Tuesdays, Fridays, Mondays

small half-opened white flowers in a green backdrop of grass

By: Claire Meaney, Climbing Wall Coordinator


          I am writing this on a Tuesday.


          I think it’s a Tuesday. It could honestly be a Monday or a Friday and I’d be none the wiser. Definitely not a Thursday, though. Thursday is Meeting Day, and easy to keep track of as the rest of the week seems to blend.


          That blend, though, is so disorienting. It makes me feel anxious, like I’m doing something wrong despite still working my way through Lead Climbing instructional scripts and compiling online resources for stress management for our Rec Resources page. I feel a little bit like I’ve been shoved sideways off of a tight-rope, or a climbing wall, I suppose. It’s not an uncommon feeling nowadays. Zoom calls with friends and family and coworkers are the norm now, and if there’s one constant thread in all of the conversations I’ve had, it’s that people are feeling confused and off balance, and guess what? That’s okay. It’s okay to feel discomfited by how your normal routine has been temporarily tossed aside. It’s okay to feel grief over the loss of physical contact with people that matter to you. It’s okay to be uncertain if it’s a Tuesday or a Monday or a Friday for a while.


          I’ve checked my calendar three times already. It was a Tuesday, even now that it is a Friday as I’m continuing to write and edit because I got side-tracked with another project midway through this piece.


          It’s easy to slip into the routine of feeling overwhelmed and doubling-down that somehow you’re doing something wrong by not coping ‘correctly,’ but there is no easy correct answer in learning how to cope with isolation and the stress of everything happening right now. I’m learning to be a little kinder to myself every week, be that through dancing in my room until I’m breathless or taking time to work on some writing projects I’ve been meaning to get to for months or spending time laughing with my mom while we try to dye my hair blue.


          Sometimes being a little kinder to myself means putting down the reflection on a Friday that I started on a Tuesday, and picking it back up on a Monday when my thoughts feel a little more at ease and in order.


          It comes down to this: I miss my climbing wall, and all that comes with it. I miss the climbs, and showing new people that they can get to the top of the wall, and planning out special events and competitions. I miss the buzz of a building alive with people all going about their lives and taking steps into their futures. I miss my staff most of all, challenging each other to do pull-ups in the overhang, and holding discussions about media strategy and Spanish and philosophy in the corner, and yelling loud enough as they fall off of a climb that everyone waiting in line at Jamba Juice turns to look.


          I miss Temple, but right now the best thing I can do for Temple and all of the wonderful people that make the university such a bright and engaging place is stay home.


          So for now, I’ll keep looking forward to when we here at Campus Rec can welcome you back to North Broad Street with open arms, and also gyms. There will be a day sometime in the not so distant future when I will be able to walk into the climbing wall and get tossed about in the sea of our community again, overwhelmed and overwrought and overjoyed to be home. Until then, I’ll keep writing, and I’ll keep dancing, and I’ll keep calling people on Zoom when the days seem to blend.


          I am writing this on a Tuesday, but it’s okay if it’s a Friday too.