The Reckoning Week 43: No, We Will Not Be Adopting a Pandemic Puppy

January 5th, 2021

All last year I titled this blog “The Quarantimes,” and here in week 43 — the first week of the mythical year of 2021 — I am abandoning that moniker and moving to The Reckoning

I turn fifty this year. I turn fifty and I have almost-six-year-olds.

“What’s it going to take to get you to stop messing with the dog?” I ask Eliza. 

“Another dog,” she coolly informs me.

My daughter has puppy fever. When I tell her unequivocally that we are not getting another puppy in this lifetime, she informs me that “I’ll just ask Santa, then.”

What kind of a monster have we created here? 

Eliza is obsessed with dogs. Unfortunately for her, we are not going to adopt a pandemic puppy. We’re still waiting for our other three animals to die. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love them all to some extent. I adore my mercurial little lionesse Budapest, and I am  her person, which makes me very, very special indeed. My husband, however, hates her, and the feeling is quite mutual. 


Our prissy little Italian greyhound has grown on me over the years. He’s a champion bed-warmer even if he yelps hysterically if he thinks he might be about to get as much as a toe pinched. He’s also a master manipulator who always gets what he wants.


Luka is, well, our third pet. She’s a cat. 


But pets with small children in the time of a pandemic is a lot. Pets + family anytime is a lot, quite frankly, but in these times when one can never truly carve out any personal space or escape, it’s salt in the wound to finally get a moment alone and have it met with a small animal with pleading eyes and a tenacious will.

I crave long, solo walks of the sort I used to take so, so long ago (last August). But alas, the shorter hours of daylight and the deadly treacherous icy roads are thwarting those ambitions. 

Instead, I committed to thirty days of Yoga with Adriene, the YouTube phenom who allegedly makes several mill a year with her free, lovely yoga classes, which really are pretty great. Mainly because they are very short. Some of them are like 22 minutes long, and half that time is spent lying down. This is what I consider a “workout” these days. I am hoping that when I’m done with this spate, my schedule will magically allow me to get back to weekly yoga classes with Rebecca


I’ve also been ferociously bullet journaling, a practice that brings me great joy and reassurance. Looking back on what I wrote down for goals last year, I was mildly surprised to see that most of my goals were actually achievable, even in a chaotic, unfamiliar, incredibly stressful pandemic year. Here are just a few of the intentions I set in January 2020 that actually worked out…

My intentions for this year are modest and achievable as well. And of course, you can’t plan out a year, as we all learned so violently in 2020. To some extent, you just have to take it as it comes, and be pleasantly surprised when things end up on your list you hadn’t even imagined. 

It will not be a puppy, however.

Welcome 2021. Let the mythical year commence.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What I’m reading: 

I think I may be the first person at my little town library to score Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. It’s very good so far; I am about halfway through its crisp, brand-new hardcover pages.

What I’m watching:

Song of the Sea: “Saoirse, the last Selkie, escapes from home to help free mythical creatures trapped in the modern world.” The rare really great kids’ movie that’s also interesting for adults without pandering to adults.

It pretty much does not get any more 2021-style cute than this Harry Styles video featuring Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

What I’m listening to: 

I invested in the Avett Brothers (and friends) New Year’s Eve live show and have been slowly watching a little bit every day. It’s really excellent.

What I’m eating: 

Oh, thanks for asking! It’s January so I am being good. No sugar, flour, or alcohol. Except I do have to make a birthday cake this weekend for my daughters. So…. no promises. 


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