Cracks in the ceiling

During this time of COVID-19 and the importance of limiting exposure to the outside world, I believe we have all spent a little more time focused on home. More of my friends and family put up holiday decorations earlier than normal. Wanting that feeling of coziness and safety among dear ones was key to supporting one’s emotional health. I was sent plenty of images showing Hallmark movie holiday décor and families in festive attire. Social media blurred its lens to display pictures that others in our community wanted us to see – that they were making it. They were surviving. That they were ok and looking ahead to healthier and happier times. But this season, not all families wore matching Christmas pajamas.

In many families, like mine, there is discord at home. Fractures in our faith in what is right and what is wrong have made me uncomfortable with those who tell me my mask makes me someone who doesn’t value freedom. I am afraid of the growing violence and hate disguised as support for our leadership. And most of all, I am concerned that friendships are being torn apart. At a time when my world is small, and restricted, my relationships with family and friends are what I have left to connect me with the outside. While my midlife self is decluttering my home of memories and emotional baggage from the past in order to live in the present, it means that I am more closely examining the four walls of my world. And right now, my world is my home. My door keeps sickness out and lets family in. My friendships help me sort out what to keep and what to throw away. However, in these desperate times, I am not feeling as safe in my community. The overly attentive mother is examining her midlife with scrutinizing detail, and what she is finding is not pretty.

The complexity and challenge of remaining healthy and compassionate when the world around you is crumbling can be overwhelming. The discourse of the day about vaccines, masks, and even safe holidays at home put me at odds with what normally makes me healthy and happy this holiday season. While I should have been decking the halls and making merry, I was fortifying my structure and engaging in debate that weakened my faith in my community. This new year, I have found cracks in my ceiling. I just hope that my roof, and the roof over us all, doesn’t come tumbling down.

3 thoughts on “Cracks in the ceiling

  1. Beautifully written and spot on. I too have run into some of the same comments and had the same thoughts. This is a time in our lives/country that I never thought I would see or experience and navigating it has been tricky to say the least. Thank you for sharing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lieve Lauren, thank you for your blog, well-written and thoughtful as always.
      We are living in uncertain times. It is impossible to see what is ahead of us. It makes me uncertain, too. For obvious reasons, the focus is on your country now. But in many other countries, including mine, populist movements are getting stronger too.
      Although these times seem unique, they make me think of former crises. Think of Black Monday, in October 1987. We experienced a big crash on the stock market. I felt panicked: what was his going to do to our lives? I called my parents. They, who were children during WWII, reassured me: ‘We have seen worse. You will survive, life will go on, things will eventually turn back to normal.’
      My mom (90) shows the same attitude now, regarding Covid: ‘My parents lived through the Spanish flue. That was bad, but it was temporary. Fortunately we are not at war.’
      We have reasons to be worried, to watch out. But I hope and believe that these times of populism, like nearly all trends and movements, will eventually be washed away by a contrary movement.
      In the meantime, the challenge will be to re-unite, as families, as society, as a country. Hopefully we will realize that, after all, we share the same basis goals: we want to be happy, to love and be loved, and to contribute to a prospering country.
      Love, Marijke

      Like

  2. Lieve Lauren, thank you for your blog, well-written and thoughtful as always.
    We are living in uncertain times. It is impossible to see what is ahead of us. It makes me uncertain, too. For obvious reasons, the focus is on your country now. But in many other countries, including mine, populist movements are getting stronger too.
    Although these times seem unique, they make me think of former crises. Think of Black Monday, in October 1987. We experienced a big crash on the stock market. I felt panicked: what was his going to do to our lives? I called my parents. They, who were children during WWII, reassured me: ‘We have seen worse. You will survive, life will go on, things will eventually turn back to normal.’
    My mom (90) shows the same attitude now, regarding Covid: ‘My parents lived through the Spanish flue. That was bad, but it was temporary. Fortunately we are not at war.’
    We have reasons to be worried, to watch out. But I hope and believe that these times of populism, like nearly all trends and movements, will eventually be washed away by a contrary movement.
    In the meantime, the challenge will be to re-unite, as families, as society, as a country. Hopefully we will realize that, after all, we share the same basis goals: we want to be happy, to love and be loved, and to contribute to a prospering country.
    Love, Marijke

    Like

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