During the pandemic I have been homeschooling my child, also while working teaching various literature courses at three different colleges. While public school was still a thing, and even during the summer when my child was home, I was able to manage a groove of writing for pleasure. Sometimes that looked like stealing ten minutes after bedtime, writing while breakfast was happening, or jotting down notes in my writing journal while taking a bath.
The added responsibilities that have come along with the pandemic have brought some excellent opportunities for growth as a parent and as a spiritual being — yet have not enabled me to continue to follow my passion as a writer due to a lack of time and energy. Familiar story!
Pandemic days are full of developing coping strategies, moving toward resiliency, balancing emotions, leading by example, trying to perform well in all duties, valuing what matters most and learning to postpone second-tier loves. They are also days full of energy-depleting moments of despair and fear, concern about the future, problematizing, searching the dregs of the soul to carry on, trying and failing and then trying better, harder, and continuing to try and then trying again — going to bed and praying for the energy to wake up and try some more.
Writing has been pushed aside for what counts as survival in this first-world, middle-class, capitalistic environment. I have not been able to elbow out room for much else but I have the drive within to make time for (all of) what I love to do.
These pandemic times are so open to possibility. In this time-snap we can reach for something more within and see the immense elasticity of the self as a symbol of that infinite reaching toward something better.