#DailyWritingChallenge Day 22: Emotions

Borrowed (temporarily and without permission) from Geoffrey Roberts.

Roll up, roll up! Grab your feelings wheel…! Shaped like a roulette wheel, throw the dice and select your mood for the second, minute, hour, morning, afternoon, evening, day! It’s not a gamble but sometimes it can feel that way lately.

It’s a funny time in this Coronavirus lockdown. Some days I’m at home with my safe little haven-of-home with my children and the world seems fine… Even if we run out of money, I have a huge bag of rice and lots of dried pulses and spices, so we won’t starve… for a while and hopefully not before the end of September.

It could be much, much worse. I’m really lucky to have all I have, but that somehow make guilty emotions spike, for being so ungrateful.

Other days, I wake up feeling as if I haven’t been asleep and my mind feels foggy and clouded. Negative past experiences play on my mind and I cringe about what happened and what I should have done differently in my looped repeat of events. Embarrassment, shame linked with pride and bravery. Time stands still until I fight to beat down the negative emotions and find the sun.

Running helps.

Being outdoors.

Singing. Reading. Writing this blog.

A glass of wine.

A good cry.

Sometimes instead of trying to crush the bad emotion, it’s better to address it and try to move through it.

Slow… down… embrace… not hate…

A supermarket was an interesting experience today. Everyone seems so somber and cold at their two metre distance. Are some of us forgetting the ‘social’ part of the distance? Just because we are further apart, doesn’t mean we can’t exchange pleasantries or general chit-chat. Out of the three shops I go to for my parents, there is one is particular that leaves me icy cold and miserable and that was the one today.

Two weeks ago was the last time I was there and someone shouted at me:

“Erm, it’s two metres!” In a really harsh, robotic voice.

I apologised and admit I was too close but also I was literally unaware of the nearness of my proximity at that moment in time. Later in the same outing I was about to turn the corner and change aisles to collect some fruit juice, when low and behold, the same six-foot man reminded me:

“Everyone is queuing in one aisle over there.”

“I know”. I replied. “I was getting something from the next aisle.

“Actions speak louder than words!” He retorted and went on his way to pay. I do wonder if he’d have said the same to a man his height and a foot taller than me.

To be fair the man may have had one of those traits that made him a stickler for rules and I was breaking one, so in a sense I understand his reaction, but it shocked me nonetheless and I was literally shaking and my heart was ridiculously racing. We can’t always predict our emotional reactions despite our resilience, especially when circumstances are alien, new or strange. I wondered afterward if he reflected on his actions? I did.

Saddened and anxious that made me feel, yet it was so petty and childish. As the woman serving me behind the till said:

“We have had so much abuse since everyone went crazy two weeks before lockdown; this kind of event brings out the best in some people and the worst in others.”

It’s certainly a rollercoaster of emotions. Does anyone else occasionally want their ticket back from this ride?

On the other hand, it has been good for me in a way because it has snapped me into action and made me contemplate what next after lockdown is lifted.

I can’t wait to give my parents a hug. Dropping off their shopping with the awkwardness imposing itself and forcing us apart like two of the same magnetic poles pushing and resisting each other.

The need to be close yet the imperative to stay apart.

Will the world and our jobs as teachers, educators and human beings be the same again?

I don’t know and that uncertainty feels positive some days and negative on others. In some news, it suggests social consciousness and care for the environment and sustainability could improve. That would make some of this imposed solitude worthwhile.

Shall will spin the wheel?

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