“Hope you’re doing alright?” she says, and it’s only then that I realize how long it’s been since we talked.
She’s not pressuring me. She’s not saying that I’m a bad friend. But I get that pit in my stomach that lets me know that I’m worried I am.
Because I’ve been really quiet lately. I usually post a lot on social media, but I haven’t been doing it nearly as much. Haven’t been reaching out and talking to people lately.
“Yeah, I’m okay,” I reply. “Just very low energy.”
I fill her in on the boring details she missed. It’s not very glamorous. I’m chopping up vegetables and freezing them because I don’t trust myself to have the energy to do it when I’m cooking dinner but want to make sure they don’t go bad before I can use them. Dealing with a bunch of vet visits because my two elderly cats aren’t getting any younger.
Finally, I address what feels like the elephant in the room — to me at least — how quiet I’ve been. How unlike myself. “I’ve been quiet because I’ve just kinda tired and I think just… catching up on everything?” The pandemic is dragging on of course. And we just had blackouts a few weeks ago in Texas that caused a lot of chaos.
I’m sure it doesn’t help that an awful lot of people are tired and mean right now. I can’t count how many times a friend who is normally pretty chill has snapped at me or someone else just because this past year has been so stressful.
I tell my friend I know that chopping up vegetables and meal planning is totally boring. “But it helps me,” I add. And laugh.
“It’s weird because the problem is that I never go anywhere, right? So stuff doesn’t change? And yet… I got SUPER UPSET when my routine changed and things got so weird. I feel like the pandemic combines the worst parts of boredom and chaos. It’s not either entirely. And yet it’s both.”
As we move to talking about something else, I realize I don’t have much to say. I don’t have much of a story to tell her.
I find myself wishing I could be more entertaining or uplifting. But that’s not me today.
And at least we talked.