Hey friends. How are you all doing? What a weird time we live in, although I am sure people from every era felt the same way. Last night I started feeling scared, really for the first time. I just had a moment where the gravity of everything hit me. I just wanted to hide under the covers and mope. Then this morning I was doing something very routine in my kitchen and it struck my how “normal” my apartment looked. How “normal” it looked outside my window. I have remembered feeling this when dear ones have died, or some other huge event has happened in my life. Even as we grapple with massive events, it is juxtaposed with normal life – having to feed the pets, do laundry, clean up the kitchen. The sun rises and the sun sets. Life continues.
I am experiencing what I think is very common right now: I feel unworried and quite positive for long periods and then have moments of fear, with hints of panic. Overall I am struck by how this is SUCH new territory. There are many bad things which are now quite “normal”: school shootings, terrorist attacks, disgusting politics. But this feels very strange. Completely unknown. And my faith in this country’s ability to cope with this foreign phenomenon is weak. I would love to become a believer. Time will tell.
I decided to brave the grocery store today, to stock up on a few more things and also to see for myself the craziness. But there was no show. My Ralphs (Western and Hollywood) was reasonably busy but felt calm. The lovely people who work there looked as they always did, except for the addition of gloves and a bit more weariness than usual. The shelves looked normal except for a few missing items: toilet paper (of course, not a square to spare), wipes, oats and….yeast? NO YEAST? C’Mon. That was on my list. I guess I will be turning to the internet for yeast. Ralphs also showed no signs of price gauging. Everything was very reasonable, with some good sales going on. Just another day.
We then went up to Daiso. It was completely quiet, and well stocked with soap and wipes. I bought a bunch. Why not. Maybe this place is less frequented because of racism? Or simply because they are tucked away, upstairs, off the main path. I am not sure. But I am grateful for them.
When we arrived home we followed my new ritual: first washing hands for 20 seconds. Then wiping down everything purchased with a disinfectant wipe, and also keys and phone. Then washing hands again. Amazing how quickly new rituals are created in times like this, and how normal they become.
This time has made me really think about community and friends. The uncertainty reminds me to reach out to those I love. It has me missing hugs and kisses. I can’t wait to wrap my arms around my friends again, when the time is right. It has me very grateful for my guy, a wonderful partner in uncertain times. The love and presence of my two gorgeous cats is especially needed and appreciated. (If I have been hoarding any product it has been cat related. I don’t mind fasting but heaven forbid my cats live without their food – they would be annoying AF!).
My personal plan for the next period is to keep quietly preparing for a potential time of total insolation. In the meantime I plan on purchasing food and coffee to go from my local restaurants. Keep patronizing them for as long as it makes sense. As a person who already works from home and who still has plenty of work on the books right now, I feel incredibly privileged. That has not always been my life. That is not the life for many, many people, who now face a period of no work + no income + no health insurance.
Other points on The Plan: I will keep walking (as long as I can). I will keep doing yoga daily. Journaling. Creating music (apparently Shakespeare wrote King Lear and Macbeth during the Bubonic plague. No Pressure). Collaborating with other creatives through the wonders of the internet. I am hoping to make this a very creative and restorative time.
I keep thinking through all the positive things that could come out of this time. To be honest I have felt recently like I am on the brink of utter exhaustion. So many times we beg life to slow down and now here we are. It seems pointless to fight it. The logical way forward is to embrace it and make it work for us. I am not saying it will be easy, but maybe it could be good. Ultimately, that is up to us.
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Reach out if you want to chat.
Sending you all love, strength and above all: good health.