Pandemic journal: Day 30

Sunday, April 12, 8:15 AM. Easter Sunday. 

Day 30 of voluntary social distancing, Day 27 of mandatory shelter-in-place, Day 24 of statewide shelter-in-place

Theme of the week: pleasure 

I feel horribly stiff this morning, not surprising since it’s been 2 days since my last dance class and I’ve barely moved since then and have instead spent a lot of time being sad. But I’ve signed up for my favorite yoga teacher’s live-streamed class this morning and I am very excited.

I don’t actually feel too sad this morning, which is a nice change from the previous… 2… mornings? I’m kind of astounded I’m managing to continue to put so much energy into these particular reasons for being sad… but I’m not grieving as much as I was. It probably helps that I decided yesterday morning to post a super raw and emotional (but still filtered) post on social media, and got a lot of validation, empathy, virtual hugs, stories of being in the same position, insights, reassurance, reframing. It was all really, really comforting both on the emotional level and for giving me new ways to think about what’s hurting me. 

I just had the sudden thought that I should do another self-portrait. I’m “due” for one in the sense that the last one I did was in June 2019 and I’m sure my skills and my eye have changed. I could do one of E, too, and some more sketches of Owl.

Double watercolor self-portrait of an Asian woman with very short hair and glasses
June 2019 self-portrait

I wonder if I’d even be able to do a multi-day self-portrait… that’s an intriguing thought. I wonder if the light at this time of day would be good enough; if so I could use these mornings for painting, instead of journaling every day. I’m going to go grab the mirror and see what I think… you know… the light is bright but uninteresting, but there is a way it makes me look appropriately tired and you can see the room and doorway behind me looking kind of atmospheric. I’ve never painted a facial self-portrait with a background, at least not that I can remember, and this would be a meaningful time to try, especially if I’ve already committed to doing this over several days. (Hell, I have time to do several self-portraits.) 

I was pretty mopey yesterday but there were very good things: phone calls with CA where we both shared some vulnerable thoughts and shared the mental load of how we’re experiencing the pandemic. It’s been a really nice thing to reconnect with her at this time; I think our anxieties and ways of processing information are quite similar and it helps to talk things through together. I also said in our convo, and realized the truth of it then, that one of the things that’s been hardest for me during this is that I process a lot by in-depth, long conversations with people and not everyone is like that, and it makes me not sure how to support (or feel supported by) the people who don’t want that. I’m very grateful to the friends I can have an hourlong (or longer) conversation with. It means so much. 

It isn’t lost on me that of the 4 birthday cards I sent in the first 2 weeks of SiP, the 2 that got opened were by friends who live alone, whereas the 2 friends with kids haven’t even taken their cards out of decontamination (so they tell me… and only because I asked). None of my mom-friends have time for the hours-plus conversations. It’s one of the things I’m grieving. 

We had a family Zoom which was as chaotic and connective as ever. I’m glad our family is hanging in there ok… it’s a relief, and probably frees me up to have angst over other things since I’m not worrying about my family! 

E and I had our weekly meeting, which has become a quite different beast since there’s not so much outside life to coordinate. But it’s been really good to maintain a space for talking things over, outside from our usual chat (such as it is). 

We had another good preschool social, and everyone said they were glad it happened and thanked me for setting up the space. Everyone seemed relatively ok.

We also had ham yesterday, a treat (and I don’t think I’ve ever had a more flavorful one). 

A baked, boneless smoked ham

I’m sure there’s other stuff I did but I can’t recall any of it. I did learn the term “doomscrolling” and that got me off the iPad for a bit… oh! And Owl took a Mandarin music class, which was pretty great even though the teacher has the completely absurd notion that it makes sense to assign homework to the families. 

Sending loving thoughts to parents of children with special needs, who are unable to access their usual resources, or whose children are having a particularly hard time adjusting to the new reality.