What Life Looks Like Now: A Snapshot

On social media a friend of mine asked people to post what their lives are like right now. I thought it was an interesting snapshot of how life has changed for many people. So here is my snapshot.

We’ve been isolating since about March 11. There are five people in the house, all adults except the 17yo who might as well be one. Only two of them leave to go to places. My son (22yo) goes to his early morning custodial job five days per week. I go to the warehouse twice per week to mail packages and I go to grocery stores once per week to acquire food. There are also trips to the pharmacist, but I’m getting the prescriptions lined up so I can do that once per month (hopefully.)

We were eating take home food from local restaurants about once per week, but the frequency of that is slowing down now that we’re more used to cooking food when we want to eat. We don’t generally have a family meal time, but when a person decides to cook they generally make enough food for two or three people and then share. Howard tends to make large batches to feed everyone. My 17yo has been doing hamburgers and beef stroganoff. My 19yo is exploring pasta and sauce options. My 22yo mostly does frozen pizza. I’ve been baking breads, cookies, a spice cake, etc. Right now I’ve got a sourdough rye raising for 24 hours. I just signed up for a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture.) So starting in June I’ll get a bi-weekly bag of fresh local-grown produce. Hopefully I’ll put it to good use.

Howard has begun to find his work mojo now that all the set-up issues for staying at home are mostly resolved. He’s been focusing on the comic but frequently feeling guilty for not getting book work done. My work has been more scattered. I’m finding myself hopping from project to project a lot rather than settling in for hours. Thirty minutes weeding. Fifteen minutes playing Breath of the Wild. Twenty minutes answering email. Forty minutes revising a story and submitting it. Thirty minutes sanding cabinets. Fifteen minutes reading a book. Often I bounce through things more than once in a day. Each thing is useful and moves a project forward, so I’m just rolling with this scatterbrained approach rather than trying to force myself to focus. I’m still tracking news stories and pandemic numbers more frequently than I probably should.

Emotionally things seem to have stabilized. The two house residents in therapy both came out of their video sessions cheerful and saying “there wasn’t much to talk about.” Other than bouncing around between activities, I feel pretty stable. However I’ve noticed that I shy away from any sort of story or media that will pull on heartstrings. I actually noped out of a video which was a beautiful and meaningful commentary on pandemic life. I could tell that it was going to completely wreck me emotionally. Instead of shedding a few tears, it would unlock a deep well of feelings that would take me hours to re-contain. So, while feeling mostly okay, I can tell there are ways in which I’m not. At some point the emotional piper needs to be paid. But not this week. So strange to know those depths exist and yet to still be honestly and truthfully feeling happy and optimistic.

I miss my married daughter and son-in-law greatly. I don’t hear enough from them about how they’re doing because they’re too busy having their own lives to report on how their lives are going. This is a normal state of things for parents of adult children I think. Only, like everything else, it is not normal because I use to be able to catch up with them when we saw them in person and now no one knows when we’ll get to do that again. That is one of the chains of thought that threatens to unleash emotions, so think about something else. Send them pictures and updates via the family discord channel. Drop off baked goods on their porch. Love them sight unseen.

This week I picked up Pokemon Go again because it gives me a daily assignment to go for a walk. I’ve also been outside soaking up sunshine daily. I crave the sunshine, but like everything else I’m seeking it in short spurts. I’m noticing increases in vehicle traffic around town. There are more people out and about. I think that Utah County is going to see an increase in virus cases. Though perhaps that will be offset by increased sunshine. I’m still waiting for several large events on my calendar to officially cancel so that I can stop holding contingency plans for them in my head.

I think that’s my snapshot for now. It’s as scattered as my days have been lately.