Monday, August 3, 2020

My Pandemic Week

Even my complaints about the sameness are the same.

I miss being alone.

What happened this week?

I am buying book after book for my kid, because they take him completely out of commission, like darting and elephant, but in a virtuous, skill-building kind of way.  Also I enjoy seeing him enjoy books, so I keep wanting to give them to him, book after book after book, though I know I need to ration them.  I've tried reading all day as a lifestyle choice; it makes you weird.

I gave up on our parks tour this weekend; it rained Saturday and on Sunday it just felt like a chore, so we walked to the neighborhood park instead and Margaret attempted to kick the ball and William kicked the ball; and then we got hot and walked back.  Sometimes you just need to do what you haven't recently done.

We had Mellow Mushroom pizza, which reminded us of the Mellow Mushroom pizza we usually only have on vacation.  

I read a fantasy novel for book club; it reminded me that fantasy used to be all I read.  It's odd how thoroughly I went off it- most of my childhood interests are still active in one way or another, but that one, which was fairly consuming, seems to have simply died.  Then again, I am not longer into dinosaurs, either.

I am boring even myself with this catalog.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

My Pandemic Week

This was the week we found out there will be no school for my son, and that once more, we'll have to take on the extra full-time job of educating him on top of everything else we do.

I am not going to pretend I took it well.  I was really excited about this upcoming school year- I'd finally left my part-time speech job, so I was going to have only one career, and the space and time to invest in it and help it grow.

Not it will be survival.

But what we did, other than that?

Everything blurs.  We wandered through Suson park on Saturday morning- a million degrees, the sky boiling, the pond full of dead fish.  Sunday there was squalling in Blackburn park.  I do like my "collect the parks" idea; there is literally nothing else to do.

I am also trying to make a clearer demarcation between the week and the weekend.  This is something I've never had, because the various cycles of my work overran traditional boundaries, but I think the cycle of work and rest is something I need, and have been missing.  Some small difference in the texture of life.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Week #4,970,994

It's funny the tweaks that matter with kids (with people?)

Unlike my youngest, who demanded "GO TO SCHOOL. MARGARET'S SHOES" at 7:30 AM, and proceeded to drop to the floor and bawl when I told her it was Sunday, my oldest has a lukewarm relationship to adventure and outings.  If I simply say, "let's go the park," I face a protracted effort to get him into his shoes and out the door.

For him, you need an added ingredient, some element of mission.  My son is not even one shred an explorer.  Instead, he is an eager executor of instructions, a dedicated ticker of boxes.  Much like his mother, though it pains me to admit it.

So my tweak for him is a checklist.  For every park we visit, we get to check off the appropriate box.  Slowly, we're collecting the parks of the metro area- square by square, tick by tick.

This week we visited Columbia Bottoms on Saturday  (crowded floodplain, sunflowers, mighty Missouri), and Shaw Park on Sunday (money, racing from bench to bench, pleasant flowers, secret paths).  I am in theory enjoying these visits; they get us out of the house, which is something.  And some of them I truly enjoy, but it depends on the mood of my oldest.  Saturday he was sour and anxious, whining at every deviation from expectation; Sunday he was charming and enthusiastic, holding his sister's hand and showing her all the secret corners of the park.

In other news this week:

We had Mexican takeout.

David went back to "church," insofar as the church was open for private prayer for fewer than 10 people Sunday morning.  Only two or three people showed up; he played the organ anyway.

Margert is transitioning to twos on Monday.  On Friday, I had to report an unmasked staff member in her new room.  I'm nervous.

I'm furious with the unthinking privilege displayed by the #onlywhenitissafe folks.  All that energy should be directed toward #makeitsaferightnow.  Just because you can work from home and form a pod with your fellow upper SES-ers, perhaps hiring private tutors to support your children, doesn't mean everyone can.  Schools are vital lifelines to many; we should be doing everything in our power to open them, at least for those who need them.

And it's such a double standard: Daycares have been open across the US for months; there has been no massive outcry to close them Why?  Because daycare providers are low wage workers, and more likely to be minorities; k-12 teachers are wealthier and whiter.   I KNOW that is where the disconnect originates.  And of course low wage childcare workers will be the ones to pick up the slack if schools stay closed.

Being agry is so draining.  And so useless.  And it (once more) pits me against the progressive tide (no clue why progressives are glossing over the profound consequences of closing K-12 schools, but they are).  I'm sick of feeling so alone, politically.  What has happened to all the people who want left-wing policies implemented with logic, pragmatism, balance, compromise, moderation, calmness and compassion?  Where have all the reasonable people gone?

What else?  I did laundry.  I taught many lessons and a webinar on breathing.  It was a really solid webinar. I am good at what I do, though of course I could be better.  You can always be better; I find that both humbling and inspiring.

Monday, July 13, 2020

My Pandemic Week

Last week was the same as the week before, which was the same as the week before, etc. etc.

But I will try to effect differentiation:

1) We had a nice time at Tilles Park on Saturday.  Margaret is an explorer- so unlike her brother.  She plunged fearlessly up steep slopes and down hills; tried to brain herself on bleachers; leaned out over the water.  We saw a fountain and got very close to ducks; we watched a family catch a fish.  The sky was a very deep blue and the breeze made everything bearable.

2) There is such vitriol around school reopening.  I predicted this at the outset -that we would open the bars and shaft the children- and I am so very sorry to see that I was right.  The thought of having to attempt remote learning next year is making me nauseous.  The region's plan is supposed to be announced next Monday, so we'll see.

3) We're watching chicken run at night.  I cannot seem to keep my attention on it.

4) My herbs are giving me great satisfaction.  They perch just outside the back door.  I've made a pasta dish with them, and David has made some drinks.  Why don't I do herbs as a matter of course?  Oh, that's right.  Because I'm away and they die.

5) I've booked an exorbitantly expensive two-night stay in the middle of nowhere for early August, because the sameness is so very oppressive.

6) I need more social contact but reaching out makes me so tired.  And everyone is full of anger and fear.

7) More than a week ago, but we did hold a Zoom birthday party for Margaret.  It was nice.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

July 12

If I were someone else, I would tell myself to get a project.  Something to work toward to break up the monotony.  I an not sure what that would be, which is perhaps telling.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

July 9

I am definitely in a funk.  There just seems to be no end in sight.  Every day and endless loop of the same.

Monday, July 6, 2020

July 6

This life seems endless.

I finally understand why people voluntarily book and take vacations.  You need something to break the pattern, change up the endless march of days.

I always complained about the uncertainty of the cobbled-together, freelance life, but I didn't realize how much I relied on it to provide me with variety and novelty.  This is probably an obnoxious question to ask, but do people with regular jobs and regular lives get used to the unceasing grind?  Or are they just more practiced, and thus better, at finding ways to vary it?