I have trouble getting up in the morning and even more trouble falling asleep at night. I didn’t work out before all of this happened, relying instead on the steps I took back and forth at the pool while coaching, and I’m finding it hard to fit it into the routine we’ve all fallen into, especially because the only space in the house where one could conceivably work out is our bedroom/office/makeshift dance studio for my daughter/second TV room. I’ve put on ten pounds. Thankfully, everything still fits because I don’t think that I could bear having to buy all new clothes exclusively online. My daughter is going to bed later and later, so some days, I don’t even walk the dog, as she is still available for the later-evening walk that was usually my responsibility.
The last time I spent so much time isolated inside was when I was doing my MA and was in a bout of depression. There were weeks where I woudln’t leave the apartment, limiting my sphere to my room and then the couch to watch TV and back again. I spent months on months like that, occasionally leaving the apartment to finally get groceries, or going out because my roomates made me. I wasn’t alone; I had two roomates who worked around my schedule, sometimes watching TV with me, or driving me to get groceries, or organizing large dinner parties at our place. Thankfully, because during that period, left to my own devices, I would have never left, would have never seen anyone ever again.
Maybe that’s why this is so hard; I know I am not depressed at the moment, but day-to-day life reminds me so much of when I was that it becomes hard to know the difference anymore.
The kids’ first week of online distance delivery was an epic (EPIC) fail. They managed to get through one day before (expected, in my opinion) high school student shenanigans and (again, expected, in my opinion) mass LMS outages put the kibosh on the rest of Week 1. My son, possibly the most jaded 11yo in the world, but also apparently paying attention to my job even when I assume he isn’t, declared, with a hint of arrogance, “I knew this wasn’t going to work.”
Also, it might just be that he understands internet culture, bandwidth, and the limitations of both software and the network better than any of us. That’s what happens when you spend something like 12 hours a day online, between gaming with his friends and watching YouTube. He knows that trolls are gonna troll and that often programs glitch and that the quality of the network impacts the quality of the experience and what happens when thousands of people try to do something in the same online space at the same time. Someone hire him to coordinate all of this stuff; he’ll tell you how to do it right. Or at least tell you all the things that will go wrong.
The weather isn’t helping, and while I am grateful that I don’t live somewhere where it snowed this week, I do miss the hour or so in the early evenings after work where I would sit in the late afternoon sun reading with the dog sleeping in a sunny spot at my feet. The cold weather also means that the neighbor’s pot smoking has moved inside, or at least closer to the building, so we have to keep the windows open else the entire place stinks like weed. Far be it for me to ask that anyone to stop doing whatever helps them get through this tough time, but good god, it really stinks.
I’m tired because we’re getting to the point of really, really, really, really bad takes about this whole thing, mostly by white men who will never know better, but also some Karens who are looking to also get a word in edgewise, even if those words are equally terrible. And I’m still waiting for our balanced, hopeful, nuanced piece to even be read by an editor. I don’t want the confidence of a white guy, I want the default position towards me to be that that white men get: to be taken seriously, immediately.
I’m tired because I am waiting for “what comes next” in terms of my job, of my kids’ school, of my life, really. What can be canceled already has. Now it’s just everything else, which is still a lot. I am exhausted from all of it. I want to take a break from everything, but there is no way to, nowhere (literally) to go, no way to get around what’s happening, even if I don’t watch “life” TV or the news. We weren’t built for this, nowhere in our evolution was “self-isolation” a survival strategy, at least not one that overruled those other survival strategies of being together, working together, being close, being social, just going out.
I diligently keep taking my meds. I try my best to make sure I keep connecting, virtually, with friends. I count my blessings. But as Week 5 comes to a close, I want to fall asleep and wake up when this is all over.