Day 67, with Last Normal…

A meme is going around on the socials, asking folks what their last Normal Photo is in their camera roll.

:side eyes:

Um, apparently I am Not That Interested in normal? 99% of my phone photos for 2020 are in the apartment, of animals and plants. 90% of the ActualCameraTM photos are of animals and the moon.

What I DO have, though, is a propensity for taking videos of people and animals having fun. So I have a contribution to what Normal can look like, in New York City. I don’t know when they put the seesaws in, but it was so much fun to watch.

Lightbar seesaws, anyone?

Day 63, with Allergies

4th day of allergic sniffle-snuffle tearstreamingTM, all while sitting inside the house.

Yet ANOTHER annoying thing about this quarantine is that if I’m gonna swell enough to look like the Claymation version of myself, I’d like to be able to be out in the pollen-swept airs of spring. Even if it made me worse, at least I’d be able to touch the new leaves and the rising saps. Pfeh.

Not gonna go out, of course. Claritin and me are gonna be BFFs for the next little while, and I think I can convince myself I’m not gonna die and there’s gonna be another spring.

Now if only other people in this world didn’t struggle to make that less likely for our more vulnerable populations. grr.

Day 59, with US Mother’s Day

Since getting together with Jon, I’ve had a little tradition of sending flowers, a plant, or some such thing to my mother, grandmother, stepsister, mother-in-law and sister-in-law. This year I couldn’t send what I’d usually send because, yknow, not an essential business. So it’s a giftless Mother’s Day, this year.

I’m a bit taken aback how awkward and wrong it feels.

I mean, sure, we called and texted folks and had lovely conversations. Everyone understands the context we’re living in. I know no one feels slighted. Everyone is just happy everyone else is being safe.

So why does it still feel like I’ve let people down?

It might be a side effect of quarantine. After all, this isn’t good for anyone’s mental health, even while it is the best alternative to maintain people’s physical health. Or it might be that I’m upset at my lack of creativity – I wasn’t able to come up with a good alternative that would work for everyone involved.

In the end, I know this is a good thing because I love all these folks and want them to feel loved. But wow is it weird when one part of my brain decides to be inconsolable about something like this.

Here’s to all the people who care.

Day 49, with End-of-April vibes

Wow, it’s the end of April already.

CW: commentary on the state of the world.

. . . um, some *enthusiastic* commentary.

So yeah. Almost two entire months of staying inside 90% of the time, masks for the other 10%, and working entirely from home.

On the one side, I have to say I am really delighted with my work team, and how generous folks are with each other, and how folks have stepped up to take on work they wouldn’t normally do. How free they are with compliments and help and support. I’d seen hints of it before, but you really get a sense of who folks are when in the middle of crisis. I am really proud of being on this team.

On the other hand, the world. Oh gods, the WORLD WHAT IS GOING ON WHY IS EVERYTHING ON FIRE AND WHY IS THAT ORANGE GIBBON* OVER THERE USING A SUPER-SOAKER OF LIGHTER FLUID ON EVERYONE WHYYY

This is a fucker of a virus and everything I see about it is terrifying. The people – even doctors! – who want to treat it like it is equivalent to a seasonal flu are boggling… I mean, sure, the flu is dreadful and it kills a lot of people but usually that’s over the course of 5 months, not 2. The death rate since we’ve been tracking is pretty berserk, globally.

aaaaand that has me pretty messed up. Like, sure I can go on and do all the things but I’ve got brain splinters poking me in the back of the eyes kinda messed up.

I personally know 7 people who think they’ve gotten it, so far. One’s been confirmed, and it was dicey for a bit, but she’s moved out of the ICU today, thanks to all gods.

She’s significantly younger than me. So yeah, I’m worried for people.

Tomorrow, it’s May. We’ll be officially 1/3rd through 2020.

Crap.

* no I don’t mean Gritty get his name outa yer mouf.

Day 43, with Anniversary and Work-based Failure

I’m not gonna talk about Russia’s new 5k, or Lysol having to issue a disclaimer about something the President of the United States said during a press conference*.

This post is a wee summary of a personal good and personal bad on the same day.

First, I have been struggling to get an update to one of my work products out the door. For like six months. It has been broken differently every single step of the way. And I thought we had it, but when the build was sent out yesterday? Everything crashed on my test device. It was a brand new device, too, so nothing to conflict with the app.

I was … surprisingly crushed. Sick-feeling. Tearing up. Like… it’s just an app. Built on a major platform. Why is it taking so incredibly long to build it and make it work? It USED to work.

Sheesh I’m tearing up just thinking about it. Six months wasted. And today was supposed to be the day we finally shared some progress with the rest of the community. Instead I had to write them all that there was a blocker and it was pushed to next week. (If it gets fixed, that is. Sigh.)

On the flip side?

Today is the 10th anniversary of the day Jon and I actively decided to be a couple**. Which isn’t a big thing, but it’s nice to have the marker. Makes for some extra happy kisses in the morning.

I’m hanging on to that, for dear life, this morning.

*I mean, Jesus fucking Christ what the hell timeline is this? Ionesco meets Palahniuk or something?

**There are not many things I’m Leslie Knope-ish about, but romantic anniversaries are one of them. But I promise – I don’t do the berserk giftie thing.

Day 41, with 50 yrs of Earth Day

It’s weird that I can’t go out and enjoy the burgeoning spring on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but I get that the weirdness is also poignant and poetic. I’m not the best steward and I should learn more skills in that area, and figure out how best to protest misuse given my physical limitations.

Protest only once the quarantine is over, of course.

Day 40, with Overwhelm

CW: Death toll, other associated numbers, general horror at the state of the world

Today is a rough one. A reeeeeally rough one.

I understand that anything that would make US governmental bodies shut down businesses would have to be bad. But today it hit me how bad it still is, vs my miniscule effort, vs all these days inside.

In the past two days, over 10K people have died globally. More people have died in the US between 4/20 and 4/21 than are, on average, killed by heart disease (the #1 killer in the US). The death rate right now in Spain is over 10%. The death rate in the US is 5% so far, and while New York’s curve is finally starting to flatten, as a country that curve is still climbing.

We’re doing incredibly badly at containing this monster, and I’m terrified for friends and family across the globe. If you’re reading me regularly you probably are already doing all you can, but if you stumble on me by accident? Please stay safe, don’t play chicken with this horrible thing.

Day 34, with Exhaustion

Yesterday morning my voice was ragged and low, what Jon calls my Kathleen Turner Overdrive voice. I sounded like a massive cold was in my throat and lungs, snot not there yet but oh-yeah incoming. And I was TIRED. Really darkdeep tired. I was seriously debating calling in a sick day. But people need, and work needs, and I’m doing (relatively) good work for a fine institution that serves people, and I wasn’t SICK sick.

So I got up, and started working.

And very quickly regretted it.

Not because anything went wrong, per se. Everything in my work-world is exciting and has the typical tech hitches, and the interpersonal dynamics are all familiar to me and everyone associated with my projects really means extremely well.

No, the problem was the tiredness. I haven’t been this kind of tired since the last time I had mono. Adding a LOT of video conferencing calls where I was called upon to be cheerful* was an effort and stress I wasn’t really up for. I ended the day with my head on my desk, my cheeks not just aching but burning from smiling too long, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I actually did go and lie down under the covers for a while, and if I’d had dinner I might have just passed out.

But I was angry at myself. I’m not doing that much; I’m not working up to my personal spec day by day. So there I was, head on desk, thinking “dammit Risa get the hell up and get [that other thing] done.”

If that sounds familiar to anyone, I want to extend a psychic hug. Sometimes gentleness with ourselves and each other is hard, because the world is not gentle and we’re keyed to respond fast and adapt soon after. But nothing about this is actually easy. Living with helplessness is not easy. So I want to remind you that not only is the world full of horror right now, but there was horror we were struggling with before this all happened, and your tiredness or anger or pain? It makes sense. Things are bad. We get tired. Struggling to not be tired only works short-term. In the end, we’ll be forced to admit to the existence of that goopy human who needs to cry or scream or maybe just space out for a little while.

That goopy human deserves all the care and love we can summon for it.

*because otherwise I get the worst resting bitch face.