I Got This

Sometime last weekend Corona arrived in southwestern Vermont. The place where nothing ever happens, suddenly had something happen that’s happening everywhere.

Our school and most of the schools around here are taking common sense precautions and outlining new policies. There is talk of some people being quarantined as a precaution. And, even though most of the strategies still center around good old-fashioned soap and water, our conversations at home have included a few inquiries into whether or not we could handle a quarantine of the type being instituted in the Lombardy region of Italy right now.

But the Green Mountain prepper in me isn’t thinking about how much TP is left in that giant skid we bought before the winter or if we’re running low on canned soup or firewood. stocking up for tough times – weeklong power outages, blizzards, occasionally hurricanes, and, more frequently, economic downturn‘s – is a way of life for most people in rural areas like ours.

For most of the last twenty years since we moved to Vermont, I’ve had a veggie garden big enough to fill my freezer and keep me out of trouble for most of the summer. The last few summers it’s languished as I worked toward my teaching certificate. The first warm sun this weekend, however, got me mentally mapping paths and raised beds in the overgrown plot next to the house.

So, as spring and bad news, all I could think was, I got this.

I got my gym for the summer.

I got our backup grocery store.

I got my broken foot physical therapy.

But, most of all, knowing there is some dirt and sweat in my near future, I’ll get the calming kind of mental health therapy that usually ends up being the most important element in getting through any crisis.

How are you taking care of your mental health in this era of endless crises?

3 thoughts on “I Got This”

  1. As I drove over Woodford Mountain and down Rt 8 to Readsboro yesterday I realized that I wasn’t experiencing the anxiety that this route typically elicits from me since finishing up chemo and radiation for my stage 3 ovarian cancer. I wondered if, after 20 years I’d finally reached a less paralyzing phase of my PTSD. This route, taken to deliver my toddler into her aunt’s care before each week-long inpatient treatment, was no longer the road to full blown anxiety attacks!
    I was on the way to my sister’s to pick up some serious face masks. She is a public health nurse and knows my husband’s medication leaves him completely immunodeficient.
    I sped along, bumping over frost heaves and leaning into the S curves, enjoying the ride like a teenager with a newly minted license. Global pandemic? I’ve got this. The irony was not lost.
    Like you, I consider gardening a form of therapy. I am a bit obsessive about harvesting and putting by, but weeding is my zen practice. I have a freezer and pantry full of the wealth of my garden. I’m confident that we’ll eat well if put into a 2 week quarantine. My COVID-19 prep has been limited to stocking up on dairy products and refilling my antidepressant prescription. And face masks.
    I’m also braced for the possibility that my anxiety will resurface once this crisis no longer requires me to soldier through.


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