life right now

These are strange times. It’s the peak (here’s hoping) of the pandemic and we’re in the days between the (second) impeachment and the inauguration. (As someone on Twitter said, “I can’t believe it’s time for another impeachment already–I feel like I just took down my decorations from the last one.”)

I wanted to try to capture what life feels like right now, because I know I’m not the only one feeling this weird mix of emotions.

In the past two months, Biden won the presidency by a landslide. Dems flipped the Senate. We have an effective vaccine and I already know many people who’ve been vaccinated and/or have an appointment (including my parents!!).

There’s so much to celebrate and lots of reasons to be hopeful.

But but but. This is all happening against a backdrop of thousands of deaths per day, so many people (everyone?) stressed and/or sick, and then: a horrifying attack by white supremacists on the U.S. Capitol.

As 2021 approached, everyone was so excited to turn the page on 2020. But even on New Year’s Day, I knew the memes were coming… 2021 is the same. 2021 is worse.

Lots of hopes pinned on the Georgia election–and then the joy of that victory was obliterated by the dismay and horror of watching the Capitol under siege.

One week later, yes–of course glad to see the president impeached a second time but it felt…empty to me. Anti-climactic. Pelosi signed and walked out. It was the right thing to do but nothing to feel happy about. Millions of Americans have lost their minds.

In my daily life, I’m in a fog. That’s not exactly it… It’s more like I feel like I’m putting the usual amount of effort into my work and my daily goals (which is, you know, a lot) but not much is coming of it. I can’t seem to make sense of my inbox. Yesterday I really tried to get through all of the messages and only got through the letter “K.” And it’s not like I’m just sitting there watching the news either… I’m just not productive. I’m unfocused. I’m all over the place.

I can’t remember how to do basic processes, can’t remember the history or who’s the contact person or what’s the due date. I’m always on the wrong line of a spreadsheet. I’m reaching for easy and obvious words and not thinking of them.

This morning I put the oatmeal away in the refrigerator.

After spending a lot of winter break organizing, purging, and ordering stuff we needed, we somehow couldn’t find the basic hats, mittens, snowpants, etc. etc. to get out the door for a playground meetup on Sunday. (yes, I lost my temper)

I feel antsy and itchy.

And, starting today, my new workday soundtrack is the ukelele that I ordered for E for Christmas that took over a month to arrive via the U.S. Postal Service and got here yesterday. I told him he can play it while at school, to help him sit still. Play only while on mute. Keep the ukelele out of the picture.

The constant strumming is not helping my brain function!

If you’re feeling any of this too, let me give you the advice I need to hear today:

Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Go easy. Make it “good enough.” Watch a mindless show and take a bath. This will all keep changing and evolving. Soon we’ll feel the warmth of the first rays of sunlight of a new era.

In the midst of all of it, the kids are doing well. C turned 3 (amazing Daniel Tiger cake baked by her cousin) and E lost one of his front teeth. (OF COURSE the tooth fairy forgot to come but $5 showed up under the pillow later that morning)

Hang in there, grown-ups.



7 thoughts on “life right now”

  1. Beautiful capture of this moment. It is unique. I try to scribble a little every day to capture the tumbleweed of emotions that blow through every day. I look forward to a quiet day in the warm sun, but it is important to capture and honor where we are now.

  2. It’s grief. It’s as familiar to me as my own name. I wish it weren’t. But that kind of always on the wrong row of a spreadsheet (which is the most perfect way of saying it ever) — kind of a fog — it’s grief. When my sister died, I could even answer the easy emails. Everything seemed hard. Stuff I know off the top of my head in an ordinary time. And our country was not built for this kind of all over the place loss. My German friend T always said – I just love how every time I call you, you answer the phone like I’m some long-lost relative you thought was dead and now here I am calling you. You always sound so excited to hear from me. And I’m just calling to talk about whatever report is due this week. She thinks of that as a particularly American trait — that sort of confidence that everything will be okay — not okay, everything will be AWESOME! Which can be obnoxious, but can also be kind of endearing. And I don’t think anybody feels awesome right now. I’m sounding too much like a Lego movie. Thanks for writing this. You are most def not the only person feeling this way. Hugs!

  3. Thank you for this! Same same same. I thought it was just me on the wrong line of the spreadsheet. Thank you for the mantra —one foot in front of the other. I will give more genuine compliments tomorrow and see where it goes!

  4. I am a teacher. Too often latley I am on the wrong side of the spreadsheet, the wrong side of my gradebook and the wrong side of my lesson plans. I’m also a choice mom teaching from home as my child is learning from home. I get it. I really, really get it !!

  5. K, Your description sounds exactly like what’s going on in my brain and in my house. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in losing my mind/losing the “oatmeal” (The juice was in the microwave). I’m blaming the lack of people-support due to sheltering in place. Let’s hope it starts to turn around soon.

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