I have been suffering (and I pause and look at that word and wonder, am I really suffering or is it just a mere annoyance?) …
I have been annoyed by what I am calling my ‘Covid-brain’. A sort of spongy, mushy, sieve-y brain that forgets the simplest of things and has difficulty focusing.
Can you relate?
Why, just yesterday, I dropped off a bag of goodies at a friends and left before she could come to the door. (I kind of like the randomness of it all) A while later, when I realized I had missed her call because I’d forgotten my phone was on silent (again), I called back and she thanked me for the parcel.
“I’m curious though,” she said. “I’m not sure what you want me to do with these two envelopes addressed to…” and she named the recipients.
“Oh no!” I exclaimed into the phone. “I had put them in the bag while I took everything to the car. I was going to drop them into a mailbox on my way over.”
I, of course, had totally forgotten. Not just the ‘drop in mailbox’ part but the fact the envelopes were even in the bag.
Fortunately, my girlfriend offered to drop them into the mailbox. Crisis averted.
It is happening a lot. This forgetting things. The being half way through a task and getting distracted by another.
Even my Netflix viewing is under the thrall of my ‘Covid-brain’. Last night, deciding it was a good time to douse myself in Christmas romance, I was 20 minutes into a movie before I remembered I’d watched it just a few nights ago. And don’t get me started about the movies waiting for me in my ‘Continue Watching’ folder. That one’s even longer than Santa’s naughty list!
Some of it, I think, is because I am constantly dancing between the pull of diving deep into my favourite time of the year and having to push myself into doing anything remotely connected to ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.
Take my shopping list.
I don’t have one.
Yup. You read that right. I haven’t even made a list of names and gift ideas this year. Heck, I’ve barely bought a gift! Though I did manage to get some parcels shipped off early enough they might even make it before the big day!
Though even there, Covid-brain slithered in with its nasty habit of stealing my memory away. In this case, a girlfriend had offered to ship some gifts with hers as she had someone at work who was doing all the post-office, standing-in-line related activities.
“Awesome!” I told her and promised to get them to her by end of week.
In the interim, I packaged up the parcel, got it all ready to go days before I had to drop it off. And then…
Well, let’s just say I saw the box sitting on the counter and asked my beloved if he’d take it to FedEx.
Totally, I mean totally, forgot about my girlfriend’s offer.
It has been an unusual holiday season. Okay. Unusual year.
The quietness of the house. The lack of comings and goings. Of friends dropping in and family gatherings, planned and impromptu. The busyness of going to the mall or favourite shops to browse aisles filled with tempting ideas on what to give that special someone who has everything, but not that. The rushing about. The wrapping and carefully placing each gift under the tree. The anticipation of watching faces light up. The hugs. The sharing of Champagne toasts and special dinners with friends in their homes, or ours or even a restaurant.
My mind is so full of not missing ‘the missing pieces’ it is struggling with staying focused on what is most important.
And as I go to write what is most important, I realize that is where I need to change the story in my heart. Covid-brain or not.
See, the story in my heart is all about the love and joy of celebrating this special time of year with family and friends. It’s all about the excitement of finding that perfect gift for the ones I love. Of making those perfect somethings to nibble on over a glass of bubbly with a girlfriend I haven’t seen in a long while. Of lunch and shopping with a friend. Of watching my favourite Christmas movie with my daughters. Of driving around looking at Christmas lights and singing Christmas songs in the car. Of setting the table and dressing it up all pretty and bright for dinner and the multitude of things that make time with family and friends so special.
That story is not a possibility this year. Health matters must come first. Which means, it is time to re-write the story I hold dear to my heart. If only for this one season.
And so, I let it go.
The working on not missing the missing pieces.
They’re not missing pieces. They’re just not in the story of Christmas this year.
Without having to spend so much energy working on not missing the missing pieces, I free up my mind-space to make room for the things I can do that still speak to the love and joy I feel at this most wonderful time of the year — like make those cookies I’ve been putting off to give to neighbours. Like sending out those cards I haven’t yet sent!
See, in working on not missing the missing pieces, I have put my attention on what is wrong with this holiday season and not all that is right.
All that is right is we are well and healthy. Our families are well and healthy. Our friends are well and healthy.
The gift we give each other this year is the gift of good health. By staying apart, by celebrating separately, we are gifting each other, life without Covid.
What an amazing gift!
And if I focus on that, if I stop thinking about all the things that are missing and having to then remind myself to not think about all the things that are missing, I am free to celebrate and enjoy and savour this gift of well-being that is a true expression of the greatest gift of all…
And yes, I have immersed myself in creating more bookmarks. Their creation fills my heart with joy and pulls me out of focusing on thoughts of how to not miss the missing so that I can breathe once again into the beauty of all that is present, right here, right now.