Pandemic journal: Day 29

Saturday, April 11, 8:11 AM

Day 29 of voluntary social distancing, Day 26 of mandatory shelter-in-place, Day 23 of statewide shelter-in-place

Theme of the week: pleasure 

I came here to write after procrastinating — making oatmeal and playing games and checking social media — but realized my body was so stiff and tense, I needed to do some dancing first, even though I was so sad I didn’t feel like it. I danced very slowly to “Doomed” over FB Live, and two friends left hearts, and though it didn’t take away my grief it did help; it opened tight places and reminded me that the joy/pleasure/satisfaction of movement is still here for me, and that there are people who can witness and support me, in spite of the angst I’m feeling over other friends. I want to just wallow in my sadness but I’m also tired of treading the same circles over and over again. 

I’ll fill you in on yesterday even though it feels like a bother to recall anything. Preschool storytime in the morning. I listened to opera (Wagner is really not my jam) and wrote postcards to voters.

A pen, a coil of stamps, and a stack of identical postcards

Once again I had to tune Owl out… I think they’re learning that I’m unavailable and unwelcoming, and I can’t even care about that except in a distant way — distantly, I’m deeply troubled by it — because I’m just so maxed out on my own emotions and the various balls I have in the air, which I don’t really want to drop, maybe for valid reasons, maybe because I think (or know?) that if I did I’d just be so sad, or fearful, or hopeless. Shouldn’t Owl be more important than any of that, though? The trouble is, regardless, the work of playing with a 4yo still bores me, and these days I can’t ever really get away, so I’m afraid that any special time together would lead to requests for more and more. And I need so much support right now, and being bored by them (or dealing with their questions and demands) seems to sap my resources so quickly it’s hard to build them back up again. Maybe that’s really what preschool was for me — something we could do together (because of the co-op part) that gave back energy much faster than it took it away. And now we don’t have that.

Afternoon: went out in the car to mail stuff; picked up bread; dropped off a loaf to N & W along with a Lucille Clifton poem I’d written out on a piece of lavender washi paper, temporary tattoos for G, and 2 bars chocolate; came home and was sad, but really enjoyed spending some time with E; dinner (black cod w/saffron and olive oil, the wonderful bread w/butter); popcorn and the rest of Totoro. A friend had to postpone a writing date. I was going to catch a live-streamed Hamilton singalong but that was also inexplicably cancelled. I sat down to veg for a bit before writing, but never got to the writing. 

You know, I’m still sad, but I feel less consumed by it, so I guess dancing and writing helped. I’m reminded that there’s a lot else in my life I’m working on, like the blog posts and reorganizing the apartment (which I haven’t done much with, almost all week), not to mention people I can reach out to. I could write more postcards. I could figure out how to cook this ham I ordered which arrived yesterday. I could bake cookies. I’m still so, so sad but in the meantime… I’ll occupy myself and it will be good.

~6 PM

Almost always being the person who reaches out means a continuous practice of telling myself, “It’s not a rejection. It’s not a rejection. It’s not a rejection. It’s not personal. Keep trying. It’s not you. You’re doing the right thing. It’s not a rejection.” To more introverted people it may look effortless and it is, up to a point, but after a certain number of silent/curt responses (versus yeses) it feels incredibly lonely and uphill. Even as I still have to try, for my own emotional survival. 

Sending loving thoughts to the extroverts. And ambiverts (like myself).