So many stories and blog posts have been swirling in my brain. Covid vaccinations. Selling my home. Isolation and loneliness. Post-Covid life. As I sit here with my laptop, I’m watching my cat, Nermal, fight her sleep. Every time her eyelids shut, they quickly pop open and she sees me watching her. I whisper, “It’s ok. Go to sleep. Rest, Nermal.” She tucks her little paws under her belly and closes her eyes. Then, alas, I see her wide-eyed again. When you think about it, she’s using her strength and determination to stay awake. It may be from fear of being vulnerable, it may be from not wanting to miss out on the action around her, but it does, in a way, come from her strength.

I too have been digging deep into my core for strength these days. It’s been tough, a I’ve experienced some major feelings of loneliness and isolation these past few weeks as I move from temporary home to temporary home as I work to sell my condo. Listen, I intellectually know I’m not alone. I have Ted, my parents and family, his parents and family, friends….but physically, I’m alone. Ted’s coworker was exposed to Covid, so he’s treading lightly until he gets the green light. My parents and I are all in the process of being vaccinated – each have had 1 shot, so after our 2nd, we’ll gather. Ted’s folks are in FL. And my friends have their own lives to live and their own families to handle right now. So, it is me and Nermal.

Over the last few weeks my friends lent me their ski condo in New Hampshire, and for a weekend, it is perfect – quaint, comfortable, and in the middle of the White Mountains. But for an extrovert like myself, it got very lonely, very quickly. When the heat stopped working, it provided an opportunity for me to head home. But home doesn’t feel like home anymore. It was professionally staged and it contains new items that aren’t my style and aren’t mine. My stuff is crammed into closets, drawers, and boxes in the basement. I’m living out of my big blue suitcase right now and dragging trash bags full of Nermal’s things – litterbox, scratching chair, food, toys, etc to hotels. We’re now staying in downtown Boston at a fancy hotel, only affordable to me because of Covid-19 at less than $100 a night (excluding cat fees, parking, food etc). Trust me, it adds up quickly! This weekend there are 3 open houses so I hope & pray we get some decent offers.

Last night, I left Nermal in the safety of my hotel room and took a walk to Newbury Street in Boston to get some takeout. As I walked down the street, I had flashbacks pop up: my internship at the Miller Block Gallery, the Trident Cafe & Book Store, changing storefronts, and delicious brunches at Stephanie’s. Many stores were closed due to Covid, and I felt a sense of sadness to think about what will happen when life opens up again. I commented to the front desk employee that I felt a sadness about what our post-Covid world may look like. She clapped back and said she refused to believe that things won’t pick up – “they just have to!” she said, and I promised her I’d come down the next morning (today) with a more positive outlook. I had to do it for her. I knew I could find that strength to help a fellow person out!

My therapist pointed something out to me this week. She reminded me that I’ve been through tougher things than this and that it will all be ok. We also agreed that I need to take “bite sized” pieces of life right now to get through. So, right now, we’re focused on getting through Monday, when I can return home. After we’re all done with vax, I’m going to NJ and mom & I will go wedding dress shopping together. We need to find these moments of joy these days.

While I wrote this blog post, Nermal heard a sound in the hallway of the hotel and she squeezed herself into the tiny front section of the king-sized bed under the headboard. And she just popped out, bravely. She is strong, and so am I!

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