Pandemic journal: Day 4

Tuesday, March 17, St Patrick’s Day, 8:50 AM 

Day 4 of voluntary social distancing, Day 1 of mandatory shelter-in-place

Theme of the week: nourishment 

I woke up over an hour ago and knew I should start my day on my own terms before Owl got up, but I (a) didn’t want to leave the cozy bed, (b) couldn’t decide whether to cook breakfast or write in my journal, and (c) it feels futile to start anything when at any point Owl might interrupt. So instead I did what is definitely not ideal, which is I stayed in bed and played games and checked Facebook and then Owl woke up and climbed on me and made a lot of noise right next to me and I felt grumpiness and resentment take over me immediately, I felt pessimistic about the entire day, and I realized: taking charge of my mornings, to the extent that it’s possible, will be one of the practices that get me through this. So I have to get better at that.

As I said to two friends yesterday, we’re going to have so many opportunities for do-overs of rough days, to try to get it right. No sense beating ourselves up about it on day one (or even day twenty-one). This would be hard enough if we just had to stay home with our kids but here we are trying to tamp down existential panic and mortal dread (for elders if not ourselves) at the same time; it’s NOT easy and is, in fact, kind of heroic, and we should all see it as such. 

Erik had to get to work, so I’ve been foisting Owl off by saying I won’t be here for them until I’m done writing, but I think I’d better stop now. I feel the edge taken off my crankiness and am so grateful for that. I also had no idea I needed to write quite that much about yesterday; I thought just a line about my upset stomach and the shelter-in-place order would suffice. I must keep journaling, for sanity!!! 

Also this is an interesting time with all the video meetings and other virtual stuff; there’s an unprecedented and desperate demand which makes for a near-infinite patience for things being glitchy and imperfect; in other words: perfect conditions for learning and growth!

Sending loving thoughts to all the parents sheltering in place with a child, more than one child, energetic children, noisy children, children who hate being indoors, children who talk a lot, children who fight with one another!