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Finding the Light in the Time Zone of Now

Most of us have experienced the sensation of time passing more quickly than we realized. “Was that really three years ago? Seems like yesterday.” Or, the exact opposite; a faded memory of something having happened years previously, when in fact it was a more recent event.

We are into this COVID period for close to four months. It seems like forever ago that we first learned how the virus was threatening us and certainly forever ago that we last gathered with friends or family in ordinary places like restaurants.

When the projection in March was that we would be quarantining till the end of April, we were shocked and wondered how we would really manage, how the economy would manage.

As end of April got pushed to May and then June, and now to the point that we wonder how September will shape up, we have had to dig in with great resolve.

We thought the halt on sports in March was temporary and we would all be cheering beloved teams before the summer began.

Desperate for normalcy, I watched footage of the Toronto Raptors NBA championship parade through the streets of Toronto in June of 2019. A year ago, 2.5 million people standing shoulder to shoulder, not a worry in the world about social distancing or wearing masks. Seems like 100 years ago, not one year ago. It feels like a foreign time zone that was part of a fantasy life. I do not remember that feeling of not worrying about the devastation a virus could enforce.

We were very recently hit suddenly and ferociously in our household by a stomach virus that knocked us off our feet. You know when you are sick, and you cannot remember how feeling well actually feels? You recover and then you cannot recall just how sick you felt when you were at your worst.

I am hoping we can experience the pandemic this same way.

Because we are such incredible beings, we will continue to follow protocols to protect all of us and be resolute in getting to the other side of this.

It is harder some days than others to keep the faith and hope alive. Some days feel more dismal and anxiety and sadness can envelope us. We know there is a strong impact on our mental well-being. Of course, the problems at hand are more than just the virus. We find unity across the world in our facing systemic racism, despite the ravages of COVID-19.

We have resolve and resilience to move forward, towards the light at the end of the tunnel. As many times as you can find reason to not favor humans, you can find more reason to be amazed by the human race.

Fortunately, I have a lot of funny people in my life who understand and seek comic relief. From this week’s comedic desk, the story of moving towards the light struck a chord.

There is an expression from my parents, “There’s a miller in the hut.” It is the war cry of chasing a moth out of the house while it is intent on rushing to the light batting up against walls in its erratic flight patterns.

While in recovery mode from our stomach bug, the shout-out was relayed. Unsuccessful attempts meant the moth lived another day to terrorize us with its bomb diving. Alone with a towel in the bathroom, I continued swatting at it the following evening with no blows landing. The moth flew into a cosmetic bag sitting on the counter and buried itself beneath the contents. At least it was trapped. I zipped up the bag to leave it until I could deal with it in the morning.

The next morning, I carried the bag outside, certain the moth had most likely died. However, it emerged from the bag, exercised its wings, and lifted on take-off. I experienced happiness for it – holding onto oxygen all night and waiting for the opportunity to take flight. Impressive!

The moth darted in the typical erratic form and headed towards the sliding glass door which I realized had not been shut completely. I was already quite entertained at the notion of it promptly flying right back into the house.

Suddenly it changed direction and headed right back at me and landed at my feet. There was a sensation of a whoosh of air past my face so close that it made me recoil. The chickadee took one quick peck at the moth, lifted it, flew out to the grass, and proceeded to make a short snack of the moth.

There was a moment where I moved forward to save the moth from its fate but of course, Mother Nature had her own agenda and in the end was triumphant in completing the circle of life.

Moving towards the light that moth fought for another day. Its valiant effort gave it another twenty seconds of life.

It felt rather metaphoric. All of us moving towards the light, forward in our survival and isn’t it the bus we don’t see coming?

My lesson is to keep it light when possible, to keep laughing even when it seems impossible to find the humor, and to never stop moving towards the future. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Our Information and Referral Services department is available to assist our consumers, all professionals, and our community partner agencies during this Coronavirus crisis. Our dedicated staff is working remotely but nothing changes in the ways they can help.

To reach our Information and Referral Services Department in Danvers please call 978-750-4540; email info@nselder.org or make a web referral via our website at nselder.org/contact-us/referral-form/.

To reach our Information and Referral Services Department in Lawrence please call 978-683-7747 or email info@esmv.org.

Author Info
Jayne Girodat is the Communications Specialist at Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore, Inc. Along with ten years in the position of Caregiver Support Specialist at another ASAP, Jayne was a long-distance caregiver to parents for the same amount of time. That experience serves as motivation to better understand the issues of aging and to engage people in conversations about those issues. Jayne’s background in teaching contributes to her appreciation of social media as a tool to educate readers on aging concerns. “I love asking people questions. Everyone likes to be heard. When you ask and then listen, you’ll find everyone has a story and some of those stories are gems. I think it is particularly important to hear the voices of our older adults. Those are the stories I really connect to and hope to bring to Elder Services’ audience.”