How We Are Faring

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We just finished our second week of the stay-at-home quarantine. For me, it was the end of two weeks of working from home, while for the kids, it was the end of their first week of distance-learning. They attend Catholic schools in the Detroit area, and all the schools in the Archdiocese were mandated to move their spring break from the week before Easter to last week, and now they have to spend the next three weeks doing distance-learning. (Originally, they were supposed to go back to class on April 6 for three days before Holy Thursday and Good Friday, but that changed this past Monday when the governor of Michigan instituted a mandatory quarantine through April 13 for all nonessential people.)

After two weeks of working from home, I can safely say that I hate it. Mostly it’s just uncomfortable. I spent seven years riding horses in my youth, which has given me a lifetime of back problems, and my office set up is far from ergonomic.

My make-shift office

That chair is new. The chair I originally had for about 17 years, which I got back when I first worked from home when Jamie was a baby, finally gave up the ghost that week, so I bought a new one. I hated that one, so then I took that one back and bought the one you see here. It’s not a bad chair, it’s just that my desk is not at all designed for proper posture. (Funny story: that desk was actually thrown away by someone when Jason and I lived in Detroit 20 years ago. He picked it up off the side of the road, brought it home, refinished it, and it’s been what we’ve used in our “computer room“ ever since. So yeah, old and definitely not built for today’s ergonomic standards. My keyboard is on the middle drawer on top of some towels. :O )

The only good thing about my “home office,“ if you can call it that, is that I do have a window, which is something I lack in my current real office. That’s probably the biggest thing I miss in transferring from my other job last year. There are absolutely no windows anywhere around me, and as someone who is both weather-obsessed and very fond of daylight, it’s a challenge. So, as much as I hate the discomfort of working from home, I’m trying to enjoy the window view while I have it.

My kids are surviving, but I know they’re bored and lonely, Jamie more so than JJ. Being a senior with a car and a pretty active social life, Jamie has been used to being out and about with his friends all the time. He went from seeing them every day at school, and then hanging out with many of them at lacrosse practice after school, and then going to various sporting events or other social gatherings, to absolutely nothing. The first couple of days, he kept asking if he could go over to friends’ houses, and we got in more than one argument when I told him no. It was very stressful. He was so bored last week, with no interaction at all, but this week, he’s done some online classes, using Zoom and Google hangout to communicate with his classmates. His Calculus teacher is even doing live online instruction three times a week. I am able to hear him from the other room during those class times, and I can tell that he really enjoys the interaction. It’s about the only time I’ve heard him laugh and make jokes in the last two weeks. I feel so bad for him, like parents of most seniors probably feel right now. This is not how our kids’ high school career was supposed to end. I sure hope that we can get back to normal sooner rather than later.

JJ is doing better. He loves playing on the Xbox, and as my more extroverted kid, he takes every opportunity he can get to get online with his friends. He literally sits in the living room talking almost nonstop for hours at a time while he’s playing with them. On the one hand, it drives me crazy to see him sitting on his rear end doing nothing but playing video games all day, but on the other hand, I know he craves the interaction, too, and for him, Xbox gaming with friends is an acceptable substitute at this point. I do put limits on the amount of time he can spend on the game, though. He also started distance-learning this past week.

Learning from the couch

When did my baby get so big?? I have to admit to being a bit concerned about his “learning,” though. He literally had all of his work done by Tuesday morning…for the whole week! I’m really tempted to email his teachers and ask them if he shouldn’t have more work, but I decided I would let it go this week and see what happens next week. I know this is uncharted territory for everyone, especially the teachers, so I don’t want to put any more burden on them than they already have. But I sure would like to see my kid doing a little more work!

As for my husband, well, I’m not sure how he’s faring. He’s not very talkative about his job by nature, because it’s a pretty serious job at times, and he prefers to leave it at work. (And after hearing some of his more gruesome stories early in his career when we were dating, I fully support him keeping it to himself!) I know it’s a challenge for him. He’s not used to wearing so much protective equipment during his runs, but now, besides the usual gloves, he’s wearing a face mask or multiple versions of a face mask every day, and I know he hates it. I’m sure all medical professionals do! I asked him if he’s had to treat anyone with the virus, and his answer is simply, “I don’t know.“ His job is not like those who work in the hospital, where they are testing people. He gets a call for an emergency, and he is simply required to treat them as he is able until they arrive at the hospital. From there, he has no idea what happens next. Sometimes, they don’t want to go to the hospital, so there’s no real tracking of what their illness may or may not have actually been.(Full disclosure: a lot of the people who call 911 in the city of Detroit are not actually sick, or at least, not sick in a way that would require them to actually be transported in an emergency fashion. Such is one of the many frustrations of his job.)

So all in all, we’re doing OK, although some days are not as good as others. I’m not one who is prone to depression, but this whole situation has really taken its toll on me. I’ve had some real down episodes, which is uncommon for me. It’s honestly too much like when the terrorist attacks happened in 2001. I was pregnant at the time, and I remember being so worried about life and worried for my unborn child. I feel a lot like that very often these days, only now, that baby that I was caring inside me is now a fully sentient being who talks back and argues with me when I try to keep him safe. Couple that with the fact that I worry about my husband constantly, and it can be hard to hold it together some days.

But I have faith in God and in the goodness of people, and I know that I am blessed to be healthy and in a position where I can self-quarantine, so I’m trying my best to just ride it out and not dwell on the negative. Last week we played euchre on Saturday night, and then I went to bed when my husband pulled out a board game from the 90s.

I didn’t play Axis and Allies in the 90s and I’m not about to start now.

I’ve gone out to the store a couple of times, which was a trial in itself. 😵 I had done my usual grocery shopping 2 1/2 weeks ago, shopping for the next two weeks, as I always do. I honestly thought that I dodged a bullet back then, because I had gotten my groceries right before the panic really set in, and I thought for sure that by the time I did my grocery shopping again in two weeks, everything would be back to normal. Obviously, that was before I knew the governor was going to shut down the state! I never thought I would see the day where I walked into a grocery store and they literally had no chicken…no drumsticks, no thighs, no wings, no breasts, nothing. not to mention no paper towels, no toilet paper, no tissues… what the hell!? How is this even possible? I had to go to three different stores to get chicken, because even though I went at 7 AM on the day that “medical and health personnel“ were able to go to Meijer early, they only allowed you two packages per person. I’m lucky if two packages feeds my family for one dinner! 🤦‍♀️

God bless my husband, he traveled to three different Meijers when he got off work that morning and picked us up enough chicken to get us by, I bought 3 gallons of milk on Tuesday, and we are down to our last gallon already. I swear to God, these kids are eating me out of house and home!

Speaking of eating, I suppose I could talk about that for a minute, although I don’t really want to. 😛 I had mentioned earlier in the year that I was struggling with my weight, and I had gotten up to 137.6, the most I’ve weighed in eight years.😮 However, with my half marathon training and some discipline, I had managed to lose over 5 pounds, which got me down to 132 exactly. I was pretty excited about that…and then I became quarantined in my house for two weeks. 😔 I have been trying so hard, but it’s tough when the food is just always there, especially since I had to buy extra snacks for the kids. Strangely, they aren’t eating the apples and vegetables I’ve bought. Go figure. When I weighed myself this past Monday, I was up to 134. With three more weeks to go…! But Jamie is really enjoying the ability to cook on the nights his dad isn’t home. He made chicken tacos for his own birthday dinner, and earlier in the week he made chicken pesto and I helped by grating the fresh parmesan.

My kitchen always looks like a bomb went off whenever my men cook. But at least I’m not cooking!!

In case you’re wondering, yes, I did my hair on Tuesday, and I’ve actually done my hair and make-up every day since being in quarantine. I know I’m not going anywhere, but I like the sense of routine that comes from putting on my hair and makeup in the morning.

One bright spot is that, even though my half marathon has been officially canceled, I’m still running as though I’m training for it, and I do plan to run it virtually at the end of next month. I ran 12 miles last Saturday, and 8 miles this morning. In the rain! What a miserable run. Not just getting rained on, but all the standing water after we got 1.5 inches of rain in 12 hours!

Stopped dead. I had run through several flooded spots, but this one was too much for me. That’s about a quarter of a mile long!
I tried to figure out how to run around this but eventually just ran through it. Every part of me was soaked by the end of my run.

After all that hard work and misery, of course I went and bought some cookies to reward myself.

Don’t fret, I won’t eat all of those. At least, that isn’t the plan…! But I’m trying to support some of my favorite local establishments to help them stay in business during this difficult time. So, you know, if my diet suffers…it’s all in the name of supporting small business!! 😊

This is quite a long post, so I’ll let it go for now. I hope you are doing well…feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you’re faring. I’m kind of desperate for conversation at this point, and the reality is, we’re all in this together!

Thank you for reading!

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