Pandemic journal: Day 39

Tuesday, April 21, 7:38 AM

Day 39 of voluntary social distancing, Day 36 of county shelter-in-place, Day 33 of statewide shelter-in-place

No theme, this week

E has a meeting at 8 so I barely have any time, and I can hear Owl running around and E making their breakfast and I feel pressed. I spent the last 38 min getting dressed, preparing barley (now simmering), replying to a text, dancing on FB Live, and playing games, fuck. It’s so hard to jump straight into writing. My left eye aches. And I need to get up every so often to stir the barley.

Tablecloth-covered table with kid art supplies all over it
The state of my life right now

A nice thing: last night I found a soothing, wordless, mindless electronica playlist on Spotify that’s great for writing — it’s music (unlike the nature sounds, though I do also love and appreciate those) but it isn’t distracting in any way; the tracks even blend pretty seamlessly into each other. I know E totally disdains music that’s not meant to be really listened to, but this is what it’s for… this, and massages and facials and lobbies, etc!

Yesterday I went to my regular Monday night dance class for the first time online, and had an additional treat as soon as I signed in: Owl’s dance teacher was there as Zoom facilitator! So I was able to update her on Owl and how much they enjoyed her class, and let Owl say hi to her, which made all three of us extremely happy. 

Dance class was still wonderful. Not as wonderful as in-person, but the teacher manages to an amazing degree to hold the same kind of space and break everything down as well as she does in the studio. It was necessarily a more compact and confined version of class, but still it had everything I appreciate about class, from the feeling of connection to the way it made me think. And since I was at home E took videos of me from 2 angles, which I really appreciated because I don’t usually get to see what I look like when I do this choreography! I look great! Very beautiful, in fact, which surprised me because I always thought I must look awkward. It’s also possible that after weeks of watching my own improv videos I’m just used now to seeing my own movement, and no longer think so much on how differently I move from other people (more practiced dancers, more flexible ones, thinner, younger). 

I’m on with Owl now, and I feel positively drained from the effort of multitasking. I don’t know if it’s too much to try and only singletask today, but maybe I’ll give it a try. 

Excited to talk to my therapist later. 

9:44 PM

My therapist gave me homework: to dive deep into writing about what makes me feel cared for, loved, and seen (not by family, but by other people in my life). I’m going to start (as I so often do) with a list. Here’s some of it:

  • Being given flowers or thoughtful gifts
  • Being cooked or baked for
  • Showing up to my shows/events in support
  • Following up on moments of connection (e.g., sending an acknowledgment after a particularly lovely in-person conversation)
  • Being reliable with their word, communicating if they’re going to be late or plans have changed, showing up when they’ve said they will
  • Telling me that they appreciate or enjoy me, especially if they’re able to be specific as to why
  • Listening to me without judgment, especially if they’re able to fully hear what I’m saying 

(I’m realizing that a lot of these “especially if/when” additions have to do with feeling seen versus feeling loved)

  • Telling me how I’ve inspired them or otherwise helped them be better
  • Asking the kind of questions that show they understand something about me that I haven’t explicitly articulated 
  • Embracing/accepting Owl’s presence in my life and psyche
  • Being enthusiastic about being with me and doing things with me and hearing from me
  • Proposing adventures or get-togethers that I wouldn’t have thought of
  • Sharing our overlapping identities/affinities in a way that’s deeper than just acknowledging them (the feeling of being on shared journeys)
  • Recognizing when something is a big deal for me, and inquiring or encouraging accordingly (or even just acknowledging)
  • Urging me out of my comfort zone, but with thoughtfulness
  • Telling me when I’m undervaluing myself 
  • Telling me honestly how they’re doing, even when it’s hard; being vulnerable and raw with me 
  • Telling me they can see me in a role that I can yet only barely imagine for myself 
  • Asking for what they need from me, especially if it’s hard for them to ask
  • Letting me do something kind for them 
  • Introducing me to people they love and are close to; letting me into their lives

Sending loving thoughts to those whose gardens are saving them.