Pandemic Pajama Party

May 19, 2020 by

Pandemic Pajama Party

How are things in your world during this COVID-19 pandemic? Are you still on lockdown, or have the restrictions been lifted? In my little corner of the world, none of my family or friends, none of the people I know, have been sick with the virus. For that alone, I’m very grateful. I’m also thankful for many other things, including having this quiet time to work on my edits to SISTERS (my new book, due out later this year), and for long lazy afternoons spent reading my Kindle. For the most part, these past several months sheltering in place have been uneventful. But there’s one thing about this pandemic which has left me feeling isolated and alone. And the reason is probably different than you think.

 

Since the pandemic started, I’ve attended 3-5 Zoom meetings per week. At most of them, someone invariably mentions how, while they hate being stuck at home, they DO enjoy lazing around the house. No need to dress up, wear a bra, do their hair. Then another woman shares how great it is being able to wear pajamas all day, which always gets a rousing laugh  and a chorus of “Me, too!”. Then they start to laugh and joke, trying to remember the last time they wore lipstick, mascara, etc., trading hints about the best places to shop for sweatpants. The longer it goes on, the quieter I get, and the worse I feel about myself. Why? Because I want to be like all the other women in the Zoom room… but I’m not. It feels as if the entire world is caught up in one big pajama party… except for me. Yes, I was invited, but my brain won’t let me go.

 

Please don’t get me wrong… I am not judging anyone. If people choose to wear pajamas all day while working from home, more power to them. This shelter-in-place is difficult for everyone. Everyone has their own ways of coping. But here’s my truth: I have no inner peace, and there’s no living with myself if I allow myself to lounge around in pajamas all day. I grew up fat, remember? I was a fat baby, a fat kid, a fat woman (tipping the scale at 300 lbs. in high school). I wrote a book about being fat. And even during this pandemic, when the entire world has come to a halt, my inner voice continues its incessant nagging. The only way I know how to shut it up is to embrace my regular routine, and do the things I’ve always done that I know help me stay focused and sane.

 

Even in this pandemic, I’m still up, dressed in clean clothes, and at my computer by 8:00 am every day. I brush and floss my teeth, and I still wear make-up (though sometimes I forget my lipstick). I still use my favorite perfume. Why do I do all this while I’m stuck at home and no one will see me? Because I see myself.  In these sixty-four years, I’ve come to know myself pretty well.  I’m all too aware that fat girl I grew up with is lurking somewhere right outside my window. She’s hoping to find it unlocked so she can climb back inside and wreak devastation. But I want nothing to do with her. And so, I’m willing to do what I have to do, and I embrace the structure of a daily routine. It helps me set my mind and my heart on the right path, and gives me a detour around that fat girl, wherever she is.

 

How are you coping with things in your world? If you’re wearing pajamas while you’re reading this, I envy you. Unless it’s time for bed. In that case, I’m probably wearing my pajamas, too.

2 Comments

  1. Janine Kimberley

    Kathleen, I feel the same! Even working from home I shower, dress and put on a face as if I was going to work as normal. Yes, it then puts my mind in work mode. Zoom and Teams meetings I knew nothing about before the pandemic struck, but now that’s a work day task! Being at home has allowed me to pursue new initiatives that I wouldn’t have had time otherwise if I’d been working in the branch. Now I’m working one day from home and two days on skeleton crew at the library where we are mailing out books to our patrons as we are unable to open yet. It’s busy and exciting too. I wonder what the new normal will be in the future?

    • Janine, I miss our library very much! It’s my favorite place in town! And such a beautiful facility… come visit! I’ll give you a tour! Meanwhile, our library still has no official plans to reopen (or if they do, the date is not yet for public knowledge). They’re talking of ‘drive-by pick-up’, and then gradually reopening, seeing how the numbers of patrons can be handled. Our community has had very few cases of the virus (currently at 14; meanwhile, it could be higher, but they have not tested – not sure). Our little area of the world (beautiful Northern Michigan) has been on mandated lockdown since mid-March, and the shelter-in-place order was just lifted for us, as of yesterday. However, that does not include much of the State of Michigan, and as we are now in a holiday weekend (Memorial Day, which normally starts off the summer resort season), our community is now flooded with visitors from downstate (Detroit), plus outlying areas (such as Chicago and cities in Ohio). Many local residents are very concerned, especially since Detroit is a metro area that is still on lockdown because of so many cases and most of our state’s deaths. The next four weeks will be telling. xxoo

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