The Struggle Bus

I can’t speak for everyone, some days I can barely speak for myself, but lately everything is just an ordeal. I am getting through, but it takes a lot of pep talks. I think a lot of people are going through it now, thanks ‘Rona. What I am thankful for, is the positive vibes I get from the people I am around most of the time. It helps, a lot, to have solidly positive people nearby. Lift it up, not knock it down types.

I have noticed more people working to keep it above water lately. I think the pandemic, no matter what your personal views on it may be, is truly wearing people out. The constant news about numbers going up, numbers staying static, numbers, numbers, numbers!!! Personally, math was never my gig, so a lot of it just swims around in my head, but I know when those stats go up, it’s not so good. But the snarky exchanges I see on the social media really tell me what I need to know- people are over it. But it’s not over us yet, so we have to find a way through.

I was talking with a friend last night about what the ‘Rona has meant to me, and it’s been all about change. Since this thing got rolling, my whole thing has turned upside down, inside out, and over and around the corner. The only real constant is that my girl Zelda thinks I am holding back on food. That ain’t ever going to change, as her bottomless pit could never be filled. But it’s a struggle, having things change so much in a short time. And I miss people. The people I saw on a regular basis, my old co-workers, my friends. Things aren’t settled down enough to get the gang together and let ‘er snap!

When I did my gig at Costco, it was hard getting to know co-workers because there were so many of us there, and it was chaos all the time. After a shift, we couldn’t go to a bar to hang out and get to know each other because the bars were all closed. I could not imagine a world where you just went home after your shift, and that was it. But that was it. So it was a struggle bonding with people. In restaurants, you all just get jagged together after a shift, and then you’re friends! And that made the experience at Costco seem incomplete to me. I go in now to shop, and everyone is happy to see me, they ask if I will ever come back, and I feel the love, but it feels like it was just a blip on the radar. I had a great experience working there, but I struggle with what it was. Hard to explain it, but I am super grateful for the opportunity, but it almost doesn’t feel like it was real. Again, thanks ‘Rona.

The new job is going pretty well, and I feel more comfortable with what it is each day, but somehow that feels kind of fake too. Like it isn’t quite a real thing. My struggle there isn’t what I thought it would be, which was learning to work on the computers and about roof stuff. It’s being in a chair all day. Sitting down. The lack of physical activity is a total struggle. The other stuff is hard, but I can handle that. The support there is phenomenal, and people want me to succeed, and I feel that. But my ass is numb. I never thought I would miss running around like a goon for a 6 hour shift, but I do. Most days I make sure I get outside for a walk on my lunch hour, and that does help. I don’t know how all you office types of the work world cope. It’s been a giant adjustment for me, A work in progress.

The mental health struggle has its days. I feel good most days. But some days it’s all I can do to keep focused on the goals. My physical goals. I am doing the workouts, but my diet is a mess. I was doing pretty well pre-Rona. I would occasionally go off the rails, but this pandemic was the perfect excuse to eat like garbage. So many Dot’s pretzels. At Costco, we got to have a free piece of Pizza for our shift for about a month. The donut and pizza parade that hits weekly at the office is more than I can fight off. So after a few months of all of it, some weight has crept back on. I know these things happen, but the struggle to get back on a good track has been ridiculous. I know logically what I need to do. I am just not doing it, or at least doing it consistently. Those damn Dot’s pretzels.

So, are you riding the Struggle Bus? If things feel like they are piling up on you, please understand you are not alone. The ‘Rona is affecting all of us, even if you never get it. Trying to live a normal life right now just isn’t on the agenda. Things open up, close again, or it’s wear the mask, don’t wear the mask, get tested, don’t get tested. Stay home, go out, social distance, get a hug. Open the schools, keep the kids home, buy a bunch of Lysol, get a pallet of TP, and act like it’s all normal. It’s ok if you don’t know which end is up right now. But if you are on the Struggle Bus, and the driver won’t stop when you pull the cord to get off, ask for a little help. Talk to someone, anyone, and get your head as straight as you can. Talking with my friend last night got me a little clarity I wasn’t getting to on my own. I knew it was there, I just had to say some stuff out loud. It doesn’t mean I don’t still have my concerns or swirled feelings about the past few months, it just means I got it out there, and having a willing participant to listen was a huge bonus. I highly suggest getting some of it off your chest to a real person, not the Social Media Highway to Hell. Talk to a friend, a family member or even a stranger. Saying things out loud is a powerful therapy, it’s pulling the cord on the Struggle Bus, and this time the driver will at least slow down a little.

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