The Endless March

Today is the 85th of March, or possibly 86th or 87th by the time this gets posted. There is a global pandemic.

I tried to start a “COVID19 journal” about what life has been like during this, but it was depressing. The trips that were canceled, the events that didn’t take place, the endless March, the emotions, the tears, the Distance Learning, the sibling strife, the stereotypical quarantine hobbies: sourdough, gardening, bird watching, zoom birthday parties.

The days have run together in a nightmare version of Groundhog Day. I vaguely know what day of the week it is based on what zoom meetings the kids have, and what conference calls my husband is on.

I’m not okay, but apparently I’m faking okay fairly convincingly to those who follow me on Facebook. Years of faking okay-ness in Christian Science have come in handy for this, and on some level we are okay, if you look at Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs we’re doing pretty well, except we’re also not okay, because there’s a global pandemic and the kids are at home 24/7 and the novelty of all this togetherness wore off back when it was still actually March.

If I’m not okay, but all of my needs are being met, what is wrong? Nothing is particularly wrong, I’m “just” exhausted. What is so exhausting about being home 24/7? I’m overseeing the Distance Learning of two children with very different needs and curriculum, and attending virtual parent evenings, regularly being in touch with their teachers, and keeping up with their work. I’m planning, shopping, and preparing 1-3 meals (plus snacks) a day 7 days a week, while trying to limit my trips to the grocery store. I’m trying to keep up with the housework, routine home maintenance, and laundry. I’m trying to keep up my exercise routine — stress baking and “eating my feelings” was a thing for a while, and I’m also trying not to aggravate any old injuries, to name a few things.

When 2020 started I had high hopes, things were going to go okay. I lined up some ambitious travel plans, both with family and on my own, I was going to blog more, take better care of my self, and perhaps re-enter the work force after a bit of time off to focus on volunteering and children.

Now it is March 85th, and for the last 72 days I haven’t been farther than the local grocery store. I’ve resigned myself to stretchy pants (if you know of any that have adequate pockets I’m interested, extra points if they don’t look like slouchy stretchy pants and would be good for summer heatwaves), and t-shirts. I want this to be over, and for things to return to normal, but I’m not sure exactly what this is and I’m not sure normal is going to happen, and I’m not sure a return to normal is a solution.

9 thoughts on “The Endless March

  1. tildeb says:

    Well, you made me laugh with ‘March 85th’ because it really has felt like that… up until a week ago where we went from daily highs just above freezing and the furnace working to heat the house and the humidifier blowing water into the air to a stifling heat wave with the furnace blasting cold air conditioning and the dehumidifier trying to keep the humidity down.

    Because the SARS-Covid-2 virus has not just infected people we know but killed two under-60 co-workers, we know it’s a real and present danger. I think this helps mitigate the stress that accompanies radically shifting and contracting the social lifestyle boundary. And it IS stressful (we cannot believe how tired we have felt working from home). With that in mind, we have tried to recalibrate energy out with energy in, not in the caloric sense but in doing things that energize us. And play is HUGE part of that… everything from playing with words and conversations to playing with those similarly trapped. Life is very serious business and requires constant attention so within the home walls it is just as important to balance that with the same dedication to play and having fun and finding enjoyment by one’s self as well as with others. I have found an excellent sense of humour (Canadian spelling) is a currency that gains value these days and is especially important to put everything into perspective, which then helps level one’s mental health. No problem or interpersonal stress is too large or small that isn’t worth an injection of humour.

    This pandemic is something all of us have to go through as best we can and it will pass. When it does, and we look back with perspective, how do we want to remember our part dealing with it? There’s the blueprint for this week. The state of mind really is important. That’s why I tell my spouse this is the dry run for retirement; are you sure you want to stay married?

    • ... Zoe ~ says:

      Tildeb: “That’s why I tell my spouse this is the dry run for retirement; are you sure you want to stay married?”

      Zoe: When this first started I remember saying to our adult children, “We’ve been social distancing for years. We’re use to it.” Of course, back then in mid-March it was about their parents being at home alone. Well, technically we’ve been home alone since they left the nest. And, alone as they’ve started their families. So, being home alone in a pandemic . . . didn’t seem so bad. For us, the ache now is not being with our children and grandchildren. Seems “alone” has a spectrum.

  2. Matt Barsotti says:

    As you know, I’ve been away from the ‘sphere for quite a while. Have to say, love the aesthetics of your theme and header. Very elegant minimalist look, super clean, and lovely, which can be hard to pull off with minimalist themes.

  3. Bill Sweet says:

    If you get an e-mail that says, “Knock, knock.” Don’t open it. It’s the Jehovah Witnesses working from home.

  4. ... Zoe ~ says:

    Kat: “I’m not okay, but apparently I’m faking okay fairly convincingly to those who follow me on Facebook. Years of faking okay-ness in Christian Science have come in handy for this, and on some level we are okay, if you look at Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs we’re doing pretty well, except we’re also not okay, because there’s a global pandemic and the kids are at home 24/7 and the novelty of all this togetherness wore off back when it was still actually March.”

    Zoe: This hits home with me. I’m okay. I’m not okay. But, I’m okay. And I’ve developed an understanding with “I’m not okay.” And I’ve learned to say to myself, “and that’s okay.”

    There are times when I feel as well as think that I don’t get to complain. I don’t have kids at home. I don’t have to go out to work or work from home. (Retired couple) I don’t have a ton of things to juggle. Meals not a challenge. Biker Dude is our designated going-out guy, so I haven’t been anywhere since lockdown. I have a parent in a retirement home lockdown. So, technically we are okay yet we are not, as you say; “there’s a global pandemic.”

    I put on a pair of bluejeans the other day and felt like I was dressed up. 🙂

    • kat says:

      I’m okay, but I’m not okay, and that’s okay… yep.

      I pulled on a pair of jeans the other day and regretted stress baking through much of April (I think it was April).

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