one year later (itty bitty thoughts)

one year later (itty bitty thoughts)

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If there is anything I’ve learned in the last year,

it’s that we’re all just punting though.

And those two lines above are dangerous.

Because someone will take it and make it political.

But this isn’t about politics, this is about people.

Just people.

This isn’t what’s on your tv or the website or the social media you’re doom scrolling.

This is about you locked in the bathroom, staring in the mirror.

This is you alone in bed, staring at the ceiling.

This is you, sitting at the dinner table, staring at the people you live with

Not knowing what to say about anything anymore because you don’t have the answers.

You thought you did

A year ago.

But you didn’t and you don’t.

Out there, it’s easier to talk about facts and figures and curves and statistics.

It’s easy to talk about whatever makes a headline.

But this is about you, alone with yourself, after the lights go out, and you stare into nothing.

And you don’t know what’s next.

Out there, it’s easier to talk about small things

The weather

Spring is coming

It’s wet it’s cold it’s sunny there is mud

But this is about you, alone in the quiet.

We joke that we’re tired of being part of a historical event.

Which makes me wonder about the past million historical events

And the things that weren’t reported past the facts and figures and curves and statistics.

Past the headlines and deep into people.

What really happened in people’s homes? In their lives?

In their souls when they were alone?

What happens when angry is replaced with tired?

This is what happens.


If there is anything I’ve learned in the past year, it’s that 

we don’t know how to parent through a pandemic

and we don’t know how to love through a pandemic

and we don’t know how to be a human through a pandemic.

And everyone is looking for someone else to show us the way.

But no one knows how to get there.

Or where we’re supposed to be headed.

To normal?

What the hell even is that?

Some people can’t wait to be out and about with others again,

And other people aren’t sure they will remember how.

(that’s not a joke)

(why do people think it’s a joke?)

This is what it’s like past the headlines.

This is what it’s like when you dig past politics into people.

This is what it’s like when you’re alone with yourself.

The actual pandemic?

It’s playing out in our heads.

 — Amy Dingmann, 3-7-21

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4 thoughts on “one year later (itty bitty thoughts)”

  • And tired doesn’t begin to describe the feeling of how it feels to keep up the “we’re all in this together” smile day after mind-numbing day. We’re not and we never were…in this together. The platitudes are made of tin. How far does one need to be worn down…hiding the true feelings behind the mask because it’s such a minor thing to do for everyone’s “good”. Only it isn’t good. It’s suffocating and exterminating but then I must not care for anyone besides myself? The virus has run its course just like all viruses do and yet and yet…

  • I’ve learned in the past year that we can’t control what happens “out there” – outside of our house…but we can to an extent control what happens inside our homes. And I have tried to make sure that everything is as close to “normal” as it can be. Even when Christmas with our adult children had to be postponed because we were ill with COVID, we still celebrated here with the younger ones that were quarantining with us…. just to keep it normal.
    Living in a small town, our community has tried to keep life as close to normal as possible. In the beginning of the pandemic, no one knew what to expect and was afraid to venture outside of our homes….but as the months progressed things have slowly changed. During the dark months of the pandemic, some in our community tried to find ways to connect with each other. One example – the local cafe, even while struggling to keep the doors open, started offering free Saturday morning pancakes to all the local children which could be picked up at the door and enjoyed at home. When the schools opened back up in August, they continued to offer free pancakes one Saturday a month.
    I think there is now a sense of gratitude for the little things….like being able to participate in community sports, or being able to go to the library, or just being able to go to dinner with friends… wasn’t too long ago that all these things were not available. No life is not like it once was, but I am so thankful for what we do have….

  • Thanks Amy, spot on as always!
    I think the uncertainty is the hard thing for most people, I know it is for me. The ‘how will this affect my job/the economy/my relationships/my community/my children’s education/my health” etc. etc. Humans, by and large, do not thrive on uncertainty. One thing I have done a lot of this past year is think about how many people in the world live with uncertainty their whole lives… The homeless, the war refugees, the migrants risking everything to escape violence and death threats in their home countries, the list goes on. People for whom a vaccination which can eventually solve their problems doesn’t exist. Oddly, these thoughts sometimes give me strength when I need it, and they always fill me with gratitude for everything I have despite all the uncertainty.

  • This life I lead right now, is the same that I have lived since I broke my back in 1997. Void of people. At home. Alone ( except for critters) until the other half walks through the door. I struggled for so many years. I don’t anymore. I feel bad for the many that are in this for the first (and they hope last) time. This will be my life until I kick it. It is simple. It can be fulfilling- you just have to work at it. Hang in there for those of you that are stressed by living this way. Take this time to really learn about yourself- who you are, what you want, want you don’t want in life. Relative normal will return- don’t waste this opportunity to grow into who you want to be.

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