Monday, September 20, 2021

The Pace Is Unrelenting

I remember looking up corporate policy at one job after a relative died and noting that they had codified how much time off each death earned. Like three days for a parent or child, two for a grandparent, one for aunts, uncles, and so on. Everything else counted as regular vacation time. 
I mention this not so much to fault the HR people who were tasked with figuring this out. But we are trained early and often to believe grief has a measurable timeframe, and after that, any failures to return to normal are a personal problem. 
Obviously as I count up the personal griefs I am working through, this is more noticeable. But with this many losses, you have to be just incredibly lucky to be untouched. And if you remain in that privileged place it feels odd. It felt odd for me to live through both September 11th in DC, and the Beltway Sniper shootings the following year and feel mostly untouched. (I was also grieving my dad, so my sense of okay was likely profoundly off kilter.) 
We are all experiencing pandemic related change, and yet we are now supposed to be experienced pandemic people, and therefore should need no more time for grief, worry, or concern. So what if literally nothing is back to normal yet, we are expected to carry on. And I recognize that no one reading this is surprised, but sometimes it feels important to keep mentioning, this is not normal. It is okay to feel sad, mad, tired or some variation thereof. 
And yes, I realize I say all this after wrapping a work week, followed by volunteering/attending a virtual convention, so if you even doubt these posts are me talking to myself as much as anyone else, it definitely is.