When WordPress did away with their daily writing prompts in May of 2018, I was very sad as were many of my fellow bloggers. I started writing in 2016 as a way to process my days of early recovery from alcoholism and without it, I might still be drinking today. Pouring out my experience here, helped get me through a very hard time. But after a few months when I was starting to feel better and wanted to write about other things, the daily prompt was great inspiration. It helped me think about things I hadn’t thought of in years whether it was happy, sad, weird or just a string of a memory. It enabled me to discover other writers too, as the the post for the prompt catalogued all those who participated.
And then at the end of March, it was announced the prompt was being resurrected, though not in it’s original form and it was only going to run the month of April. A ping of joy lifted me in the moment I read this and I was going to commit to writing using the prompt daily. So here we are on day fourteen with book as a prompt and it’s the first time I’ve even checked in for it and I’m wondering why that is. Sure, life threw us a curveball and navigating that has been a near full time job from figuring out how dangerous the virus is, to becoming a “homeschooling” mom, to figuring out how to live all day, every day with the ones I love the most and to learn to live without seeing other essential people in my life like family and friends and co-workers.
There is also the empathy and grief for people I don’t even know. I constantly worry about the loved ones of the people I see in the obituary pages who are unable to properly memorialize their loved ones. The healthcare professionals who don’t have a choice about staying at home and their families who are dealing with this on another level. There are the essential workers who don’t make enough money to be put into harms way. There is the loss of a piece of my faith during Lent, a pivotal season in the Christian church when I could no longer go to work or mass but I have extreme gratitude for the team who decided to take mass to YouTube when we couldn’t go to there.
I’ve been trying to live in gratitude these days for all the many good things still happening in my life. Spending so much time with family is a double edged sword but I’m clinging to the sweetness of eating our daily meals together which prior to this was probably a bi-weekly occurrence. I’m finding new ways to keep in touch with loved ones and friends and my fellowship people via Zoom and FaceTime. The first time I logged into an online AA meeting was like getting a virtual hug.
But this prompt business is supposed to be about writing to keep us otherwise occupied while the world around us seems to have stood still. The prompt asks – what book has changed your life? among other questions and I didn’t adhere to any of their ideas. To be honest, reading has been harder for me right now, a self described book-lover who is usually reading several novels at once. With literally all the time in the world, this should be a time to dive deep into books, right? Tell me how it’s going for you.