Friday, May 22, 2020

Quarantine confession: I feel guilty that I'm happy

People are like water. Bruce Lee once said that water takes the shape of its container and when it gets transferred to another vessel, it takes the shape of that new container. It doesn't resist. It is fluid. It changes its shape but it is still water. In the same way, people should be like water. Be fluid. Adapt, change, make the best of where we are contained. And right now we're all contained in our homes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He turned 8 while in quarantine. All he wanted for his birthday was to go out of the house.

Matapos ang dalawang buwan ng quarantine and I've gone through so many emotions throughout all the fear and anxiety and incompetence of the government and the amazing feats of ordinary citizens and the private sector. What a summer! But now, right at this very moment and maybe for the last month, as I've adapted to the new normal, I've been really happy. But I'm afraid to say it because no one's supposed to be happy in such a terrible time.

It is still a terrible time. Namumutla na kami dahil condo-living kami ang our admin is super strict with us so my kids haven't felt sunlight on their skin for 68 days. My emotions have been wild every day. Especially at the start of the quarantine. Fear, anger, anxiety, worry, helplessness, despair. I lost my lucrative PR clients. Past clients aren't paying me so wala talaga akong pera. Buti na lang may work pa asawa ko. I'm angry at our government. I worry constantly about the future. And I'm afraid of the novel coronavirus and what it can do to my family.    

Then as the days wore on, it slowly dawned on me that I'm no longer worrying about certain things that made me unhappy. I don't wake at dawn anymore. I don't need to force my kids to eat their vegetables and take their vitamins. I don't worry about being a bad mom anymore just because my kids don't play outside or they spend too much time watching TV. I finally have time to fix and organize and clean. And for the first time in 5 years, I'm not gritting my teeth about tuition and enrolment, labeling and covering school books, and sewing name labels on uniforms. I'm finally NOT busy and it is glorious!

I have finally found time for self-care. Like, doing my own LED facials!

You know what's truly different for me? For the first time in the 10 years I've been a mommy, I am finally just here for my kids. Puttering about, cooking, cleaning, reading books with them, playing. Or not doing anything with them at all. Just letting them be kids without me hovering. So nice to just be me—not anxious mommy—just me. Full stop. 

I'm cooking every day, trying new recipes!

I still have a few writing projects to keep me occupied and that makes me happy and fulfilled. My husband is also happy I'm finally paying attention to him! He even joked that working-mom me seems to be happier being a housewife. I don't think I was an unhappy working mom. I love working! But I admit I am a lot less stressed and, well, this is nice. This is really nice. 

Little boy with big leaps in the art department!

I am super happy. I'm writing. I'm with my family. We're safe and healthy. So it is such a special time for me and my boys. Just cooped up in our home, safe from the world. It's almost magical. Like water, I have adapted to the shape of my new situation, flowed into my new container, and I may not like how I got into this state, but I like this cup I'm in.  

I know many people don't like the cup they're in. So I feel guilty that I'm happy. The only thing now that makes me unhappy is the certainty that not everyone feels the same. The world is changing in many scary ways. I'm still scared, too. So I'm extra grateful I have this little piece of heaven, made all the more precious because we don't know how long it will last.
 

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