March 6th was magical.
It was a night of glam, excitement, people, music, and talent. My friends and I laughed, hugged, posed provocatively with a statue, and thoroughly enjoyed our last night out on the town. What a way to end our elaborate nights out with coworkers and network partners, alike. Sure, we had heard that the virus was making its way to New Mexico, but we figured we would stay home for 2 weeks to a month, and then everything would go away.
It’s been two and a half months since then.
Two and a half months of essentially the same thing day in and day out. Circle time with the littles, online school for the big. Zoom call after zoom call. Work from our bedroom for my husband, and work from anywhere I can find a quiet spot for me. Will I answer the phone outside and risk a wind storm to get away from the loud screams of children, or will I hide in the closet? It depends on which spot is most easily accessible. When I commute away from the home, my wardrobe consists of professional clothing, heels, and a mask/gloves. Somehow, the magic disappeared.
I measure my weeks in Thursdays now.
There is no rhyme or reason. I’ve just noticed myself saying the same thing each Thursday. “Oh, it’s Thursday, again. The week went by fast. Maybe we can get through this one Thursday at a time.”
As I sit here writing this, I notice tomorrow is Thursday. So my week will be complete. I’m actually a bit excited and sad at the same time. Excited because I get to see people that I haven’t seen in over two months. Sad because I get to see people that I haven’t seen in over two months. My son will graduate pre-k like every other graduate of 2020. In a car, in a line. The only ounce of magic that we people could come up with to make it special.
Saturday and Sunday mornings were once filled with balloons and sunrises.
I used to eagerly wake up to a dark pink and orange horizon, only to see it melt away and the hot air balloons to light up the morning sky. I might add coffee in hand, maybe yoga, or a run. But now, I’d rather sleep in until I can’t, and my coffee is still familiar, yet lacks magic. The view of the once so beautiful sparkling lights of the city now reminds me that there are some very sick people in those very houses. Where there aren’t sick people, there are scared people. Things that once excited me now terrify me.
Our new thing to look forward to is a mountain hike every weekend, but even that is not the magic it once was.
What once was the very excitement of my existence is often met with worry. Will the kids touch something that someone else touched and then touch their nose? Will we have to awkwardly smile at someone on a trail while wearing a mask? All of the gorgeous spots I once frequented are inundated with people. People who refuse to social distance or clean up after themselves. Some even forget to put out their fires. I used to love the mountains when I encountered hikers. Now it seems that everyone goes out to the mountains to get away, hikers and non-hikers alike. But for us, we do find a little new magic, especially when we find a spot where no one else is. It’s a bit of an adventure and something we look forward to.
I remember when the magic ran out, but my kids don’t.
For me, it ran out the second week of the stay-at-home order when reality set in. There is a very dangerous enemy out there. This threat is silent and invisible. The magic ran out when safety was compromised. It was gone when my kids were ripped from their school friends and their grandparents. The magic ran out when a night out with the ladies is now as dangerous as being at war. It was gone when strangers started attacking people on Facebook and at the store. I think I forgot who I liked. I’ve unfollowed many people. Our lives have been flipped upside down and our new normals are unrecognizable. We refuse to succumb to a long-lasting depression. The magic that once was maybe will never again be. But it will get better.
For my kids, they see the magic of pool parties, bike rides, walks, mountain climbs, creek swims, and hugs. I remember when the magic ran out, but the kids remember when it began.
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