Lately most have us have been stuck in a form of limbo: when will we get to go back to work? When will things return to normal? Am I allowed to leave the house? Will I get shamed for going for a walk? (Seriously, the shaming needs to stop – here in BC we’re encouraged to go out for a walk as long as we’re following social distancing practices – thanks Dr. Bonnie! You’re the best!). And as I’m sure we’re all realized by now, being in a limbo is stressful and soul-sucking.
We have an additional limbo challenge in my household that has been going on for months. Since October my husband has had an opportunity dangled in front of him like a golden carrot. It’s a construction job in which he would be hired as a consultant engineer for a government ministry. It’s an amazing opportunity for him, but it means we would have to move for the length of the contract (about two years). We were told that this would probably be in June 2020, so we’ve been trying to plan and anticipate and take charge. Only…the start date keeps getting pushed back due to Covid-19. This is frustrating for a few reasons:
- On a personal note, I’d applied to have a leave from my current school district, meaning that I would stop working for them for two years but would still be guaranteed a full-time position when we come back. This will allow me to work in our new place; however, if the construction gets delayed, or even canceled, I cannot go back to work at my district since I’m on leave. I would need to find work in another council. This is stressful, since it means I don’t know where my paycheque is coming from after August. I also can’t apply to other districts right now because we don’t know where we’ll be.
- We cannot find housing or inform our current landlord of our departure. Our landlord has a clause stating we need to give three months notice before we leave – fine in most cases, but we don’t know if we’ll find out in two weeks or several months our leave date. This could mean we need to move and be out three months rent for our current place. That’s…a lot of money.
- There has been a lot of anticipation about this move, which has now stagnated and turned to frustration. We want to take this step forward, but it’s out of our control when we can take it. This means every day we are checking the website where the updates happen, and every day we get a sense of disappointment when it’s not there.
Obviously this is not a huge problem in the grand scheme of things. Even during normal times it would only elicit a sarcastic boohoo from others. But adding this on top of the additional stress that coronavirus and the general doom and gloom moods around us is having a compounding effect. We are not in a good mental space right now because everything seems outside of our control. My usual method for dealing with this – lifting very heavy things – is not an option right now so I’m trying to find workarounds that are acceptable alternatives.
This is a decision that will have big financial ramifications for us, plus be a huge step for my husband’s career, plus may be the catalyst for starting a family. There are a lot of factors that will have a ripple effect for years to come, and we just want to fucking start it! Being stuck in this limbo is exhausting and disheartening, to say the least. I’m struggling to find ways out of it, but I am trying:
- I’ve stopped looking at the update website every day. Now I try every other day, once or twice.
- I’ve stopped looking at rental housing over there. Until we have a firm date I don’t want to see the cool places that are on offer.
- I’ve started taking better care of our current place. I love our apartment, but we’re prone to being quite messy. Given all the extra time on my hands I’ve started tidying up a little bit more, which is a good distraction and quite satisfying.
- I take a minimum of an hour walk each day. Rain or shine, I’m getting out there.
- I’ve reached out to a few different school districts to ask about their teaching needs. There has been encouraging responses about work opportunities.
- My husband and I have made a conscious effort to stop talking about it all the time. It’s too much!
When you’re in a limbo it’s so easy to get stuck on the negative feelings surrounding it. I don’t actually think it’s a bad thing to feel the negativity once in a while, but it can begin to feel heavier the more days go by. We cannot remove ourselves from a limbo right now due to rather obvious reasons, but we can start to create new parameters for ourselves. The slightest bit of control that we can regain can create some forward momentum, maybe not in the direction we were expecting, but it doesn’t matter. The rush of actually being able to do something right now is very important.
Stay safe and healthy everyone.