Pandemic Ponderings: Some stay-at-home thoughts during COVID-19
I have learned some things about myself during this whole COVID-19, stay-at-home time. Time will only tell what I will do with this new information in the aftertimes -- a looming question we all share.
1. I am the type of person who will totally get dressed from the waist up for a Zoom meeting, and wear pajamas from the waist down.
This was a surprise. You see, in my mind, I have what I describe as the Head-Hands Theorum. Among your co-workers, I believe that it is best practice to pretend that their bodies consist of their heads and their hands. You know, the work parts. This is not to say you shouldn’t have compassion for the things that are going on in their lives. This is to say that many, many people would have found/caused less trouble if they were subscribing to the Head-Hands Theorum. I thought that one would need to have on real pants (or other downstairs clothing) to properly observe Head-Hands. But, alas, now I don’t know who I am anymore.
2. I am angered every time I see one of those “check on your extroverts” tweets.
I know, I know, this quarantine is hard for the extroverts. It’s hard for the introverts, too. If you don’t live alone, it is very, very difficult to properly get some decompression time. Right now, I am wondering whether I will kick myself for using this time, when everyone in my household is sleeping, to write this instead of sitting quietly and pretending that no one else is home. I literally feel like my partner, my teen, and my infant are conspiring to make sure that I don’t have a single thought that doesn’t have to do with one of them.
I try to get alone-time by walking while social distancing. But in these times, most everyone on walks is more likely to do a solidarity wave -- and more likely to speak to you. In addition to wanting to weep about the breach into my alone time, I also want to yell at them one word: “Droplets!”
3. I definitely fall into the I’m-not-getting-enough-done camp.
I always have projects I want to do and I succeed at getting a fair amount of them done. But I feel like I’m failing during this quarantine. With this extra time, shouldn’t I be getting fit, restoring my post-partum body? Shouldn’t I be tackling languishing sewing projects? Shouldn’t my pantry be in tip-top shape? It’s not that I’ve done nothing. I finished a scrapbook. Fitbit is all boastful that I’ve increased my daily steps. But the feeling that I should have more to show for this time haunts me like some creeper who is getting too close in a bar.
For some people, reading the news makes them feel worse. For me, I feel the worst when I see some piece of writing that tells me that I shouldn’t feel like I need to get everything done. I can’t occupy that space. I can’t unlock that level. I can’t even do that right. The dread I feel right now is the dread that I’m squandering this time.
4. I generally think I’m fine. Until I have to replenish our food.
If you’re not observing a six-foot distance from me I get red-hot angry. Zero-to-100 angry. I wish bad things upon you and your family. I hope your tire is flat in the parking lot. I think about fake coughing in your direction. We’re all in this situation and you can wait for 30 seconds for me to get my cottage cheese before you descend upon the refrigerated case?
The cottage cheese incident is a real incident, btw.
5. I am an impulse/emotional shopper.
I bought a flute.
I haven’t touched a flute in years and years, and I bought a cheap one on a whim. Who buys a flute on a whim? Maybe I’m not OK. I also learned that the muscles in my face that make flute-playing possible are very, very out of shape. I did manage to huff out a little bit of "Careless Whisper" one day. Who buys a flute to play "Careless Whisper"? I blame the global pandemic.
I also no longer have any idea how much footwear I own.
6. I guess I do process by writing.
This post is the first thing I’ve sat down to write since sheltering at home. And not even a thousand words later, I feel a bit better -- like a runner's high without the running. Like a buzz without the cocktail. Maybe I should have bought a new journal instead of that flute.
7. I am afraid of what I’ll learn with more weeks under my belt.
Yet, I wonder what everyone else is learning about themselves?
Sherlonya Turner is the manager of the Youth & Adult: Services & Collections Department at the Ann Arbor District Library. She can be found diving headfirst into all sorts of projects over at sherlonya.net.