Stress Eating

I waited until today to write this post because I needed to decompress a little before I wrote it. You see that picture at the top of this post? Yes, that is a medium-sized blizzard from Dairy Queen. I don’t normally deal with my stress this way, but this past week has been a stressful mess. I don’t like to talk about my “stressful” days much because I know someone else always has it worse than I do. I need to vent today. I’m sure everyone needs to vent after the way these last few weeks have gone. And I know I am not even close to being the only one in this position. I am not even close to the only person who is having to do what I have been doing. I guess I am mainly writing this to vent, yes, but also to let others know that I understand. I understand how stressful and exhausting these last few weeks have been. I was doing ok until last night. Everything started to fall this past week, and last night was the big crash.

The back story to this week, as everyone knows, is the pandemic affecting our world. I’m not sure where all of you live, but where I live, we have been under quarantine since March 16th.  Our shelter-in-place order came a week ago. Except for my one day a week at the office, I haven’t left the house since March 13th. I went out yesterday for the first time because we needed a few supplies. That wasn’t really the stressful part. I was able to get almost all of what I needed. Still no toilet paper, but that’s a different story I’m not going to get into.

As most of you know, I am a dispatcher for a trucking company. I worked from home before all this mess hit. I have worked from home for almost five years. I have also been homeschooling my children. I have one that is still in a regular school, but my oldest two have been at home this whole year. But that has changed now. I am currently homeschooling all three of them just like so many other parents are now finding themselves doing. The kicker comes in with my job. I am so thankful I still have a job! I still have full time work, and will hopefully not lose that work.

This past week has been a mess for our company. Most of our drivers are on dedicated routes within our local area. This is great for all our guys. They have lives outside of work and are able to be with their families each night. That can be a rare thing to find for a truck driver. But that all changed this week. We got word this week that over half of our regular routes have been canceled until further notice. We are now scrambling to find a way to keep these people working. These are men and women with families to provide for and homes to care for. These are real, live, breathing people with needs. These people are used to being self-sufficient and are used to working to provide the things their family needs. That changed this week, and it is tearing my heart out. Yes, I still have a job. Yes, I am stressed out because my work load has now tripled. Yes, my family is taken care of – for now. But there are people everywhere who are now wondering how they are going to buy food and pay bills. People that I am close to and have worked with for years are now struggling and there is precious little that I can do about it. Some of the drivers are now under my direct supervision because they are going over the road now. This means that their income and well-being are now directly my responsibility. If I fail, they could go hungry. Literally. Some of these guys have never been over the road before. This is going to be quite the learning experience. The plus side of this is that they will have work now. We are hoping the freight doesn’t stop moving, but that’s always a possibility too with so many people out of work. Those people that are out of work are the ones who were once making and packaging the products that my drivers load onto their trucks and transport. Life is definitely not what it used to be. I’m just praying that this is not our new normal. I miss the old normal.

I hope this doesn’t come across as whining and complaining. It is not at all intended to be that. Yes, things are stressful. They are for everyone. No one is completely immune to what is going on right now. No one will walk away from this completely untouched or un-phased. Everyone will be affected. The degree to which people are affected may be different from person to person, but our country (and world) will not be the same after this is over. It is going to be a long process to get things back on their figurative feet. Many businesses are going to go under and many people are going to be looking for work for a very long time.

But, even through the tough and terrible times that have been and will continue to be, I know God is in control and will be able to provide what we need exactly when we need it. It doesn’t change my heartbreak for everyone who is out of work right now though. I can’t even begin to understand the fear that people are dealing with right now. I understand the fear of possibly contracting a terrible illness, but I don’t fully understand the fear of being without work and unsure how to pay the bills right now. I know we’ve been unsure about money before, but I also know that things are way more complicated right now than they have been in the past. At least in my lifetime.

But, as these unnerving and uncertain times continue, I know that one thing will still be constant. God will be. He always has been and always will be. He has no beginning and no end. I know that concept is near impossible to understand, but it’s true. God is the only person who can claim that. And God is the only person who can carry my family through this mess. If you are in a position where you feel there is no way to survive the current pandemic, always know that God is there. He is ready to help you and carry you and take care of you. You just need to be willing to let Him inside and do what He needs to do. God is more than willing if you would just let Him.

I want you all to know that you aren’t alone right now. Yes, we are all quarantined and not allowed to leave our homes, but we can still be there for each other. Phones aren’t broken. Pick it up and call someone. Go one step further and pick up a pen and paper and write a personal letter to someone. We can still be in communication. We aren’t in a black hole. And God sure isn’t out of reach.

I have been and will continue to be praying for this pandemic to be over quickly so people can get back to life. But, in the meantime, let’s make good use of the extra time and maybe start a new good habit? I like the sounds of that! I hope you all have a great day today!

Talk to you soon!

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