Pandemic journal: Days 43 & 44

Saturday, April 25, 8:51 AM. W’s birthday

Day 43 of voluntary social distancing, Day 40 of county shelter-in-place, Day 37 of statewide shelter-in-place

No theme, this week

I didn’t go to bed early yesterday, and I still woke around 7 today. Bah. But it’s a weekend. I’ve read social media and chats, checked my games, poached quail eggs for breakfast (delicious), toasted yesterday’s coconut bread, and talked to E. So it’s a pleasant Saturday AM. 

One dozen quail eggs in a carton

I saw a meme saying I don’t require that my loved ones “perform concern”; “if I don’t hear from you during this time I’ll assume you’re going through your own stuff”. Honestly, I don’t know what to do with that. I support it intellectually, totally. But at the same time, is it wrong of me to be struggling with friends not contacting me? It feels like a, well this is too strong a way to describe it, but like a betrayal of the friend agreement. And I feel (fear) that’s a shitty, shitty failure of empathy and I shouldn’t even claim I care about my friends if I can’t do better than this. 

PS. My feet are getting stronger. My legs are getting stronger. And my balance is improving. It’s great. 

Sending loving thoughts to everyone who is having a hard time exercising, or getting enough movement in their lives. 

Sunday, April 26, 8:39 9:07 9:15 AM

Day 44 of voluntary social distancing, Day 41 of county shelter-in-place, Day 38 of statewide shelter-in-place

Ugghhh I can’t focus this morning, and more to the point, I really don’t want to. Even fantasizing about better times feels pointless and unappealing. I’m just tired… just over all of this, I guess. I’m tired of worrying about my parents because Daddo is still planning to go into work for a meeting next week; I’m tired of fighting him on this; I’m angry that members of my family don’t agree on what’s a risk and what isn’t. I’m frustrated with myself because I can’t calm down about it, I don’t know what to do, and I’m very close to no longer caring. 

Caring is in short supply anyway… yesterday I logged into the Mandarin music class for Owl and in defiance of expectation and best practice, I just left. (The parents are supposed to set an example for their kids by staying present and singing all the songs.) I couldn’t stomach an hour of Chinese school flashbacks for something so ultimately trivial as a preschool music class. I don’t care to participate and I don’t care if Owl gets nothing from the class but a little bit of entertainment once a week. Of course it’s too bad we can’t take better advantage of the opportunity, but it’s not anywhere near a priority for me; it would take so much effort to work through the old shame and bad associations, and I just don’t have it in me right now, and it’s not fair but I’m angry at the teacher and the other parents for normalizing this level of dedication. Of course it’s a cultural difference. But good god, it gets on my nerves, and brings up tangle after tangle around my own worth and identity and capability. It strikes me that in all my years of Chinese school I felt like I had to demonstrate not-caring in order to survive the constancy of not knowing what I was doing and not knowing even what I didn’t know. And I am, retroactively, angry at my parents for not realizing one day a week of Chinese school would never teach me Chinese — but acting like it was enough, acting like I should have just tried harder. And I’m angry at my parents now for approving of my putting Owl into this music class, for continuing to believe it will achieve anything when I’m a living demonstration that it’s not enough. I know just enough Mandarin to feel like a complete and total failure and betrayer of my heritage every time I’m in a situation where I might have to use it, and the only reason I’m not more of a failure is I chose to take Mandarin in college. Now that I write all of this I’m very grateful to MC for reframing it for me a couple of years ago, when she heard about how much exposure to Mandarin I’d had as a child and said, with some surprise, that considering my background it’s quite amazing my Mandarin is as good as it is. I had never considered there was anything worthy of respect in my limited grasp of Mandarin, but of course, she’s right. 

Sigh. Time to go.  

Sending loving thoughts to everyone who’s angry.