Lost a Day – Lockdown Day 68

Well, it finally happened—I totally lost track of what day it is! I have been a day off all week, so spent all day today (Thursday) thinking it was Wednesday. And that’s why this post is late!

Not that there is much to report. I have spent the last week helping my daughter do schoolwork and helping my mother learn how to Zoom with her students. I’ve had my own technical difficulties with a work email that refuses to accept the password tech support has given me, even though they say it works fine when they try it. Thankfully I can still access it on my phone, so I am not completely cut off.

I did get a little bit of writing done last night. As I lay cuddled in bed with my daughter, I suddenly had an idea for revising a scene in my story. So as soon as I got downstairs, I jotted it down so I wouldn’t forget. Only a few paragraphs, but it’s something.

I attended a Writers Coffeehouse on Sunday, which is always fun and enlightening. How can hanging out and chatting with other writers not be fun, right? I also attended a virtual Board of Ed meeting, where I kept dropping off the call. I wonder if they’re trying to tell me something, LOL?

I am trying to teach my daughter how to cook some simple meals for herself. She has burned herself twice and is scared of the oven, but we soldier on. Apparently 7 weeks is all I can take of spending hours in the kitchen cooking every meal for her. She’s going to get some independence whether she likes it or not, because Mommy is tired!

Other than that, we are plugging along, going out for our walks. My daughter got a new scooter, so she scoots with me while I walk. We are healthy, as is our extended family, and we hope to remain that way.

I hope all of you are staying safe, taking care, and doing well.

A Surprise for Mother’s Day – Lockdown Day 61

With the COVID-19 lockdown continuing, we knew this Mother’s Day was going to be different. No going to my mom’s house, nor any chance of seeing my mother-in-law. We’d be at home, like every other day for the past 2 months.

My daughter woke me up too early to inform me that I would need to wash her blanket because she had gotten blood on it (nosebleed). Apparently that news could not wait until I woke up on my own. But it turned out to be a good thing.

My husband couldn’t fall back to sleep after she came in, so he got up. As he looked out the back window, he told me that there was a doe and fawn in our backyard! So we ran downstairs to tell my daughter and we peered out the blinds at the Mama Deer. The fawn had obviously been born not long before, as it was just trying out its legs, unsteady and straddled. And then my daughter said, “I think there’s a second one!” Sure enough, Mama gave birth to a second fawn!

A second baby!

We watched the second one progress from still in its sac to wiggling over to Mama for milk, and eventually standing up (and falling down) to join its sibling. The family stayed in the yard all day. How incredible to watch the fawns go from not able to stand to just about running by the end of the day! The first fawn was more adventurous than the other, wandering much farther from Mama. My daughter declared that the first fawn was a girl and the second a boy, although of course we have no way of knowing.

As dusk fell, Mama wandered around the yard. She stopped at our sliding glass door and peered in at us. We stared back for a very long moment, not moving, not wanting to frighten her. Then she started chewing the grass in her mouth again and wandered off. When I looked out later, the babies were still there, but Mama had gone, perhaps in search of water. When we woke up in the morning, all three had gone.

Certainly not a Mother’s Day gift I expected, but it was an amazing experience—and a welcome break in the quarantine routine.

A Bad Week – Lockdown Day 54

This week has been hard. Not sleeping well, for one thing, which always makes my anxiety worse. A dearth of good news in the news, for another. I see no light at the end of this tunnel—on the contrary, I see the tunnel being extended as states open too soon and people ignore social distancing because they are tired of it. Now instead of just fighting the virus, we are fighting each other, and it makes me sick inside.          

I get that people are impatient for this to end. I am, too. I’ve had enough of never being alone, never being off the clock. Enough of the anxiety that sits on my chest all day every day. Of the tears I can’t even shed because I am never alone to do so. Of not writing. Of eating too much. Of this dystopian Groundhog Day.

I’m ready to be done with this, but I can’t be done with this because it’s not over yet. And the uncertainty of when it will be over is part of the problem. I talked about anticipatory anxiety early on, and it’s still there. I know this will all end one day, but the when and how is unknown, and that weighs heavily on me. I’m good in an immediate emergency, but this extended emergency is grinding me down.

I don’t really know how to shake out of this, because there is no end in sight. So I will just have to endure. Stay as isolated as possible, make up with my daughter from the fight we had last night, and try to get more sleep. All I can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other, because there is no way out but through.

            Stay strong, stay home, stay healthy.

A Present Normal – Lockdown Day 47

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is May 1st. The month of March seemed to be about 3 years long, but April sped by. Perhaps this is a sign that I am adjusting to the new normal. Or perhaps I should call it the present normal, because the situation is ever-evolving, and there can be no true new normal until we have a treatment or vaccine for this virus.

In my present normal, I am able to indulge my night owl tendencies to an extent, by getting up a couple of hours later than I did when we had to be out the door for school, and therefore be able to stay up a few hours later at night. In spite of this, I really don’t feel well-rested. I am too on edge to sleep deeply and well. My anxiety is strange, in that when I am at a certain level of anxiety, I feel the urge to not sleep. As if my being awake can stave off whatever impending doom I am fretting about. I did this the night Superstorm Sandy blew through, as if my prowling the windows all night long could keep us safe. Apparently, that’s the level of stress I am currently experiencing. If I move into deeper stress, I move into the I-want-to-sleep-all-the-time escape mode. I am not there yet—and hope to avoid getting there.

Also in my present normal, I spend more time than I thought I would helping my daughter with her schoolwork. A large part of that is organizing and time management. My daughter’s organizational and time management skills are non-existent, so I spend a lot of my day putting her back on track and helping her with things she doesn’t understand. I also spend a lot of time feeding her. She eats constantly, but you’d never know it to look at her. Of course, she has grown an inch and a half in the last 4 months, so perhaps that explains the voracious appetite!

The one thing my present normal does not have is writing time. Part of it is because I am doing a lot more work with everyone home. Part of it is “pandemic brain” where a lot of the time my brain is fuzzy and it’s all I can do just to put out fires, forget about creativity. But even when my creative brain is working, I can’t seem to get to putting words on paper. I need some quiet alone time to do that, and that simply does not exist right now.

So hopefully my future present normal will have some time for that. I might have to wait until summer, when my daughter’s school will be out and I won’t have that time issue. But finding that time is my next challenge, the next step toward an inner normalcy, if not an external one.

How are all of you doing out there? How are you finding a new balance in this new world?

Back to the Routine – Lockdown Day 40

Last week was my daughter’s Spring Break, this week we are back to “school” as usual. Her school made a change over break, with 4 structured days (alternating Math and Language Arts focus) and then using Friday as a catch-up or free-choice study day, as needed. I think this will work really well.

I know some people are complaining about the amount of work their kids are getting with remote learning. Speaking only for my own experience, my daughter’s teachers have gotten it perfect. We have been remote learning since March 16th, and they have been refining as they go. Daily work takes a couple of hours, which is what experts say is right for my daughter’s age and grade. Her teacher has a GoogleMeet chat with the kids every school day so she can check in with them, answer questions, and go over new material. I am very pleased with the experience, so far.

This weekend, I successfully picked up groceries at my local store, and it went smoothly. Didn’t get all I wanted, but got all we needed, and that is good enough for me. Will try and snag another pickup time for two weeks from now.

Emotionally, I am up and down. The past few days have been good, but today has been hard. I am sad, and angry, and frightened. Sad for the people who are truly being hurt in the lockdown that our federal government refuses to help. Angry at the protestors so willing to put other people in danger for their own convenience. (“I need a haircut”? Really? Buy some scissors. “Sacrifice the Weak”? How very Christian of you. How very pro-life of you.) And frightened because the news of the virus is not good, and the premature reopening of states is going to cause a terrible second wave when we have not yet emerged from the first.

I am not in a creative place today, so doubt I will write, even though I know exactly what scene I want to work on next. Instead I will keep my family close, snuggle with my daughter when I put her to bed, be thankful we have survived another day healthy and together, and wait for the sun to rise on a new day.

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien