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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Situation Odd

We are now in week four of our personal lockdown. I count ours as beginning from the time Grace's school closed. The week leading up to the decision to close the schools was fairly stressful for me. I engaged in many online arguments with people convinced there was nothing to worry about. I did not like having the bulk of the decisions out of my hands and to decide whether or not I would have to be That Mom. For a day or two, it looked like they were going to attempt to ride it out until conditions demanded otherwise. But soon sanity prevailed. After I knew I would be allowed to keep Grace home without dreadful confrontation or a cascade of consequences for her, my stress level dropped dramatically. Aside from Grace's return to the house during the day, nothing much has really changed here. Dave already works from home. The other children are already homeschooled. We chug along as close to normal as probably anyone could be.

In the immediate aftermath of all the shutdowns, the Internet was awash in exciting ideas to fill your newfound free time. To which I answer, what free time? The bulk of my cancelled activity happened in the evenings. It's true it's been nice spending 6-9pm at home instead of driving all over creation, but 7 o'clock at night isn't exactly the best time to dive into a new household project. We caved and bought Disney Plus in order to binge watch The Mandalorian. This is the way, yall. 

Aside that, nothing is really different or new. I have always been terrible at time management so the days evaporate in the way they always evaporate. We did not have concrete plans or vacations cancelled.  We had hoped to take a day trip to the Tennessee Aquarium over Spring Break, but since we have a yearlong membership that lasts until October, this wasn't a permanently lost opportunity. It's not like we have a habit or tradition of taking a Spring Break trip anyway. We just carry on. 

In spite of all the normal, things are not normal. We have shifted our days. We stay up too late and sleep too late. I am always running after the schedule we kept a few weeks ago and failing. Schoolwork creeps along at 2/3rds pace. The laundry is still behind. 

The reason is I keep getting sucked into the internet. So much new data, information, and speculation every hour of the day. I try to pull myself away, but nothing feels as urgent. You might suppose that this means I am very stressed about the current situation, but the truth is I am not. I have my moments, of course. We all do, but I generally do not feel particularly anxious. 

I think the reason is that life doesn't feel any more precarious than it usually does. We have been living without guaranteed income for years. Many times we stare down the prospect of an extended dry spell and somehow have managed to pull together enough income to make it through without too much pain. I usually can only see three months in front of me anyway. This pandemic doesn't feel much different to me at the moment. Dave has had an alarming number of clients either cancel or put their plans on hold so I know, eventually, we might feel the pinch. Talk to me in June or July. Then I might be anxious. Hopefully, though, life will open up before we get that far. Right now, though, I don't have to think too hard about what happens next.

I feel like we are living in suspended animation. I'm not motivated to keep the more rigorous school schedule, but I don't feel free to chuck it all and concentrate on household projects since I am not going anywhere anyway. This whole situation is just odd. 

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