I’m up surprisingly early this morning. I enjoyed a late night with my wife watching movies and enjoying a couple glasses of wine and takeout from a favorite Indian restaurant.
We started with The Suicide Squad. It’s definitely a fun superhero movie, but there was quite a bit more gore than I had expected. For me, that made it better, others might have dissimilar tastes. Afterward we put on an old favorite: Minority Report. The premise of the film is good, but the visuals have not aged well.
This morning I’m doing light chores and catching up on new podcast episodes. I’ve got a large hot coffee on one side and an old sleeping cat on the other. I’m wedged into the corner of my big living room couch, waiting for my wife and our dog to come back from their morning walk. It’s a quiet morning. One I’ve been looking forward to all week.
There will be short errands to run soon, but I suspect that the afternoon will look a lot like this too. I’m hoping for a nap, more Indian food, more time with my wife, and more rest. I’m not talking about sleep exclusively. I’m talking about a mental break from all the stress in my life. I’m talking about real time spent decluttering my mind.
There are so many good thoughts and ideas hidden under the piles of obligations and to-dos, worries and traumas. It’s be nice to clear that all away and give space to the things that really interest me and bring me joy.
It’s a short day at work and probably the last of my stress-free workdays to come. Starting tomorrow, the expectations begin to increase and the calendar starts to fill up. I want to say that I am dreading it, but the truth is I’m kind of looking forward to it. Being busy sounds a lot like the old normal and though it wasn’t always a healthy or fair normal, it was at least comfortable.
So, today I’m enjoying the peace. I’m not feeling guilty for doing less and I’m not pushing myself to do more than the bare minimum, more than what makes me feel good, more than what makes me happy.
I went into work but, knowing I would be out tomorrow and knowing that the time when we would all be too busy to talk was fast approaching, spent much of the time simply socializing. In the time of Covid, work has come to contain all the social connections I can experience outside of my own home. Turns out it’s pretty hard to be productive when you feel both desperate to talk, to laugh, to feel a part of a community, and terrified of being forced back into isolation any day.
I’m ready not to feel so terrified. I’m ready not to worry anymore, but I wonder if this desperation to feel normal is leading me to let my guard down. I forget to socially distance. I forget to put my mask on. I forget the hand sanitizer. I forget that we are still very much in a pandemic, that there could be asymptomatic carriers around me, and that, at the very least, I have a chronic condition that would only be made worse by a Covid-19 infection.
I forget to protect myself and others and that isn’t okay. I guess I have to accept a little more loneliness and a little more disconnection. I have to accept a healthy amount of fear and precaution. I have to accept the old norms are still not back and may never be. I have to work on making these habits the new norm, the new comfortable.
There’s chaos all around me today but I’m breathing through it and, when I can, writing through it. My morning will be a little busy but not as bad as it was initially scheduled to be and by the afternoon I should be all on my own in soundless bliss. Plus, there are free tacos and a “welcome back” cake in the lounge. So, today isn’t all bad.
This afternoon I plan to take advantage of the free time and do some writing. I have a ton of essay topics scribbled on scrap paper and post-its and I would love to get them out of my backpack and into a document or blog post draft. I just need a clean hour or two to think and to type but it depends on whether my coworkers get the hint or not.