Wednesday, October 7, 2020's that leaving Sweden right before the Pandemic feeling for ya?

When we moved from Sweden to USA in summer 2019, we calculated out loud it would be better to be in Sweden "if something really serious happens". Well HELLO 2020! We were just getting in the groove of our new life in Florida when the pandemic hit. Yes, we feel less secure in USA without the social safety net of Sweden. Our income from my husbands job is secure, but we are so much more vulnerable in the US. And healthcare is so expensive. Even with "the good insurance" covid would be a financial disaster if nothing else if we really needed care. But all in all, we are still glad to be in USA. I do better in my own language, and own culture. The isolation we are experiencing mirrors what we experienced in Sweden, and we are socially starved, but we have also become accustomed to life amongst ourselves, with out regularly seeing many others from our time in Sweden. So, while we were really ready for a more social existence, I find that doing something really emotionally hard like navigating a pandemic is something I prefer to do in my own country, even if it is less secure in many ways. The pandemic has forced us into circumstances we would rather not be in, but at least I can fully understand and engage with the choices we have. We had an array of options of how to approach school, and I am glad we have choices that allowed us to stay with the schools the kids were in last year but learn remotely. So we are home, hunkered down, kinda lonely, but living in the sunshine, in english. It is autumn and I got a bit of a flash back to Autumn in Sweden when (not) back to school shopping with my daughter in an H&M, which is a Swedish store, in a mall, that made me feel like we could have been back in Sweden. I got that feeling of what it is like to expect the cold and darkness to come, and felt grateful to realize that is not what October means in Florida. In Florida, the hard months are June, July, and August, when it gets SO.HOT.  September is a bit of a shift, and October is not the time to hunker down, but the beginning of the good part of the year, and comes with a feeling of release. Soon, we can open the windows. Soon, my walks in the forest by the river will be less sweaty, with fewer mosquitoes. Bike riding will be fun again. We can have fire pits nights, and camping. Soon, the local farm stand will be back with bouquets of fresh grown lettuce and kale, strawberries will be ready to pick,  and oranges, and grapefruits will not be far behind. So it feels good to be looking forward to fall in Florida with blue skies and milder temperatures, in spite of the fact that we are covid capital of the south and in the middle of a total political shit show. Cause at least the sun is shining, and I can follow the story, and make small talk through my mask. Halloween's coming, and there will still be socially distanced trick or treating in our neighborhood, Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Pancakes and Muffin mixes are making it smell like fall, and it's not long before the Thanksgiving-Christmas month, which should be a peaceful quiet one thanks to the virus. And... the first of advent our puppers will turn one year old! It was the right year to get The Family Dog. We made that decision pre-pandemic, and the puppy has proved proved to be a wonderful distraction and good fun for the kids during all this time at home. So, while I have to say we had some suffering and grieving to do to reckon with pandemic living, we're doing all right, thanks.

No comments: