My So-Called Life, Pandemic Edition

Adapting to a slower pace of life

It feels like it’s been a year, but it’s only been three weeks since my last blog post. Days feel like weeks; weeks like months; weekends are gone in a blink. The mental and emotional trauma is real. So I wait patiently and try to focus on things that are going well. Forced happiness is detrimental but so is wallowing in anxiety and despair.

Sleep issues are real – where I used to be out cold for 8-9 hours within minutes of hitting the pillow, I find myself either with insomnia at odd hours of the night or supplementing my bedtime routine with antihistamines, melatonin, or other sleep aids.

one of my kids has been a prolific painter during quarantine

I am thankful that I am not part of the dominant “forced stay-cation” (furloughed/laid off) narrative despite taking a massive blow to our finances. I am working from home, so I still have a routine to keep me focused and sane – but I am working 10 hours a day, mostly on back-to-back video calls. Video calls make it easier to be engaged and connected to my coworkers. The hilarious thing is, the introverted software developers are the first to turn on their cameras. I’ve yet to have a sales person turn theirs on for the call. Fascinating sociological study waiting to happen.

My dogs are thrilled I’m home so much. I had to drive to my office the other day to rescue a few things since we won’t be back in the office until at least July at this point. I was gone for 3 hours. When I got home, my 11 year old beagle was beyond himself with happiness that I had returned to him. He jumped into my lap, whining and squealing to express his joy of my return. Separation anxiety will be real when I have to go back to commuting.

Sometimes I get really sad when I think about not being able to go camping this summer. That feels so trivial but if I don’t acknowledge it, that’s also not healthy. Better to be thrilled when the campgrounds open than to be repeatedly disappointed when they stay closed.

Sometimes I am deeply thankful that we chose to live in a suburb instead of the City. We have a house with enough rooms for all of us to spread out. We have a yard that we can sit on the patio or porch to get some fresh air. We have backroads and trails nearby that are not closed and not terribly crowded so we can recreate and social distance.

Markus and Harriet, my succulents

Weird as it sounds, I’m also deeply thankful I’ve been through a 2 week isolation before. G-d forbid anyone in our family get sick and need to isolate, not just quarantine, we can handle it because we’ve done it before.

I am thankful my children are older – teens and twenties – because they can entertain themselves, do their own online learning, or otherwise occupy themselves. I text with my kid who lives in another state so they know we are thinking of them, we love them, and are here to support them from afar. I am thankful to have two of my kids living at home so we can provide for them what they need directly.

It’s certainly a process to become comfortable with this new normal and it’s vital to do so. There isn’t a magic date when we can resume what normal used to look like and to some extent – why would we want to go back to that? Yes, I want to be able to hang out with my friends and go out to dinner and go shopping at a brick-and-mortar … but I also am Marie Kondo-ing my life. Does this serve me? Does it bring me joy? If not, thank you for the times we had; it’s not you it’s me.

Be safe and be well, friends. We’ll get through this. Eventually.

Author: Laura

wife. mother. kick-ass girl. all mountain, all road adventurer by bike.

13 thoughts on “My So-Called Life, Pandemic Edition”

  1. End capitalism? There are dozens of poorer countries you could move to that despise capitalism. Try Cuba first. If that doesn’t suit you, how about Venezuela or Puerto Rico? You need a first hand look at what a lack of free enterprise does. It will change you.

      1. Laura, Puerto Rico should be a paradise! Government run amok, which is why it is the way it is, can’t be fixed with A) more government or B) free money, because the politicians are to corrupt and inept to handle the money and aid they currently get.

    1. I seem to be unable to reply to bgddyjim’s latest comment directly, but there’s some confusion there. Capitalism is an economic system, not a system of government. Doing away with with capitalism means neither “more government” nor “free money.” I think you’d benefit from a basic introduction to economics and political science.

      1. I’m a political science major, Derek. And capitalism, free enterprise to those not using made-up terms, is the only economic system that makes the nefarious cousins of communism and socialism seem plausible (on paper only). Don’t fret, big fella.

        And the only thing that can wreck free market success is government.

      1. That would be incorrect, Derek. They play at a free market but it’s anything but. The politicians and bureaucrats wrecked the country and economy.

    2. Are companies in Puerto Rico owned by citizens? Feel free to answer this with a simple yes or no. And I’m sorry, did you say capitalism is a made-up word? You didn’t actually present counterpoints to anything I said. You just acted outraged that anyone would call you on your misinformation. Didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, cowboy, but it’s clear you’re upset.

      1. Derek, first, you’ve got the wrong guy, sparky. I don’t have to get upset talking politics and free markets. The word was coined and popularized by a French fellow and coopted by Karl Marx who loved to rail on about the evils of capitalism as a means of having the communist party assume the means of production “for the good of the workers”. Bread lines, mass genocide and famine ensued. NYT headline: Workers Hardest Hit. It shouldn’t be that hard to do the research on that. Try Google and a fraction of a second.

        Puerto Rico’s problem is its crushing government, with exorbitant salaries and fat pensions. The weight and tax burden is too much for the country to bear, so while rubes may go by a definition of capitalism, everyone knows the weight of the government takes too much from enterprise to call it free. Kinda like Greece, really.

        See, what drives normal adults batty is that, with the exception of Paul Krugman, this is all elementary. France (with Canada running a close second) may be the perfect example where they love their socialism (the government controls means of production rather than communism and the party controlling the same) but they’re not stupid enough to kill the golden goose; the free market. France and Canada both tax the hell out of the people and give the market its needed space to bring the money in.

        I don’t have to get angry because either you’ll grow up and realize a lot of that crap you learned in college sounds great but only works in paper, or you won’t. It’s no skin off my teeth if you don’t, but the freedom of the market, or capitalism, is the only thing that makes the other “isms” and “ships” possible.

        Fun times, man. I should be making $75 k a year with a pension for that lesson, so I’m going to be done now. Feel free to fire back. Peace to you.

    3. So if I can reconstruct your argument for you:

      1) You’re going to chide Laura for her graphic that comments on ending capitalism.
      2) You’re going to conflate the terms “capitalism” and “free enterprise”.
      3) You’re going to tell me that “capitalism” isn’t real because Karl Marx made it up.
      4) You’re going to instead serve up a word salad on how free markets are in Puerto Rico and pretend this is a rebuttal to…something.

      You haven’t thought this through at all, have you? Can you not see the blatant logical error you’ve made? Hint: compare items 1 and 3.

      You strike me as one of those people who kind of paid attention in class, and you memorized a few facts, but you never really understood the core concepts and now you’re just regurgitating stuff you learned and thumping your chest about it. Just shut up.

      Puerto Rican citizens can own private businesses. That’s capitalism. You’re a tool.

  2. I thought the same thing, end capitalism? What? definition: “an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
    “. I don’t want government control. Government doesn’t make money and won’t help you earn a living. BYE!

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