We are starting our seventh week into this quarantine and I must admit, we still haven’t really figured out our rhythm. Unless of course, insomnia counts as a rhythm, because even the dog has that down.
Back when quarantine was still just an idea and not a reality, I had remarked to friends how I thought I could get so much done with a few weeks at home – I could get the house clean, tackle that sewing pile, make some serious progress on some of my writing projects and so on and so forth. As it turns out, living in our current reality has an underestimated emotional component that results in insomnia, an inability to focus and a definite loss of motivation. I’ve not been nearly as productive as I would have hoped, but I can report that I have finally learned how to sit and do nothing for hours on end.
I’ve also realized why so many of the preppers that took my canning classes over the years thought I was one of them – and judging from the number of inquiries I’ve gotten about cooking, baking, gardening, food preservation, how to source fresh food outside of the grocery store, could I put together a tutorial on what to do with dried beans along with the number of sour dough starters I’ve handed out – I see they are not alone in thinking this. I probably should start giving myself more credit seeing how others think I’m so capable. I should also probably start to figure out how to teach some canning and pickling classes out of my kitchen over zoom so I can just direct all questions related to that to one spot. And Edie girl thinks we should open a Mother-Daughter Organic bakery to support our now combined baking habits. We’re definitely going to need more flour.
Thankfully, it’s spring. Which means we can – and do – spend hours outside every day, weather permitting, in our outdoor living room. One of my favorite things about our neighborhood, even in non-pandemic times, is that we are the sort of people who go for daily walks. And so while we wile away the afternoons under whatever big pink tree is currently blooming, we have been able to visit with most of our neighbors, checking in with everyone. We’ve even gotten to know a few new-to-us neighbors, so that’s definitely a perk. Some days, we are joined for happy hour – strictly a byob or at least your own glass affair of course – at the various seating areas in the front yard so that other than the topics of conversation, which are frequently debating exactly which day of the week it is, life is reassuringly normal for at least a little bit.
I recognize of course our immense privilege right now in being able to ride this out comfortably in our home and our yard. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy – every day can feel like an eternity and rainy days can be absolutely soul sucking. Some days, it’s all one can to do to keep it together and there are days where even that may be beyond grasp, the day a complete wash. Other days come with a burst of energy, ideas and productivity. It’s all just so up and down, moment to moment. Never has the future been so uncertain although we are all assured, it’s uncertain for every last one of us. None of us will be the same persons we were on the other side of this, all we really can do is buckle in and hope for the best I suppose.
In the meantime however, it’s perfectly acceptable to walk the dog in your pajamas or to walk around muttering expletives to yourself as you try to come to terms with what is happening around you. Just in case you needed permission to do that. And if you happen to be in the neighborhood, swing by and have a cupcake. We’ve got plenty on hand.