One Week Down

It’s been a week that we have all been in the house together, and it’s going fairly well. We’re all adjusting. My friend Annie mentioned on Facebook that for her, this “social distancing” is more like “social amplification” because like me, she usually works from home in silence and solitude all day, and now there are people in her face all the time. I GET IT.

Sir Monkeypants and I are now sharing an office and it was very weird for me at first. We’re still trying to figure out who goes where when one of us has a call to take. Also we are circling around a potential open confrontation about who gets The Good Chair. As someone who works from home, I have been through several desk chairs that have all been rejected for various reasons and now I have one good chair and it is, technically, MY chair, but we shall see. I know Sir Monkeypants is eyeing it as he sits over there in The Chair That Won’t Hold Its Height, having abandoned The Chair That is Too Upright.

One plus of social isolation: the laundry has been much lighter. There are several pairs of PJs for each person and that is about it. I think the Captain is the only one of us who has managed to actually get dressed each day so far, although I have been trying to get out for a walk around lunchtime each day, so I have put on what I call “Technically Clothes” – sweatshirts and yoga pants that basically aren’t any different than my actual PJs except for the area of the store where I bought them. (Personal revelation: pretty much ALL of my wardrobe blurs the line between “clothes” and “pajamas,” meaning I am completely ready for an extended period of being a shut-in.)

On the down side: there are dishes everywhere, all the time. I am running the dishwasher at least once a day. I typically do the dishes just once per day, after dinner, and there are piles and piles. Cups, plates, all over, all the time. Is it too much to ask that everyone just eat out of the box/can/cookie container while standing over the sink like normal people would? SHEESH.

Overall, I think we are starting to work towards a new normal. Today is the first day that I really felt like I could calm down and ease into the way things are, right now. We all have our new daily routines and we’re working them out and moving forward, and so far no one has had a big blow up (YET – we’ll see about the chair situation). So that’s good.

I think my mental health is going to be dependent on two things going forward:

One, minimizing my exposure to social media. I’ve been obsessing too much on Facebook, looking for answers and reassurance when there aren’t any. My friend Nicole said a wise thing on Facebook yesterday – that we will all hear the news eventually, we will get the important gist of things, and there is no need to pounce on every iota of news as soon as it comes out. She is right, and I need to spend more time reading novels and doing puzzles.

Two, remembering that we are all in this together. While on one of our lunchtime walks earlier this week, I was spiraling into a tornado of stress, venting to my husband about lost school terms and lost vacations and lost university plans. And he reminded me that EVERYONE is in the same boat; that this is not a problem that WE have to figure out on our own. The schools and universities and cruise lines will have to make some wide sweeping decisions, and set up new rules and plans, and they will let us know what they decide, and then we will do that. Our kids are not the only ones dealing with crisis, it’s not like we have to find a workaround that works only for them – someone higher up than us needs to find an answer that will work for ALL OF US.

And that was very helpful.

So hope you are doing well, and staying away from too much news, and doing some fantastic puzzles, and scoring The Good Chair for your own personal use.

5 thoughts on “One Week Down

  1. KristaR

    Glad to hear you are all adjusting. I too need to limit my exposure to the news. I have been feeling fretful about the status of the school year for my highschoolers as I fear that things will not be resolved enough in two weeks to go back. If my eldest doesn’t head off to university when he normally would, we both are okay with that, and as you said, knowing everyone is in the same situation offers some degree of comfort – we don’t have to sort this out on our own.

    We have been reading a lot, watching movies, going for walks, and maintaining our daily workouts. Having a home gym – now more than ever – is quite honestly soul saving.

    One nice thing that has happened is that Wm and I have been going out for a daily drive – he does the driving, which is great practice for the drivers’ test which hopefully he will be able to schedule one day. I have somehow relaxed enough in the passenger seat to drive with him outside of the confines of our neighbourhood and go for some longer drives. It’s good to get out, gas is cheap, and the one on one time we are having is golden.

  2. I find it enormously reassuring that we’re all in this together and the larger systems will figure it out – and we’ll just go along with it. So far we’re good in the “working from home” thing but last week was still officially March Break so I wasn’t in the kids’ faces about work and schedules and routines. That said, we need to have a “family meeting” this weekend about what will be different for the next two weeks (probably longer I’m guessing) while it’s work from home AND school from home. Wish us luck!

    I also gotta say – I’m very glad to have two anti-social computer-addicted teens at this time. They just wake up, eat food, and look after themselves. Thank goodness for small mercies! All that time I was fretting that they had no real face-to-face connections or groups of friends ended up being a blessing in disguise! 😉

  3. Your husband is a very wise person! That’s a good way to look at it. And I can assure you we are TRULY in the same boat at the global level : in Chile where schools were closed last Monday, parents were also worried about lost terms (kids had just started school again after summer holidays) and all. Same story in France.

    I feel lucky we can leave the house and get some fresh air while keeping up with social distancing. I’m self isolating as a precaution (South America is still relatively okay) but I can walk for kilometres without seeing anyone!

  4. Hi! I really do think that staying away from the news is a good idea – or just checking in briefly – and remembering that we are all doing this. Things are okay here – it’s my son’s birthday and our wedding anniversary today! Not how we thought we would celebrate but okay.

  5. bibliomama2

    I kept reading about all these people settling into new routines and feeling absolutely inadequate because I was basically just wandering around obsessively scrolling social media and freaking out that we’re going to run out of food. But then a few days went by and we are kind of settling into a new routine. Mine doesn’t look like anyone else’s, but it never really did, so that’s okay. (That chair is yours, though – fight dirty if necessary).

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