Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Obstacle Course

 Making plans a few months in advance doesn't seem to happen much these days. A friend asked me if I thought about the holidays and what we might do this year. I haven't been able to have a complete thought about one holiday plan because every time I do, there is some big obstacle getting in the way of me figuring out how to make it happen. I would really like to go back east to see my family, but I cannot figure out a safe, time-efficient, cost-efficient way to get there. I am not thrilled with the idea of any of us getting on a plane and even if we did we would have to keep our distance for a few weeks and by the time that two weeks is up, we would have to come home again. Driving all the way east any time between now and the springtime is a big risk.  Not to mention how expensive it would be to rent an RV and how high the cost of fuel would be. It might be cheaper to charter a private plane. Every time I try to find an option I get stuck on the many hurdles that are in my way. 

It is even challenging to plan a week or a day in advance. My sense of time is so off now. Every day when I wake up I have to remind myself what day it is. We have so much time in the house together that every outing errand or playdate is ridiculously exciting to me. I love our weekends when we get outside all day. If everyone gets their work done on the weekdays, we even head to the beach for dinner and water play some nights. We are careful, healthy, and grateful, but our day to day life now is not easy. Each day there is the plan I make and then in reality the day happens and goes off the rails. Today, I spent an hour looking for a copy of a contract from almost two years ago. I took apart files in drawers and still came up short. I will likely spend another chunk of time later on today looking some more. There are curveballs like this every day. I don't lose my head, my temper, or any tears over obstacles like missing paperwork. I just lose a lot of time. 

Missing my old life, time with my friends, and not getting to go home to see my family is getting to me though. As lucky as we are to have the technology to facetime and zoom, each other, it is not the same as getting to hug, hold, and sit in the same room together. Three thousand miles never felt as far away as it does right now. My heart doesn't want anything to stop me from seeing my parents at their age. Having watched my husband lose both of his parents in the last year has made me treasure my time with mine, while I have it. My head knows that the safest thing for all of us is to not see my parents right now. Talking daily on the phone, sending videos and photos also has its challenges. My dad is really good at facing the camera on his phone up, so we get very familiar with his forehead and window coverings. My parents don't always know where to access photos I send them, and it takes some time to walk them through the technology. Zoom works most of the time, but sometimes the internet isn't stable and the connection is lost. After all that I feel my ability to connect is often lost by then too. We all keep practicing though. Our dedication to staying together is what drives us to keep picking up the phone every day. After all this obstacle climbing, I can at least say I am honing my skills in patience, strength, and last but definitely not least flexibility.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Tired And Well Rested

 Although many of us are getting more than enough sleep these days, we wake up groggy, heavy-hearted, and resistant to start yet another day if it is going to be exactly like the last. A neighbor friend of mine said that every day feels like a Monday. I still celebrate Fridays each week because it means the end of another week of online school, but I get what he is saying. I'm tired of all of this. Bone tired. Schools are all still virtual, work is slow, and when it does happen, it is all from home. We are on top of each other and most days, I get to noon and have no idea what I did with myself since I woke up. I run from computer to computer checking Wi-Fi, splitting screens, muting, unmuting, then getting yelled at by my kids for being seen on camera. I feel like I am running a control center except I don't get paid, and no one is ever happy with my work. 

I read that life will likely not go back to normal for at least another year. I heard that kids might be out of school for this year and next. I truly cannot process more than one day at a time right now. I can not accept the idea of doing this a whole year, let alone two. My friends who live in other states and other countries seem to have some elements of their old lives back and have called me to ask me if I am okay. They hear about California and know we aren't in school, there are fires, and can we even go outside. The answer is I am okay. Okay is fine and fine is enough these days. I feel like I am holding my breath, and holding out hope for November. So many crimes are committed by men in power and none of them seem to be held accountable for their actions. These people are supposed to be leading an example and they do the opposite and get away with it all. How am I supposed to teach my children to respect the law when the enforcers are seemingly breaking it every day?

These days there is a lot of heaviness to face each morning, all while trying to put on a good front for our children. I hesitate to ask anyone, "How are you?" these days, without adding a "Holding up?" at the end of it. At least in my community, we feel pulled apart and broken these days. On the two occasions when we were able to go to my son's school to pick up supplies or have his school photo taken, we were distanced but still social with our community and it felt invigorating. It added spice to our usually bland day. We do the best we can to get outside (when it is safe) to exercise and to see friends. I try to see my own friends whenever possible. We spend a lot of time at the beach because I forget how bizarre life is when I am there. I feel alive, and I love being in the water. I will continue to focus on our health, our friends, and all of the wonderful things that we can do despite the restrictions. I think our children will look back at this time and remember more of the good than the bad. I believe in time I might as well, but I just wish I could feel a tiny sense of my old normal. For now, I will have to settle for the oddly peaceful dreams I have at night. Viruses, politics, and racism don't make many appearances in my mind in the middle of the night. Maybe that is why it is hard to wake up in the morning.