Hello, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.
It’s getting easier to wake up early again it the mornings, though my will power is still unreliable and my energy levels are unpredictable. I’m not sure if it’s my body or my mind that is the problem, which I suppose is just me trying to figure out whether the failing is my fault or not. I’m leaning toward not, but it’s still frustrating not only to be stuck inside but to be so lethargic too.
I managed to get up early today, but I only moved to the couch and laid down and then back to the bed to sleep again. There are actual things I have to do today, so I had to force myself up after a while. I reminded myself that not all is bad and that the day is not lost. The sun is out, and the weather promises warmth and the smell of nature coming back to life all around.
Here, please, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. I’m throwing the curtains wide and opening all the windows. I have a fresh batch of blond roast brewed from the French press and silky smooth vanilla oat milk to add a touch of sweet flavor. Let’s talk about last week.
“There is nothing like being left alone again, to walk peacefully with oneself in the woods. To boil one’s coffee and fill one’s pipe, and to think idly and slowly as one does it.”
― Knut Hamsum
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week like many before has been a hard one. Many of us are on lock down, stuck indoors and doing our best to stay well and sane.
I’ve hardly left the house at all these past weeks and though I’m coping the very best I can, but each day is an emotional roller coaster. One day I will be just fine bearing the bad news and the uncertainty admirably, and other days I feel like I am suffocating under my fear and anxiety. The bad days are growing more frequent as the news grows more dire, the warnings more insistent, and the long-term trajectory pushed further and further out.
This week it was announced that school districts all over the city will complete the remainder of the year remotely. For the people like me who work in transportation or other departments deemed nonessential to classroom to classroom learning that means an “extended stay-cation” as my boss put it in the email. The district has promised to pay all employees until the end of the school year, but there is some debate about when that is.
I know I’m still one of the lucky ones and at the very least I have months to go before I really need to worry, but I am planning ahead now. Luckily with the lock down comes reduced spending.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that another big change came this week when the CDC and the Governor announced recommendations that everyone who ventures out to grocery stores or anywhere that social distancing becomes difficult should wear a cloth mask or covering over their nose and mouth. Yesterday we had to run to the home improvement store and today I picked up some provisions for my mom to celebrate her birthday on her own.
Both times we wore our homemade masks and both times I noticed increased anxiety while it was on. I thought I would feel better with it on, more protected and I guess but it was very much the opposite. I felt even more in danger. I couldn’t breathe and I wanted to be out of the house even less than I already had to be. We’re thinking of postponing our grocery trip for the week as long as possible as coronavirus cases are expected to peak.
We don’t have a lot of food, but we can last a little while. My hope is that later in the week we can order essentials for delivery or pickup to reduce our exposure inside of the store.
The more I think about our circumstances, the state of the world, and everything that has changed in just the last month, I feel a sort of mental vertigo. I just can’t comprehend it. Mentally, I can only manage a very shallow examination of the present situation. Any more than that and I run up against disbelief, grief, and fear. I keep thinking how fragile everything turned out to be and how close to absolute ruin we all really are.
I want to believe it won’t come to that. I want to believe we’re all in this together and that no matter what there will be people to help my wife and I should we need it. I’m also working out how we can do the same for others while we are okay, but I think right now the best thing we can do is nothing.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I miss my family and friends very much. I did not think it would be so hard when everyone is just a phone call or social media post away, but these digital half measures don’t feel anywhere near the same.
I miss going to work where, even though there was so much stress, there was also so much laughter. My friends were there and when I was sad or needed anything, they knew just how to pull me out. I’m lucky that I am not completely alone, but people need friends as much as they do their spouses. Life is good here, but we both need more.
It isn’t just that either. April is a special month for me and as hard as I am working to accept it the truth is still hard to swallow. I will be spending my birthday here alone. I still have my wife and we’ll still make it special together, but I can’t help feeling a little bummed about it.
And it isn’t just me either. My mother’s birthday is next week, and she will be celebrating alone too. I did find some way to celebrate her though. Today we picked up some food from a local brunch place that included a “mimosa kit”. We got her a cake and some flowers and a small gift. I quickly dropped it all off and left. I still have to limit contact and keep her safe. There is no way of knowing who the asymptomatic carriers are now.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that in the meantime I’m just trying to keep my mind busy and find a way to pass the days.
These last few days, and for the rest of April, I’m participating in the WordPress Daily Discover Prompts Challenge. So far I have been able to write and post something every day, though with the errands and this chat I’m not sure I will make it today. I’m giving myself permission and forgiveness to miss a day if I have to. I don’t want to stress myself over something that is meant to be a stress reliever, and I don’t want to ruin the fun either.
And it has been fun, or exciting anyway. It’s amazing how easily I was able to get back into my groove and find the ideas even if I couldn’t find the time to write them exactly as I wanted or the best I know I could if I had more than a day. But that’s okay too because I have realized something quite freeing and comforting about writing recently, you can write about the same thing more than once. I can take theses ideas and these half-cocked attempts and try again and again until I get it right.
So, this is more than just 30 days of blog posts, it’s 30 days of ideas and inspiration I am pulling out of myself, the hardest skill in writing to cultivate by far.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even in the midst of a global pandemic Sundays never seem to lose that old Sunday feel. There is still so much to do, even when there is nothing at all to do. Sundays around here are almost exclusively for cleaning. We’ve been out a few times, and it’s important to disinfect plus with so much time at home the clutter and mess seem to grow at twice the rate and if you let the mess grow to large, it can consume you. Cleaning is the most immediate cure for most woes, you know?
I hope you had a good week, but I know the reality is most of you probably didn’t. I hope you are at least well, that have been able to stay home, that you have been paid and if you haven’t, I dearly hope you can file for unemployment or that governments at all levels all over the world find a way to support you, their people.
Until next time.