Old Habits

Under Quarantine

Hi friends,

How are you holding up? We’re hanging in here. My three year old (maybe? finally? sorta?) understands that we’re having “school at home” for a little while and her preschool morning and afternoon meetings on Zoom anchor our days. And to be honest, every second of my day is filled with work, parenting, or housekeeping. My husband’s too. Yesterday absolutely flew by and it felt like a gift. Turns out it take more than 2 people to manage a family of three.

I’m missing some of my alone/downtime. The few hours I get a week to work at my beloved Southside Coffee shop. An hour daily commuting where I can read or listen to podcasts or play Words with Friends. 10-15 minutes a few times a day walking to and from daycare and the subway. (Remember the subway, New Yorkers?) All that is gone and filled with cramming an 8 hour day into 3ish hours, plus three meals a day for three people (which I’m not doing alone) and and and and and. I thrive on busy, so I like this part, sort of, but yeah, I think it’ll be May until either me or my husband get a “day off.”

I’m starting to feel some habits start to slough off. Sitting in bed scrolling Twitter for half an hour in the morning, before everyone gets up, has become 15 minutes because I’d rather get up and read or do a little yoga or just be alone in the living room for a bit. Honestly, I’m spending less and less time on Instagram and Twitter because I just can’t stand the news anymore and also I don’t bake, so your bread brags (are lovely!) but not for me. The group chat is more active, which feels essential now, but honestly, I don’t want to be on my phone, and my neck is killing me from looking down at it all the time. If it takes self-isolation to break me of this habit, well, it’ll be a small, good thing in a time like this.

I’m picking up more books, reading a few pages, in ways I haven’t been able to do before. I’m able to read while my family is watching TV or chattering or saying mommy mommy mommy make me a kite. I haven’t been able to do that before. I’m going to bed, and just going to bed, instead of scrolling. I’m sitting and eatting, just eating. I’m caring less about how much noise the toddler is making (honestly, it’s not a lot and our walls/floor are thick), caring less what other people are thinking in general. Maybe it’s because they’re not around, but I can tell the mental space is freeing up. I haven’t been able to write much, for obvious reasons, but I’m forgiving myself more for this laspe and it’s just now starting to feel necessary again. I’m journaling. All this feels good, feels like me at the core of me, not some I have to do this to be a good person and because I should do it. Small, good things indeed.

Maybe this will be a time for the sloughing off of bad habits for you, not because you have to be ~~productive~~ in this time, or you have to emerge from this a new and improved person, but because all this incredible, horrible shit around the world is a much needed dose of perspective. Do what serves you and humanity. Stay home for others, and yourself. Write or don’t write. Finish that novel or not. When this is all over, and it will be over one day, I want to look back on this with open eyes and a better understanding of what I’m doing with the rest of my days.

Stay home. Stay safe. STAY HOME.