When this pandemic got real and heavy social distancing measures were put in place, I was having flashbacks of how life was after my father suddenly passed away. I felt like the world stopped (in this case, it literally did) and I wanted to take a moment to just reprioritize and rethink what life was all about. As part of this, I was driven toward being more productive: advancing my nutrition private practice at an exponential rate as I was now working three hours a day for my virtual preschool teacher role as opposed to eight hours in person. Then there came the realization that I should focus more efforts on seeking out diabetes educator positions. I dove into that pursuit a month ago and recently completed a two-week string of interviews.
This sort of focus and productivity reminds me of how I felt my senior year in college. My father had just edited my petition to graduate college in three years so I could begin nutrition school, and then, only a couple weeks later, he passed away suddenly. Some suggested that I take the semester off to cope, but graduating early and beginning graduate work in nutrition was a decision I had made on the heels of years of inspiration from my father, a nutrition- and fitness-enthusiast.
As with after my father’s death, now I am pushing myself to do more instead of less during this pandemic. And maybe that is part of my response to the shock of the pandemic and how it has changed life as we know it—much like it was part of my reaction to the sudden passing of my father. When my dad died I was already a hard worker, but I became even more energized to do well. I worked hard and I ran hard. I ran on the treadmill in the gym faster and I ran on the treadmill of life faster too!
I remember reading an article about grief a few years after my father passed away that said there is no right or wrong response to the death of a loved one. So too, there is no right or wrong response to a pandemic, the first one our world has seen in 100 years.