The ‘mental problems’ category

Quarantimes Week 27: Business As Unusual

September 16th, 2020

Just when I was starting to get a handle on the rhythm of life in the Quarantimes, we went back to school, and things shifted again.

Full disclosure: we were letting them watch up to two hours of TV every morning all summer long. When school started, we ixnayed that habit, and the girls were really good about it. They happily shifted back to playing and coloring in the morning. Which brings me to why they were watching tv in the first place: for me. I hate mornings.

Sans TV, I am beholden to many more questions and requests to outline trees and flowers and “Will you please just draw our house real quick?” and “Is our house red or orange?” at which point I have to break up a heated fight over hue. I enable my kids far too much around drawing, and I worry they are never going to learn to draw as well as I do on their own. Which is to say, very, very badly.

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Also, I am so happy my kids are of an age where drawing rainbows, trains, and clouds is pretty much all they want to do — and all they are expected to do. Friends with older kids are pulling their hair out trying to pivot to being full-time remote teaching assistants and IT experts, regardless of whether they have an actual career they have spent decades building and that their family relies upon for economic stability. 

Which is why, when I see people spouting off about their right not to wear a mask, hostile thoughts overtake me. 

We are the extremely privileged ones whose kids are actually able to go to school in person right now. I never lose sight of this perspective when we go to school or anywhere in public at all. I dutifully wear my mask because, well, science.

On Tuesday whilst procrastinating writing yet more inspired technology copy I tuned in for this lovefest press conference featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci and Vermont’s Governor Scott. It made me feel much calmer and once again very grateful for where I live.

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When I first pictured my kids wearing masks to school it made me profoundly sad. But to be honest, over these last few months, we’ve just gotten used to it. My mom made them a bunch of really sweet masks. We bought a few more on Etsy (rainbows! unicorns!). And their teachers gave them personalized lanyards to hang the masks around their necks so they don’t get lost during “mask breaks” or while eating.

Choosing a mask to match our outfit and attaching it to the lanyard has become a normal part of our morning routine. It’s even… dare I say… kind of fun and comforting.

I do not love wearing a mask. My poor husband has to wear one all day, every day, at work. It sucks! It’s a pain! You know what else would suck though? If we got COVID or, because we were too lazy to wear masks, unwittingly gave someone else COVID. Someone who might then get really sick, even die. Someone like, say, a teacher, or my mom.

Anyway, masks are just part of the routine now — a routine that is still highly challenging, for many reasons other than masks. Like, trying to fit in a 40-hour workweek amidst the extremely intricate dropoff and pickup schedule — and again, we are the lucky ones actually going to school. 

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What I’m reading:

Is Staying In Staying Safe? in the New Yorker. I know this sounds scary but it’s actually a really entertaining article. 

I also very much enjoyed reading They may look goofy, but ostriches are nobody’s fool in National Geographic. Guys, did you know that ostriches are the only birds that have penises?

What I’m listening to:

My mom and I went to see Martin Sexton play at a very socially distanced outdoor vineyard show in Western Mass yesterday and I took this video from our very unobtrusive spot along the pines in the very back, so the video sucks but the song is mesmerizing:

 

 What I’m watching:

Hold Still

What I’m eating:

Um. Dehydrated sungold tomatoes. The tomato infatuation continues.

Um. Dehydrated sungold tomatoes. The tomato infatuation continues.

What I’m working on:

Getting ready to tune in to BoxWorks tomorrow. Box has been a client of mine for years, and their annual event is virtual this year (duh). I’ve been writing a ton of stuff to support the event, which I can share once it’s live. 

 

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