April Jeppson: Living at a time with that which we shall not name
Published 2:13 pm Thursday, March 19, 2020
Every Little Thing by April Jeppson
So, this thing that’s happening. It’s huge and it’s all consuming, and it can really bum you out if you let it. When I’m scrolling through Facebook, I’ve found that I scroll a little faster past things that mention it — unless it’s a funny meme, I do have a little time for that. I don’t even like using the name of it. I feel like I’m in Harry Potter. I’m just going to refer to it as “That which we shall not name.” Or maybe I could just call it Voldemort. At least I know that he is just a made-up character from a book.
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My brain has been wandering. All the stores and restaurants that are temporarily closed. All the sports and events that are done for the season. I’m sure this is also interrupting parties and get-togethers. I wonder if anyone was supposed to get married in the next few weeks?
There was a moment the other night when my mind was trailing off, and I could feel the darkness slipping in. I could feel my mood shifting and the sadness starting to come over me. I know myself fairly well. I know that if I dwell on heavy things for too long, it can drag me down for days. I know I’m not alone in this.
I had to make a conscience effort to snap myself out of it. I had to force myself to think about the positive and find the good that is emerging through this. I had to change my mindset and change my internal narrative.
My grandkids are going to have questions for me. They are going to want to know what it was like to live through this. Just as I asked my parents what they were doing when JFK was assassinated or asked my grandpa about the war, they are going to want to know what it was like to actually live through a quarantine. What did we do? Were grocery stores really empty? Did we all hide in our homes and wear facemasks?
Thoughts like these make me smile. It makes me want to be proactive. It makes me want to keep a journal and take photos. It makes me want to use some of this mandated home time and document not just the facts, but how all of this makes me feel. We are living history right now, and it’s our duty to keep an accurate record. It’s also our duty to not just sit idly by, but we need to take action.
I think about how the community is coming together to support each other. Bringing over diapers for those who ran out. Choosing to shop from small businesses. Getting take-out from our local restaurants. One of my favorite places to eat had to temporarily close, but that didn’t stop me from reaching out to her and seeing if I could buy one last meal. Money well spent, friends.
When you’re preparing dinner tonight, make extra. Teach your kids how to make cookies next week and bag them up. Then take that little bit of extra and deliver it to your neighbor. Or drop it off with that older gentleman from church. Most of us have a little extra. Most of us have the ability to bless others. Don’t let Voldemort scare you into thinking that there’s nothing we can do. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face and do something worth telling your grandkids about.
Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.