Just joining me? Be sure to read part 1 of this blog here: Being an Extrovert in the COVID19 Nightmare.
4.20.2020 Relying on False Hope: It’s amazing how much our experience in the present is dependent on our view of the future. Sometimes I find myself, dare I say it, enjoying the lull of quarantine. Reciting mantras of this being temporary, recognizing the uniqueness of the experience, and dreaming about the festive reunions that are to come are my buoyancy. Blindly fantasizing about summer outings and a classroom filled with children in the fall makes room for gratitude in these still days. Fogging the awareness of reality with false hope supplies me the resources to cope. I have the tools to emotionally tackle one month of quarantine at a time. Trying to process the possibility of this being reality for months, or dare I say a year, is too bleak. I’ve found comfort in false hope. The teacher in me is praising this thoughtful use of the chunking strategy.
4.25.2020 Mourning Butter and Eggs: You should be here. We should have fresh manicures, and even a slight hangover from the excitement of our reunion last night. I should be neck deep in self-tanner and mimosa’s, panicking about the outfit I’ve had set aside for the last month. We should be blaring music through the backroads on the way to my parents house, giddy with anticipation for the days festivities. We should be playing 3 flies up with champagne corks and competing in slosh ball before we make the trek to the epicenter of the parade. There should be pictures, and smiles, and priceless father-daughter laughs. About this time we should be melting in a beer garden, inviting strangers into our circle for the days adventures. We should be galavanting around the city exchanging high fives, hugs, and greetings as we search of our next refreshment.
The weight of what could have been is heavy today. It’s created an uneasy rhythm that I can’t find the beat to. Nothing I do seems to fit my mood; I’m wading through conversations and activities only to find myself unfulfilled.
5.2.2020 SIP extended. Sonoma County residents may walk or bike from home to nearby parks for walking, hiking, jogging, and biking. You must stay 6 feet away from people who are not members of your household and must wear a facial covering when you cannot keep that distance. 122 active cases, 2 deaths, 128 recovered in Sonoma county.
5.5.2009 Taco-pocolypse: I simply wanted to document the hilarity of the instant change in alcohol delivery laws due to SIP. In the 1920’s alcohol was prohibited, in 2020, alcohol is considered an essential need during a pandemic. (No complaints here.) Need margaritas for Cinco de Mayo? No problem, they’ll be at your door in 25-30 minutes. Well, except when celebrating Cinco de Mayo during quarantine. The holiday created what local foodies called, a “tacopocolypse”. It seems that everyone was looking for a reason to have a fiesta. Local restaurants were slammed with curbside and delivery orders; two hour waits for every Mexican restaurant in town!
5.7.2020 122 active cases, 4 deaths, 167 recovered in Sonoma county.
5.9.2020 Quaran-dating Welp, I hopped back into the dating pool. I fired up my Bumble account and went hunting. I stumbled upon a handsome gentlemen with similar interests who was willing to abide by the shelter in place orders as we got to know each other. (A rare gem). Our first two FaceTime dates lasted hours. The conversation was endless; we could have talked long into the evening. Our conversation found depth quickly; we found ourselves solely focused on one another with the void of a bustling restaurant. We found connections on levels one wouldn’t expect to divulge on a first date. It was a refreshing remix to the banter that typically ensues on a first encounter. Another silver lining to the ways of life in quarantine.
5.11.2020 Walking the town: My favorite perk of quarantine is the extra time I have to go on long morning walks with my coworker. We spend hours touring the town, seeking out new neighbors to walk through, and ally ways to explore. We zig zag through block after block of homes, analyzing the decor and making hypothetical changes. It’s incredible the new things you notice on each house even after you’ve passed it everyday for two months.
On one of our weekend walks we came across a house with beautiful woodworkings laid across the front lawn. Tables, chairs, stools, benches, and corn hole sets all intricately handmade from pieces of wine barrels. A sign proudly declared it was a quarantine project and everything was for sale. I instantly fell in love with the corn hole set. It had such character with the spout hole from the original barrel in the center of the board. He even installed lights underneath the scoring hole so games could be enjoyed at night. They now happily live in my backyard underneath our new string lights. If we can’t go to The Block for beer, we decided to bring The Block to us.
5.15.2020 Physically distanced dating: The ease of conversation lead us to meet up for an appropriately distanced date. We walked to town for a curbside cocktail, meandered back and enjoyed a few games of corn hole in the backyard. To my surprise, the virtual chemistry we curated didn’t carry over to our in person rendezvous. It’s hard to decipher what the cause for lack of chemistry was. Could it be we created a false intimacy via FaceTime and weren’t able to match it with any physical intimacy due to the circumstances? Could the physical distancing simply be weighing on me psychologically? Logically I understand the distance, but emotionally I think it might subconsciously cause me to be less interested. Maybe it’s simply the stresses of quarantine that make me less available to a romantic interest. The lack of chemistry isn’t exactly a deal breaker, I’m game to try again, but the stark contrast between our connections was unexpected.
5.22.2020 Stage 2 of re-opening. Restaurants open for outdoor dining. 256 active cases, 4 deaths, 207 recovered in Sonoma county.
5.23.2020 Dare I say thriving?: I recognize my privilege to even utter the thought that I’m thriving in quarantine. I couldn’t be more grateful to still have a job, life’s necessities, and access to those I love. Speaking strictly of my mental health however, I am thriving in quarantine.
I’ve come to love the lull of my new routine. The time I can dedicate to my favorite form of exercise, walking, has exponentially changed my perspective on SIP and life in general. I adore the hours I get to spend chatting with a coworker and meandering the streets of this beautiful town I live in. I have found the time to make the things I need a priority. I have always struggled with balance, for many reasons, but a few those are my addictive personality and my love for being around people. I often get stuck in over indulging in a particular past time because I come at it with so much passion, a typical Aries trait. I crave connections, so when offered an invitation, I almost always say yes, despite my possible need for something more introverted. I hold social connections at such high value that I often neglect my needs and pile my plate with a surfeit of social gatherings. During shelter in place those opportunities cease to exist, so naturally I’ve been filling my tank with the things I love to do. I’ve gotten to spend hours writing without distraction; forming pieces over consecutive days, a luxury I didn’t know pre-Corona. It takes time to acquire the mind space needed to write; I have to consciously leave my daily routine thoughts and drive into an area that is more creative, vulnerable, and still. It has been a treat to have this time without feeling like I’m missing out on something else. I’ve finished three books over the past two months, quite the feat for myself. I’m a distracted reader who tends to bounce from book to book; quarantine gave me the time to sit and read for uninterrupted hours. I even finished an entire book in one day, an experience I should have had on my bucket list. I’m no longer frantically scheduling zoom hangouts to ensure that each moment of my day is filled with connection. In fact, besides my duties at work, I’m only participating in one social zoom hangout a week. (Thank you trivia team! I would not be able to run virtual trivia without your energy. It is SO draining to entertain without you!)
5.29.2020 Privilege: I had every intention of posting this portion of my blog this week. However, with the murder of George Floyd it seems superfluous to be sharing my SIP experiences. This seems like the perfect ending point; it’s time to put my energy towards recognizing my privilege, becoming an anti-racist, and joining the movement for the change. I hope you do the same.