Pandemic journal: Week 7

Week 7: April 27-May 3, 2020. No theme this week.

Thursday, 8:11 AM

I went to bed at 11, totally sleepy but determined to get an email out after the committee meeting. I fell asleep quickly but woke later remembering a tiny incident that had bothered me during the day! That reminded me of other hurts dating back to second grade, and painful things that are ongoing. I felt sleepily unhappy all around before drifting off again. 

Friday, 7:19 AM. May Day. 

I spent much of yesterday in a funk, feeling hopeless about the world and the future (feels like “what future?”), lethargic and unmotivated. Actually, I’d forgotten I had a scheduled call with SD or I probably wouldn’t have felt so down (forgetfulness is part of depression too, isn’t it). I had headphones on and was playing games and listening to K-Pop and honestly I think that’s all I was doing for hours. I was just being depressed. Finally I remembered that earlier in the day Jen Hewett had mentioned a shortbread recipe, which both Jen and the recipe blogger said was extraordinary. After slouching in the chair for Idk how long I finally thought, I need a project, and if it’s full of butter and chocolate and sugar so much the better. So I made the cookies and though they didn’t look like the pictures they’re still incredibly fucking delicious. Really, really good. 

Crumbly chocolate chunk shortbread rounds on a baking sheet

In the end I let Owl watch videos for 3 hours (I didn’t intend it to be so long!) while I was on the phone with SD; we talked a bit but we also downloaded Snap Camera and just goofed off with that for way longer than the app deserves, and it was great. I think the actual stupidity of it helped. Shooting lasers from our eyes, being Batman or a bearded guy in a suit, being underwater or at a disco or wearing cats on our heads. Just silliness for no reason. So therapeutic.

Screenshot of a video chat with silly filters

Later, I had dance class and even though I felt checked-out and tired, I ended by recording a video of myself, and was surprised to see that I was actually pretty inventive in my improvisation. That was heartening and also, seeing myself move so fluidly and look so beautiful is very, very good for the soul.

AS, this morning, looking at her calendar: “Don’t pretend these are blank days.”

Salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread on a blue-and-white cloth napkin

Sunday, 8:26 AM

Yesterday during our family meeting I kept closing my eyes and almost falling asleep. I told E that I’m tempted all the time to say “fuck everything” and just not do a damn thing. He said, “When I feel like that, it’s burnout,” and I thought, yes… yes, now that you mention it, this is so familiar. 

Ahhhh, E & Owl have gone out for a walk!!! I can take off my headphones and it is QUIET!!! My god, this is wonderful.

So yesterday E went for his run. I did a bit of coloring with Owl, and then we both skipped out on Mandarin music class, which I have some guilt about — but it felt also like such a weight lifted to ignore that cheery, adamant pressure (and my lingering shame) to perform our commitment and participation. At noon we did a family Zoom, and I realized I kind of hate those too, which is terrible but also the truth. I find it hideously overstimulating and stressful to deal with Owl’s excited loud noises and 2yo SS’s talking (adorable though it is) and T’s need for attention, and not even getting to see S & D because they’re always out of frame because their kids are front and center, and Mommy trying eagerly to hear how we’re all doing even though she’s talking over all 3 kids, and trying to not ignore Daddo, trying to get any kind of sense of how anyone is actually coping. It’s horrible. It’s only worthwhile later in the chat after the kids go to quiet time or get bored and wander off, but then we don’t get all the adults since S rarely stays after the kids leave. 

But later, after the chat got quieter I peeled shrimp while listening to the others talk, and that was good. Flow. I’ve got little cuts in my hands from the shrimp shells, but I was able to use the meats to make first a kimchi pancake and then a no-kimchi pancake (Owl’s request), and those were utterly delicious. 

We also did FaceTime with E’s family — which is a different challenge since everyone is so quiet! and a relief, after my parents, to be in a group where I am the least cautious voice in the call!!!

Sending loving thoughts to all frightened children. And to the frightened children within all of us.