Unprecedented, Ubiquitous Understatement

The concept of understatement. A vehicle, sinking into many feet of water that says, “Looks like it rained a bit last night.

It was a dark and stormy night…oh wait, that’s not what I wanted to say! These are dark and stormy times though. As many of us hunker down in our homes, deciding which type of lounge wear we are going to sport today, countless others are still leaving their homes and doing the work that is keeping our country running (to a certain extent). I am too mentally exhausted to contemplate politics right now. I know many of us are. It’s so tiresome listening to everyone bicker over everything. So, for now, I try to contemplate this “new normal”.

Two people in my home are working in the food distribution industry. As a person with several underlying health conditions, frankly, it terrifies me. I could spend most of my day worrying about every surface touched, every item worn and how this insidious horror could make its way into my lungs. If I get it, it won’t be because I’m wandering around food stores or shopping. I’m home for now, save for the daily walk or drive to pick up one of my family members from work. I wait in the vehicle and hand over a sanitizing wipe before I allow him in the car. At home, everything is sprayed and wiped down as well after he comes in. After that, I am sure to spray and wipe down the mail and any packages or items brought into the home. This is the “new normal”.

Huge expanse of sand with a sign that says “sand”

All one needs to do is click or scroll anywhere, and you will become instantly bombarded with warnings of doom and gloom. If this isn’t done, this will happen! If you don’t immediately do this, that will be your consequence! There is no sense in expanding upon it really, as we all know the drill after these past few months. I think, IF we are going to stay home and ride this out together, as a society, we have got to somehow moderate the ubiquitous nature of what’s around us, on a constant, droning schedule of repeats, and find a way to embrace understatement. Continuing to allow it all “in” and not retain our uniqueness and our sanity frankly, I believe will doom us. Certainly, we must remain informed, compliant with what our leaders request to keep us safe and healthy, however, we can let a little bit of understatement in.

Definition: Understatement: a form of speech which contains an expression of less strength than what would be expected

Yes, we’ve heard all about the requirements of spacing, social distancing, flattening the curve and all sorts of helpful information. Now that we’ve learned, we can understate the intensity of it all and let in a little bit of light. The sky is falling can now become enjoyment of the sun and blue skies while reading or walking (responsibly) outside. If permitted, go for a drive. A short jaunt perhaps with the windows down and some good music will refresh you. Being a sponge of worry, anxiety and incoming repetitive knowledge won’t help you. You know what you know, and except for pertinent and urgent new information that is necessary to listen to you are doing what you can.

It’s VERY easy to get upset when you read about something that shocks or upsets you about a group of people or a government response/new policy etc. While it can be difficult, doing ones best to allow it to roll off will leave you better for it all. I found out today that my child, who was at work, saw a former coworker and they hugged. I immediately melted down into worry and fear. What has this situation done to us that a simple, everyday gesture of welcome and affection becomes a cyanide pill? Yes, I overreacted, yelled and wanted to cry. He was quite upset when he realized what happened, but truthfully, at first, the thought didn’t occur that the hug could be “harmful”. How on earth could it be, right? While the row has been settled and lessons learned, I truly had to sit back and think about how upset that made me. I truly need to allow myself to be underwhelmed about a lot more things. (…and he needs to stop hugging…for now) 🙂

Keep calm and realize that somehow, someway, this is all going to be okay

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