Winter Fatigue

(This was written in response to a NYT In Her Words piece entitled “If Winter Feels Extra Hard This Year, You’re Not Alone”)

School shouldn’t be this hard. A teacher with 20 plus years of experience shouldn’t feel as though she is at the beginning of her career…scrambling to meet due dates, stressing over ungraded work, searching for things to engage students.

At home I have lost all control. My once fairly clean house is a mess. I look at the pile of dirty clothes on my bedroom floor–something that was absolute taboo in my old life (BC, Before Covid) and I simply step over it and crawl into bed. There was a time when I couldn’t even think of relaxing knowing there was laundry on the floor. The worst part isn’t that it’s there, it’s knowing that I care less and less.

There are days where I don’t even know who I am. Things I once loved have become a chore–reading and writing, things that require concentration– and some nights I find myself watching endless hours of TV-another thing that was taboo in my old life. 

I was relieved after reading this article. Relieved to know I am not alone…this “wintering “is happening all over. We are just a few  weeks away from our initial lockdown–a year–a full calendar year will be passing–365 groundhog days that should feel like an eternity but instead left us in the blink of an eye. 

What would have been in those days had the pandemic not occurred? What is the real and actual toll? My uncle died last week.  His daughter wrote how she was robbed of the last year, her last year to spend time with him,  the last year for his grandchildren to know him. I can’t help but wonder how many more casualties exist in addition to the horrific loss of life and livelihoods that we see on the news each day?

I know there’s a life lesson in all of this. But as the song says, hindsight is foresight that happens too late, so I don’t know yet what that lesson is. I am sure it has something to do with letting go of some things, like control, and holding on to others, those things that matter. All I know right now is that I am truly “wrung out,” depleted, empty. I’ll let you know when I have the energy to figure it out. 

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