Chick A: My Life on Groundhog Day

At least in the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray gets to go places still. The diner to figure out how to make Andie MacDowell like him, out in the town square with a thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat, daily conversations with Ned, Ned Ryerson who did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show!

Harold Ramis: Stephen Tobolowsky remembers the Groundhog Day director.

Now listen, you may or may not agree with me, you may think I’m nuts, you may have a whole host of feelings about what I’m about to explain to you, and that’s okay. Just keep it to yourself if it’s mean, I don’t need or want to hear it. Okay, now that my preface has been made, let’s get into it.

My groundhog day looks a little different. Since March 13th, I have spent 98% of my time at home. I’ve left in a car maybe 20 times in the last 27 weeks. For trips that included a few joy rides, letting my Mum’s new dog, Mya, out while she was away for the day, and one time I even brought a bag of deposit-worthy cans to the drop-off. That was a good trip. (I only came in contact with one woman and she was wearing a cool mask, so I said to her, “I love your mask!” WAY too excitedly and I think she thought I was insane, and I won’t even lie, she was probably not too far off base.)

I’ve talked frequently about my heart issues, in blogs like Heart Disease. It’s hilarious. So, early on into the pandemic (it’s still so weird to say that we’re in a “pandemic”…is this some sci-fi movie where we’ll end up being saved by people from the future or maybe The Avengers??) I spoke with both my cardiologist and primary care physician and because of my plethora of pre-existing medical conditions, i.e. heart disease, multiple times having pneumonia, and being overweight to name a few, it was the consensus that I was indeed someone who needed to self-isolate and take as many precautions as I could to avoid getting COVID, as I would probably not fare thee well should I get it. So, because I am both a rule follower (to some degree), have enormous issues with anxiety and medical PTSD, and carry incredible amounts of fear about loss (see My Sweetie: His Name is Paul. But Please, Call Him Skip.) I made the decision to stay in my bubble as much as humanly possible.

So, I haven’t been to a store, a restaurant, inside anyone else’s home, inside anyone else’s car, given a hug to anyone besides my husband, two kids, and dog in 192 days. I have hardly had to wear a mask because I don’t go anywhere. I have socially distant get-togethers with my immediate family, and most often with my Mum, but I prefer those to even be at max, four other people. I’ve been in a couple situations that I had to leave because I couldn’t myself, deal with what those I loved were doing, in my opinion, not following the rules. Not being safe enough. Yeah, it sucks. I felt like an asshole to some degree. I don’t want to judge anyone else for their decisions, that’s their life, their journey to do what’s best for them. But, I had and still have SO much fear about the potential there is for more loss in my life. I know that it’s not the healthiest mind space to be in, and for the most part, I’ve gotten better about letting go of it to some degree. Therapy is always helpful. But my true intentions all come from a place of love, not a place of Judgy McJudgerson.

Reminder: This isn’t a blog to discuss opinions about COVID, because ugh. Shut it.

Shut it down! Jon Taffer | Memes, Google images, Image

This post is my story about what my last 6 months have looked like, why it has looked the way it has. So, let’s get back to my whole “Groundhog Day” analogy…what my days in the bubble look like…real talk.

There are two options I have found in my Groundhog Days:

Option A: The extremely structured, kicking ass at everything…by the way, my business has almost completely halted due to COVID…but I’ve still been working on pivoting my business to become more and more virtual. I’d get up at a decent hour, put on my workout clothes, go for a walk, journal outside in my Adirondack chair with my coffee, meditate, some days when it was really hot, I would sit outside and get a tan and READ. ME. Reading. I read a whole book this summer. It was crazy. I thought I had written a blog about my inability to read (ADD/Major Focus Issues) but I hadn’t, so that’s why it was so amazing that I read. I purchased this good-sized inflatable pool that I thoroughly enjoyed chilling in, listening to the absolute soundtrack of my summer, Hamilton: The Musical. Damn, so good. I’d work on projects around the house, organize the shit out of everything, make dinner every night as we haven’t gotten take-out in the last six months either, clean the house, work on my business, go for another walk…okay you get the point, there have been weeks that I’ve just killed it.

Option B: I’ve had weeks where I wasn’t my most productive self. I’d wake up at 9:30 and lay in bed until 11, and have it take everything in me to get dressed, yesterday’s clothes most likely, make my bed (of course, I’m still me), and move out to the living room to start my day…on the couch…binging whatever I was binging that week (Dawson’s Creek, The Great British Baking Show, Grey’s Anatomy, Glee, The Office, Schitt’s Creek….on and on) and not only was I binging television but also binging on the contents of my fridge, freezer, and pantry. Until I’d get back in bed around 9 PM and watch more TV, until my fella, who is still working full time from home, I might add, had to get some sleep, so we’d turn out the TV, the lights, and I’d crack out on my phone watching all the people do all the things on the Tik Tok until 3 AM, where I’d fall asleep to some ASMR videos of someone dropping small round balls of brightly colored sand into a pint glass and pushing it down with a wooden dowel. (It’s a thing, here’s a link so you know what I’m talking about: Sand is amazing.) I’ve been moderately depressed and more than moderately anxious many, if not most, of the last 192 days.

It all feels a bit like Groundhog Day. Every day, the same. Okay, one out of two scenarios, so not exactly the same, but you get my point.

Right now, I’m in a fairly good place. Each day can run the spectrum of the paragraphs above. But slowly moving into more good days. More days in which I feel motivated to have a good day. If you happen to follow me on social media (@ABStractABLife) where I am documenting my health adventures (I don’t love using “weight loss journey” very much) you’d also know that I’ve gained back at least half of the 50 pounds that I had lost in the previous 9 months before COVID, which has been frustrating. I always used to say, “If I just had more time on my hands, I’d definitely lose the weight…”

We all have handled this incredibly challenging time in the history of life differently. Opinions are different, yes. But the set of circumstances we are all working from are very different as well. We are all working from all sorts of different levels of mental health, pasts that dictate our present, and yes, our opinions on what this pandemic should mean for each of our daily lives for ourselves and for others. But again, this post isn’t to discuss that. If you think I’m cuckoo, that’s fine. I won’t judge you for your choices. Try to reciprocate.

But the reason for this post is because I truly believe that a large purpose for my existence on this planet is to share my truth. My sometimes crazy, depressing, joy-filled, empathetic, challenging any maybe (hopefully) perspective-shifting truth.

I tried to make it funny. I feel like it wasn’t that funny. I’ll try harder next time.

However you’re coping right now in life, I send you love. And care. And safety. And good health. And, a reminder to watch “Groundhog Day” because it’s funny as shit…and think of me. 😉

Groundhog Day Movie: 10 Life Lessons | PEOPLE.com

Heart you,

-Chick A

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