From the moment I knocked my glasses off the night table as I tried and failed to start my day, my crabbiness seemed too stubborn to budge.
Scowling, I filled up the kettle to make a cup of tea — I was too impatient for a warm cup of something to make a Chemex of coffee — and limped and creaked into the morning.
It’s been 227 days since I resurrected this blog, since we quarantined to protect our communities from the virus we all thought would be handled months ago. We were wrong. “Pandemic fatigue” has set in, leading people to make stupid, risky decisions that put everyone’s health at risk.
It’s eight days before a presidential election I’m too scared to feel optimism about, despite polls all but assuring victory for the candidate who isn’t actively ushering in a fascist, authoritarian regime. Did we learn nothing from 2016? Even with a win at the polls, I don’t see myself exhaling until our man puts his hand on the bible in January.
It’s mere hours until a damnable conservative-majority Senate spits in the face of the will of the people and confirms a rammed-through Illinois judge with an antiquated “originalist” view of the Constitution — and everything it represents — to the highest court in the land. Their utter disdain for democracy will come back to bite them.
It’s hard not to feel suffocated under a blanket of existential dread.
If I were the same person I was when I wrote my last couple of entries — during what I now call my “lost summer” — I probably wouldn’t be able to get out of bed. But pharmaceutical salvation found me in August, and I finally emerged from that crippling fog of depression and anxiety (though not until after one of the worst weeks of my entire life).
But I do get out of bed every morning. And I do the thing. I’m not super hopeful for the future, per se, but I go on. I donate money, I text bank, I make sales calls and write proposals, I meet deadlines, I cash checks. I cook until my back aches. I pet my cats, I do the crossword puzzle, I watch The Great British Baking Show and Succession and oh my god so much streaming.
I get a good night’s sleep — well, sometimes good — then I wake up and do it all over again. These days, I’m crabby more days than not.
But then I look out the window through the busted slats of blinds that have seen better days and fewer cats, and I catch a glimpse of our first fat, fluffy flakes.
And I scare my husband nearly out of his chair yelling, “SNOW!”
I rush outside like a child, reaching my hand beyond the deck railing to catch a crystal before it melts into my skin. The snow won’t stick, and everyone who still has to leave their homes bemoans the flurries as a harbinger of the frigid hellscape to come.
I do not mourn the passing of this summer or the falling of leaves.
I can’t help but feel a little starry-eyed and moony at the idea of scented candles, clanking radiators, more snuggling, more streaming, more safe harbor of home. And I recognize that’s a privilege of immeasurable magnitude.
But here we are, hurtling together through time and space, upright on a round earth by a force we can’t see, and the snow will come whether we like it or not. Like so many things. So when the drifts pile beyond our windows, we shovel a path for ourselves and turn our heads to spring.
Today was better. I made a new to-do list — four items, one a carry-over from yesterday’s — and set about crossing things off. After my morning coffee and breakfast, I video chatted with a developer colleague in a small German village. After giving me an update on where we stand with our website project, he recalled…Read More
I think I discovered another angle to why I don’t love teletherapy: In addition to the ritual of physically getting there, and being in a space I associate with hard work, healing, and often comfort, it also preserves the sanctity of home — creates the illusion of space from the rawness of whatever feelings come up during…Read More
I suddenly can’t shake this overwhelming sense of being a Very Drab Human. What kind of person worries about being interesting at a time like this? But believe it, Dear Reader: I have shelter-in-place FOMO. So many friends are watching amazing concerts, exploring home schooling with their children, tackling some huge project, meaningfully engaging with…Read More
I woke up with an earworm: “1979” by Smashing Pumpkins. I have never liked Smashing Pumpkins. But this morning, once I don’t have to think about words making it from brain to finger to keyboard, I’m going to play Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness front to back. What is it about ‘90s music that…Read More
Quiet friend who has come so far, feel how your breathing makes more space around you.Let this darkness be a bell towerand you the bell. As you ring, what batters you becomes your strength.Move back and forth into the change.What is it like, such intensity of pain?If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.…Read More