I lost my sh*t over a watch. Yep, you read it right. A watch. The new fitness tracker watch I bought wouldn’t sync with my phone, and I became completely unglued. Even through my sobs, I knew something was really off, but even that realization didn’t save me. I snapped at my family, angrily apologized, and retreated to my room. I went to bed early in the hopes that a good night’s sleep would help shine a light on a new day. When I woke, it was a different day, but there was no light.
I cried almost the entire day. Nothing seemed to help. I couldn’t figure it out. I felt like I hit an emotional rock bottom, and right when I figured I couldn’t hurt any worse, I learned bottom was still a few more feet down.
Our neighbors across the street are wonderful humans. Their daughter, we call her ReRe, is roughly the same age as my toddler, Jameson. Jameson loves ReRe. Jameson also doesn’t understand quarantine, nor the reason why he doesn’t see ReRe at daycare anymore. He just asks to see her over and over again. Well, after we arrived home from daycare, Jameson played outside and caught a glimpse of ReRe. He flew off his truck and sprinted across the yard. Jameson feverishly waved both of his arms and was yelling, “ReRe!” I stopped him before he got into the street and told him she couldn’t play right now. Then ReRe’s mom walked her to the backyard. Jameson, still with outstretched arms, slumped over and stared off in disbelief. It was heartbreaking. Insert more tears.
Later that night, I sat at the counter gazing outside, Matchbox Twenty’s “Back 2 Good” came on the radio. When this song first came out it, the lyrics resonated with me (regardless of what the band’s intentions were) because I knew my boyfriend was cheating on me and yet I still wanted it to work out. The song “normalized” my boyfriend’s wandering eyes and my desperation of wanting it good again. Yes, there’s a lot to unpack with that situation, as the majority of my relationships, so let’s just move on. Tonight, however, it struck me in a completely different way…I love that about music. This time it spoke to my loneliness, the desire I have to get out in public again, and the judgmental attitudes plaguing our society.
This morning my husband sent me a link to Brené Brown’s podcast, Unlocking Us, with David Kessler on grief and finding meaning. I listened to it, and the emotional clouds parted and a light shone through. I was grieving. It hadn’t crossed my mind, because what I’ve been taught or previously learned about grief was that grief happened when someone died. In reality, grief happens over metaphorical deaths, such as job loss, divorce, or pandemic. I was, and had been, grieving over my life before COIVD-19. It wasn’t about my inoperable watch. Yes, shocking, I know. I miss my pre-pandemic life. I miss my kids being able to see their friends. I miss my freedom. I miss the false sense of belief that I had stable work. I miss hugs. Oh, how I miss hugs. I miss all of it.
There is no “back to good,” but rather moving haphazardly through the stages of grief to find meaning. Finding meaning, especially in times of loss, is the only thing you have control over. It doesn’t mean you have to make a large gesture or invest a lot of money. It simply means taking a step towards a meaningful action (whatever that means to you) for yourself and others. And as you navigate this time and your own grief, give yourself healthy doses of grace…like when you lose your sh*t over a watch.