A Week in Review

I’ve been back to posting fairly regularly for a little more than a month now. I had stopped because life had gotten too busy; between sitting in front of a computer for 8+ hours a day for work, a family that wants attention, and a dangerous amount of sleep deprivation it became hard to finding something to write about. Throughout the pandemic, life has felt fairly monotonous, what could my voice add to the billions that were feeling the same way.

A few weeks ago, though, I realized that I missed the consistency. I missed the deadline of needing to get something posted. I felt I had things to say; not always serious things, or big things, but things all the same.

But I am taking it slow to start with. Just getting back into getting something posted is enough for now. I have a couple of items in my drafts that need various levels of polish, research, and work until they’re ready. I want to get the juices flowing enough to get some fiction going again.

Finding the words to say what I am thinking has not always been a strong suit. Taking the time to say how I feel even less so. This has always been a space to work on the parts of me that I felt were under-developed. I hope that continues.

In the meantime, I hope everyone will take their shot when they have their shot. I hope everyone will wear a mask, keep each other safe, and find some compassion. I hope that we can remember the lessons learned over the last year. I always hope we can see each other again.

A few links to end the week…

  • CDC Vaccine Finder – Useful tool to find appointments and distribution near you. Reminder, availability will be expanded on April 16th!
  • Broken (in the best possible way) – One of my favorite authors, Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess), has a new book out. It is wonderful and speaks to how it feels to live with mental illness. Please support a local bookshop, if you can!

As always, my friends, good luck. Until next week…

Tomorrow

I have been on lockdown since February 20, 2020. That was the last day I spent any real time in the outside world. I had a small medical procedure the next day, spent a week working from home. By the time I was supposed to go back to the office, we were on temporary work from home duty. That 30 day order turned into 60 days, into 90 days, into…well, I pretty much just work from home now.

I realized the other day that I have not been into a Target in more than a year. I haven’t been to Disneyland, which may be more of a miracle if you know me. Last week was the first time I’ve eaten at a restaurant, and then only because we had to take our littlest to an appointment several hours from our house.

We have been extraordinarily careful over this time. We’ve wiped down groceries, changed clothes and taken showers, washed hands, limited shopping. We’ve closed a business and looked at ways to change our life. All in the name of keeping ourselves, and our families, safe and healthy.

I want my children to grow up to have long and healthy lives; so a new virus comes up with unknown long term effects, I want to keep them safe. I want to dance at their weddings, graduations, have dinners long into the future, so I’ll keep myself and my wife safe. I want my parents to be around for more than their parents were, so I will do what I can to keep them safe.

I understand that not everyone will agree with my viewpoint. The world is big enough for a lot of different people and their own ideas. But I will do what I need to do to keep my family safe. And if that means following government recommendations, and wearing a piece of cloth, and washing my hands, and not licking poles, and limiting my contact with other disgusting humans, then fine. We can do that.

All of this to say, I am so tired of this. I don’t miss going out. I never really liked it to begin with. What I miss, is the possibility of it. I miss the ability to go to dinner. I miss the ability to go to the movies, or to go to a store, or to see my parents. Or, really, to go to Disneyland.

The last year has been hard. Well, to be fair, the last four haven’t been a cakewalk, but the last year has been especially hard. And now, here it is, the precipice of tomorrow.

My wife received her first vaccine last week. My parents are waiting for their second shots. Initial tests on my oldest’s age group looks promising for the fall. And I have my shot tomorrow.

We always have tomorrow to look forward to. No matter how bad yesterday was, no matter how low we are today, tomorrow is just around the corner. The injustices of the world, the slights of fate we endure, or the pains and trials we go through…they will all fade in the promise of tomorrow.

Until next time my friends…stay safe, stay healthy, and good luck.

The Joys of Working from Home

My entire life, I have always thought, “Ah, to work from home.” The dream was to wake up, stroll downstairs to enjoy coffee on my balcony, watching the rats scurry to their offices while I caught up on the days events from NPR. After a breakfast of soft cheese, toast, and fruit, I would wander into my perfectly appointed office to begin the labors of the day. I would occasionally stop to refill my coffee mug, to make and enjoy a leisurly lunch, and perhaps even pop into the backyard to work while the children quielty frolicked in the backyard. At the end of the day, I would turn off the computer, content with the amount of work I had accomplished, free of the distractions and politics of an office environment, and pour myself a glass of wine to get a start on dinner.

Every single part of that dream was a lie.

I have been incredibly fortunate to have a job the last several years that is is work from home. When 2020 struck with the warning and shock of a tsunami, I was fortunately prepared. I had everything I needed to be a fully encapsulated worker bee in the comfort of my own home. I had worked from home for the previous 18 months, and felt prepared; how much was life really going to change for me. Oh boy…

I was not prepared for the new frentic energy of Pandemic Life in this household. With four humans and two canines trying to share a 2-bedroom apartment, the chances of someones toes getting stepped on or fuse being lit is un-erringly high. There are four different schedules, naps (sadly, not mine), homework, phone calls, training meetings, clients, emergencies, homework, meals, changes of plans, and also homework.

The average day does not involve what could be described as a dream. Upon waking up, usually from a night’s sleep that involved getting various children and dogs back to sleep, I get up in time to rush through my morning ablutions and plop myself down in my chair for a meeting. Sometimes I can grab coffee before, but usually not. After the meeting it is work until, hopefully, my wonderful wife has had time to get some food on a plate for me while trying to herd the sacks of cats that I swear are impersonating our children.

Then I blink and it is time for the littlest to take a nap, which means that the room that has been my office reverts back to being the kid’s room, and I have to find a new place to work. I try to time this around my lunch, but sometimes there are meetings, or calls, or emergencies. Through all of this, the 1st grader is doing his school work.

I’m not sure I remember much of my 1st grade experience. I have vauge recolations of learning to tell time on an analog clock, of reading, and…of not liking my teacher very much. My child may share a few of those memories. This has to be a difficult time for him too; out of a classroom, home all the time, not really understanding the reasons for this life-changing event. But also, why can’t we just do 19+17=? and move on with our lives? Or why can’t you just copy the lines, or read the story, or…ugh.

Then there is my wife. She is holding this house together with her bare hands. She has a business she is trying to keep going, despite a global health emergency that has essentially shut down her industry. She is teaching, and developing ways to continue to push her students forward. She is doing the shopping and the lion’s share of the cooking, and keeping our son on track with his schoolwork and…she just does it. We try to split the chores we can, and each help to get the have-to’s doene. Without her, we would be sunk. And with only two or three breakdowns to her credit, I am damned impressed!

Yes, working from home was the dream, but that dream is very different from the reality. That isn’t bad or good, it just is the reality we are living in right now. Eventually the older one will go back to school, the other will have their own room to nap in. My wife will be able to do what she always expected to do, and I will have that perfectly appointed office. In the meantime, we are alive, we are healthy, and we have everything we need to live, survive, and to keep moving forward. And, for now, that is all we need.

Until next time…stay safe, stay sane, and good luck.