Back Home Again in Indiana
I don’t know about you, but I spent most of 2020 drowning in a sea of failure. While other people learned new tricks and built new businesses, I spent my days doing the bare minimum and my nights crying in the closet because even the bare minimum was too much. I yelled at Boogs a lot and felt terrible about it. I yelled at Jesse a lot and felt terrible about it. I yelled at myself a lot and felt terrible about it. And you can tell how terrible I felt by the pile of presents under the tree right now, like that will magically erase the terribleness of the last 9 months.
I know this is the part where you expect me to say I’m putting 2020 behind me and looking forward to a better 2021, but that part’s not coming. I realize there’s now some light at the end of the tunnel with this vaccine, but I’m operating at new levels of exhaustion that a vaccine can’t fix. . .and I know I’m not alone.
There’s been a lot of talk about how hard this pandemic has been on the moms, and I’m not arguing with that because I’ve been living that. But it hasn’t been easy on the dads either. While we’re home trying to do our full time jobs while wrangling kids – and some of us tackling elearning on top of that – they’re at work worried about what they’re bringing home to their family. And then when they get home, they’re walking in the door to overwhelmed, beyond burned out, frazzled wives who don’t want to hear about their day (or, if we’re being honest, anything else they have to say) so much as want to hear silence for at least 3 months.
Part of why all we want is silence is because the last 9 months have been filled with with whining and tantrums which is partially because our children are 5 and that’s what they do, but also because this pandemic has been hard on them, too. There were no seemingly weekly adventures to the Children’s Museum, the zoo, Conner Prairie, or anywhere else this year. At some point this summer most of us caved and let them loose at a playground, but for the most part YouTube was their only real friend and the fire pit was their only real adventure.
And so we arrive in December, 9 months after the world shut down, with an embarrassingly large pile of presents under the tree, telling ourselves that if we can’t be the wife/mom/general human they deserve us to be, at least they can have 99% of their wish list.
As for our own wish list, all we really want is for 2021 to have our life raft.