can we possible ignore the horror?

Down we plunge, fast and bitterly reckless, heading straight into the utter darkness…

Thirty-five years ago today I met the goddess. That one thought pulls me from the depths. Rescues me from all of this, as she always does.

I don’t know what comes next, or how I will respond, I just know I will feel all of it. The laughter and joy, the sadness, the anger, the despair, and the hope. That last one is the strongest of them. Hope grows brighter despite illness and death because it is so clear that we are together in doing what we need to do to minimize the devastation. That is a glory that gets clouded when stats and personal hits and absurd back patting politicians threaten to overwhelm. When the pitch black wave looms, I look in the goddess’s eyes, or watch a son so in love he is shamelessly goofy for his girlfriend (fruit doesn’t fall far – and that’s beautiful to see). I walk the empty streets and beam with pride at the silent warriors digging in and fighting the intelligent way. I see us joined in a way we never have been before, and it gives me strength.

Feel the feels. See the strengths. Grieve for our losses. Celebrate our blessings. And let hearts swell at the sheer number of us unified in faith that we are fighting a war worth winning.

Thank you all for being part of this incredible ride. Let’s keep going.

I write this series in hopes of lifting spirits during this pandemic. You are welcome to comment on today’s topic (feeling the feelings) in the comment section below. #MOC19

About chrisryanwrites

I do my best to tell fast-paced stories with humor and heart. My fiction work is available on Here, I’ll write about the sources for those stories from what I read, watch, listen to, and observe to my experiences as a former award-winning journalist, high school teacher, actor, and producer.
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2 Responses to Pandemic Plusses: Feel All the Feels

  1. Laura Crowley says:

    Well said Chris. I totally agree with the roller coaster analogy ( and I too hate roller coasters) because of the unknown twists and turns. Teaching has been incredibly challenging but that is the easy part. Talking to friends on the front lines is the worst. I feel helpless while they face danger. All I am asked to do is stay in my house. But I have seen the positive side too. We eat dinner as a family every night, a rarity here. We play board games and Wii, also a thing of the past. We go for walks, take life at a slower pace, and share longer phone conversations that might have only been a quick text. Im enjoying watching spring unravel as if in slow motion, flowers blooming, grass growing. I go from having huge bursts of energy to being completely paralyzed. I am holding on with two hands for dear life to see what the next turn brings. Be well.


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