I haven’t touched this blog in a year, and I decided to log in today because the pandemic has introspection and the need for community connection at an all-time high.
After I stopped updating this site, I had some pretty lofty goals. I thought I’d disappear into a pile of manuscripts (I’m using that word to conjure images of dusty tomes of dignified writing, fountain pen in hand … instead of the real image, which is me, sitting at my office desk with digital devices piled up and devices dinging at my face), publishing several before I reached this year mark.
Truth is, I didn’t immerse myself into the writing experience. I sort of zoned out for a year, instead. I had to hit pause on all the writing ideas, because I really wanted to go to the beach with my kids. We traveled a lot, as a family. I went on an amazing trip with my best friend, exploring Spain and France. The privilege of those experiences was not lost on me then, and it’s definitely not lost on me now.
I have two finished books on my desk right now, but they are just sitting there. And they’ve been sitting for several weeks. Two binder-clipped stacks of paper with everything but a final editing pass and a dedication page. Like cats in a cardboard box lid, they stare at me and occasionally yawn those cat yawns where their faces look like they’re going to split. I need to feed them. I also need to end this weird metaphor.
We’re in isolation here. My husband and I are like mice, scuttling around in the walls, with a ten year old and an almost-four-year-old running roughshod. We are attempting to help our daughter distance learn. We are attempting to help our son feel like his parents have the patience of his beloved preschool teachers (We do crafts! But we also holler sometimes.) We are running two businesses out of this house, both affected directly by COVID-19.
We wake up every morning, grateful as fuck to be alive and well.
We’re tired. We’re stressed. We’re hashtag blessed.
There’s a lot to do, and despite being home all the time, we’re keeping very busy with work, playing games with the kids, construction paper projects, writing, watching movies, building a garden … with projects and moments interrupted by the gut-clenching scream of a thought: “Are we going to be okay?!!!” That question echoes around my skull, making me grind my teeth and clench my jaw while smoothing my son’s hair and asking him if he wants a hug, even though it’s me that needs the hug.
I am immeasurably lucky to still have insurance coverage for the time being, and to still be working. Most of my nightmares are about not being able to order insulin. Insulin and angry bears, for some reason.
All of my speaking engagements have been cancelled or rescheduled for 2021, and some conferences have moved to a digital format. I’ve built a persona around the lady – her name is Pamdemic – who says “Five minutes until the webinar begins” on Zoom and GoToMeeting. In my mind, she’s about 95 years old, filing her nails as she pays only the minimum attention necessary, and smokes a cigarette after the webinar is over.
I miss meeting people. In real life, in my personal space, just a coffee cup away. I’m an extrovert not built for extended isolation, and it’s really, really clear to me now that my diabetes management / control / comfort comes directly from insulin and community (in that order). But I know we’ll be together soon. I know we’ll weather this ridiculously weird storm and hopefully come out kinder and more connected at the end of it all.
I’m not sure why I wanted to say hi today, but hi. I’ve missed your faces. I hope you’re all doing as well as possible.