Now here I sit, days from my next birthday – deeply rooted in a crisis, a freaking pandemic – wondering what this one will be remembered as. I don’t know if everyone considers their birthday this big important time of year for them to refresh, start new, and begin again – but I do. It’s always been the season where I’m most likely to set up a ‘Resolution’ that I’ll actually kind of stick to. New Years is ripe in the middle of winter – winter is for cozying in, hibernating and being kind to your self. It’s a time for short, consistent steps, not lengthened strides nor resolutions. But May! May is a time where the peaks of summer are just becoming visible. May is hope. May is beginning to plan for that summer pool party. May is a time when I can make my summer plans – a reading list, a new skill, a re-focus on, picking up the planner I bought in January and haven’t touched since week two. I typically like to use May to invigorate myself. To ask if I’m on the path toward who I want to be.
But this May is different. This May is in the middle of a pandemic. This May is still a beginning, but I keep wondering if it’s the beginning of the end. This May, some businesses are beginning to open up again in Colorado. This May, people are emerging from their homes – some tentatively, others boldly. This May, I know even more intimately that the choice to stay home is a privilege not afforded to many. This May feels like the beginning of the period when some will try to return to normal (and trust me, I crave a little normal in my routine). But we cannot return to normal. Returning to normal will endanger the very fabric of our society. Returning to normal will cause a resurgence in this virus and it will disproportionately take the lives of the people who are consistently marginalized – low income and POC, blue collar workers and anyone without health coverage (and lets be real, even many of us with health coverage).
So what kind of resolution can one put in place during a time like this?
This time is trauma. It’s messing up my brain more than I know.
I’m one of the lucky ones with a lighter workload most days, job security and a work-from-home routine already. I’m one of the lucky ones with a consistent paycheck, a partner to spend each day with, and access to the basic resources I need day-to-day. My coping mechanisms are better some days than others, but I’m trying to be kind to myself each day. It’s how I get through winter seasonal depression and its how I’m getting through quarantine and isolation from pubic spaces.
My hope for my birthday is for this – to begin with a testament to myself. Yoga flow to bring in the sunshine (maybe a smoothie to kick us off energized). Then breakfast – eggs in a basket maybe? I’ll feel the need to check in on work, so I’ll make sure there’s nothing urgent. Flag the things to take care of right away and spend time focusing on whatever my mood wants me to be in. I’m hoping my mind-body connection is feeling strong and wishing for genuine quality time spent with loved ones. I’m wanting delicious whole meals, and indulgent desserts. I want to minimize time on social media and be alive, feeling, vibrating, breathing.
hours minutes seconds
This leaves some resolution set to be made. To lead my next year into some sort of purpose. Last year, it was to the pursuit of good vibes. Thanks to long hot hikes in our Joshua Tree middle of nowhere escape for that one. This year, I think I just want to feel the warmth of the sun beaming through the window, I want yearning to be outside and planning my day around recess. I want napping in the sunshine. I want hard work begetting actual reward. If I can keep that goal in my mind, I think the actions will follow. They involve exercising and eating well, they involve writing down my thoughts when they’re stuck or when they’re biting at the chomp to get out. These actions include reaching out to the people I love and keeping my community focal points. They involve self-care and self-love. My resolution will be to find my home again. My resolution will be to discover my self and the settings that make and break me. The conveniences I really like and the ones I’m willing to live without. The space I need for myself and for unique purpose.
Good luck May babies. This one is a hard one.
But I have to hope that there will be better ones again.