I honestly wish I could write about anything else. I tried. But anything else seems trite right now when everything we do is impacted by this virus. I promised myself that I’d write a blog post once a month, even if no one reads it but my dog, so I’m giving it a try.
People who aren’t writers assume I’m getting a lot of writing done. This could not be further from the truth. First, my husband is also working from home. Second, my two children are working from home. When I do have an hour or two free to shut myself in my little closet-office, my mind wanders like never before. There’s a lot of anxiety (oh, the strange nightmares I’ve had!), times when I’m feeling super down and lonely, and there’s the guilt at the fact that I’m able to stay home and have food in the cupboard when other people can’t and don’t.
I shot out of the gate, on the very first weekend of the shut-down in Ohio, with the best intentions, daily to-do lists and a plan to “use this time wisely,” you know, by finally picking up that ukulele, maybe joining my daughter in her Duolingo plan to learn French, finally sorting through all the online family videos and photos and getting them in order. I’ve done…some of that…but I quickly realized I couldn’t keep up the pace I’d first established and needed to cut myself some slack. There are days when I dive into a project, like sorting through our cluttered attic and getting it organized, but there have been days when I keep refreshing my Twitter account and stare out the window. Though I have stacks of books on my to-read pile, I’ve instead returned to an old favorite, Harry Potter.
Today, I’m staring out my office window and noticing the blossoming of the pear tree in our front yard. It’s kind of a scraggly thing, in the tree lawn and thus owned by the city. We had to get some dead limbs cut off last year, and when the blossoms first come out in April, they smell like rotting meat. But, every spring, I remember when we first looked at the house, ten years ago next month, and the blossoms were floating off in the wind, and my then-3-year-old daughter spun around under them and squealed, “Mommy! It’s snowing!” I turned to my husband and said, “We have to buy this house.”
I’m finding it very comforting to just spend some quiet minutes looking at this tree today. And if I cross something off my to-do list, it may just be one small thing. It may just be this blog post. It’s not a bad strategy moving forward, taking deep breaths, focusing on something lovely, and just trying to do one small thing each day. I’m wishing everyone similar moments of peace.