Pandemic journal: Day 18

Tuesday, March 31, 7:37 AM

Day 18 of voluntary social distancing, Day 15 of mandatory shelter-in-place, Day 12 of statewide shelter-in-place

Theme of the week: partnering 

I get about an hour and a half before I have to be on with Owl, which is wonderful, and I’ve done warmup dancing, also good. But I feel yucky this morning, a kind of emotional hangover from last night when I felt that sinking feeling (AGB calls it the “I’m in trouble” feeling) about three things at once. (This made me realize yet another way I’m generally sheltered and privileged: I don’t usually wake up feeling worry or dread.) 

First, I had a Zoom meeting where I felt put on the spot; I couldn’t tell if X really wanted to be there and was waiting for me to somehow make it meaningful. And during the call I felt they were warm and helpful and friendly to the other people, but not with me, and made an assumption that I didn’t know how to correct, and I asked them about something that turned out not to be a good opener for conversation. It activated my fear around seeming needy or asking too much, and my fear that this person doesn’t like me. 

Related, I’m a little worried that I’m not doing enough for [a different person I’m also calling X], because X said they’d contact me and hasn’t yet, and I’m afraid it’s because I’ve let them down in some way. I suppose I should just email and ask. But I fear that I’m totally in over my head, that everyone knows it and wishes it were someone else instead of me, and that on top of that I’m too insecure and overwhelmed to do a good job. (Actually I told E all of this and he pointed out that there’s nothing wrong with having less experience as long as I’m willing to learn. That was helpful. I thought I’d be able to talk this over with specific other friends, but now they’re overwhelmed by pandemic stuff, and I don’t have that source of support anymore.)

I’m so glad to have time to journal… these yucky feelings are getting so much better just by writing them out. Yucky thought #3 — about a thread in one of my online groups — doesn’t even seem horrible anymore. 

As to yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to discover CSW’s dance class felt more doable than the week before, when I’d wondered if it was too advanced for me; I was reminded that oh yeah, repetition in movement is tremendously powerful. 

E was on with Owl while I had my weekly call with R, and then stayed on while I went out and ran an errand for N. It was a little surreal being out, as it always is these days; everything’s so changed but it already feels a bit like a new normal. There were a lot more cars out than I expected. At the store, they were only letting 2 people inside at once, so I waited outside on painted lines spaced 6’ apart. It turned out I hadn’t needed to wait since I was just picking up an online order, and I’d suspected that, but the doors were closed and I didn’t feel good about barging in. The nice young employee handed me a pen to sign for the order and perhaps I looked horrified because he said, quickly, “They’re brand new pens!” I then drove to N’s feeling thoroughly contaminated by the pen and the bags of cat litter. After I dropped it off I detoured by a different store thinking I could pick up my own order, but I’d forgotten what day it was and they were closed. 

Social-distancing sign in red marker on cardboard, taped to a yellow CAUTION sign

In the mid-afternoon I got really really hungry, grumpy, and overstimulated from Owl being so chatty. We spent a little time outside which was very nice; I pruned my plants and moved them from one side of the stairs to the other, which I’ve been meaning to do for months. But Owl also kept talking at me the entire time. I had intended to make a quiche for dinner but didn’t get around to it, so I ate leftovers and fried eggs and felt much better. E and I talked while we ate, and Owl watched TV or something. 

I have to figure out more of a system for managing my to-do list now that deadlines are so nebulous (or even optional). Today, these are the things that I want to do or am thinking of doing, just off the top of my head: making and blind-baking pie crust for quiche, assembling and baking the quiche, cooking pinto beans, making oven rice, gathering all the action items from notes jotted while journaling, texting 3 people, emailing X, walking out to mail postcards, doing a walking errand with Owl in the stroller, dance class in the evening, type up more journal entries, my Meetup chat… actually, that’s more than I can manage even on a very productive day! I’ll just start by updating today’s list and then maybe I’ll cook some beans…? 

Sending loving thoughts to store workers who are managing their own anxieties about exposure while trying to be of service to customers who are doing the same (and often taking it out on the workers).