Monday, March 23, 2020

Overwhelmed, The New Normal, New Skills, and Publications


With COV-19 on our doorsteps (or at least at mine in Washington State, Pierce County), it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the news, rumors, and fear going around.

I think I've been pretty overwhelmed for the past ten days.

My dad went to the ER for an erratic heart rhythm which was discovered at the beginning of a monthly procedure he has to keep his bones strong. My mom couldn't go in with him. It makes sense, but she wasn't prepared. I stayed with her for hours in the parking lot. I bought her coffee and a sandwich to go (that's the only way our restaurants and coffee shops work here now) and we ate outside on a bench next to the hospital. We talked on the phone with a cousin. We laughed. We prayed. We sang.

My dad is okay. Our lives have returned to new normal.

New Normal

My daughters are both still away from home because their college campuses are in cities where the virus hasn't hit. I talk to them every day. I would love to hug them. But I want them to stay away from the contagion zone.

This is especially true now that someone from my husband's workplace has been tested positive. My husband doesn't normally work with this person or have contact with them and the last time that person came into the office was eight days ago. It is unlikely that my husband could have caught it there, but all of a sudden, the possibility is super close. My husband is working from home this week. He works for a public utility, but is not considered an essential worker. The Zoom meetings and conference calls are continuous because he does work for a utility company. Customers still need help. Work is still ongoing. (Because we all want our electricity and internet, right?)

Meanwhile, my students (tutored, coached, and mentored) are meeting with me through Zoom.
I am doing all my property management work through phone, text, and computer apps.

We had church online. We met our life together group via Zoom. I went to a Bible study via Zoom.
Tomorrow, I will go to Bible Storytelling via Zoom. Two weeks ago, I had never heard of Zoom. Now it's part of my every day life.

New Skills

In addition to all the new normal of life, I've decided to finally just do Youtube Videos. I've been thinking about it for years. But I never did it. I know I probably should wait until I have it all figured out perfectly - in fact, my next videos will probably be of much higher quality than my first four (yes, four), but I decided to have a "Send It" attitude. They are pretty basic, just shot from my phone, but if you're interested, here's a sample:

Again, the next group of them will be of higher quality via my husband's camera (he shoots videos for dance recitals and performances). Then, I'll add in some more skills and so, onward!


In addition to all of the stress, I've actually had some awesome positives happen, like getting two short pieces published in the last week.

On January 16, Creative Colloquy published my short story "A Companion for the Journey." This story is about an AI and shows a slice of her life and a decision she makes. The tone is more I, Robot than Terminator.

Yesterday, The Drabble published my piece "Sticks and Stones." This short piece is a poetic prose protest about bullying and suicide. It was inspired by the poem of a friend's daughter who was dealing with the aftermath of a suicide at her middle school. Sometimes, I write fiction, and sometimes, I write from life. This is a painful, but true-to-life piece. If you read it, make sure you read to the end, which is "We cling to faith / that is all."


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Glad your Dad is okay. Stay healthy and safe....

I hadn't heard of Zoom either before all of this!

Congrats on the publications!

Natalie Aguirre said...

So glad that your dad is okay and you were there with your mom. Glad you have been able to connect through Zoom meetings. We use them for work a lot since most of us work at home. Stay healthy.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad your father is all right now.
I'm still essential so still going to work.
Cool to hear your voice!

mshatch said...

These are hard and strange times. Glad your piece got published! Nice to have some good news. Stay well!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank goodness you were there for your mom. I know that was difficult, but it was for the best.

I'll have to check out Zoom. We FaceTime with family members and friends.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - I also am so pleased your Dad has come through - and hope they both stay healthy. I'd heard of Zoom ... but don't use it ... and use FaceTime with my goddaughter ... everyone else seems to be email or phone.

Great idea about your journalling and loved hearing your voice - well done - cheers and take care - Hilary

Elizabeth Seckman said...

We're in the same lock down. We don't have near the cases you guys have, but our population is older and diabetes and asthma are common here, so they predict should it take hold in WV, we could have high fatalities.

I'm glad your dad is doing fine. That's a blessing. And that your girls are safe.

krystal jane said...

We had a few cases the county over and it’s basically shut the whole state down. I’m still going to work because it’s considered essential retail for now.

The journal video is cool. :) I’ve never considered making a TOC like that. I’ve flipped through some old journals recently, and the content is always a surprise.

I’m happy your dad and family are doing well.

Heather R. Holden said...

Everything is so scary and stressful right now, for sure. Glad you have some positives to latch onto, like your dad being okay, and your recent publications. Hope you and your loved ones continue to be safe. <3

Lori L. MacLaughlin said...

Very glad to hear your dad is okay. How hard that must have been for your mom not to be able to go in with him. These are such scary times. I worry about my daughter with asthma and my 80+ year old parents. My daughter is home from college and finishing her sophomore semester online. My 18 year old son lives at home and works for an essential store so I keep praying he doesn't bring the virus home with him. We haven't had that many cases yet here in Vermont, but next door in New York, they're swamped. I expect it's just a matter of time. We just keep on keeping on and hope for the best. Great video!