Things I Have Learned

This has been a period of non-linear learning, picking up bits of knowledge like rocks on the sand. They’re unrelated except for their origins, washed to my feet on the waves.

I have one favorite pair of pants. I wear them every day.

I don’t care what I eat for lunch, as long as it has protein. Leftover hamburger patty broken up on top of tortilla chips with some salsa verde? Sure, whatever.

If my feet are cold, I’m cold. Most days, I wear acrylic socks and wool slippers.

I only want soft, non-irritating clothing on my skin. Bras with clasps are no longer acceptable. I rarely wear jeans now. All-knit clothing, all the time. I have become soft.

Isolating on purpose is not much different from my normal life. Except for driving Tim and Sophia to work, going to work myself and going *in* grocery stores, I am doing the same things now I always did. I do more of them now, and I’m no longer alone when I do them. At other times in my life, I’ve felt like I was on a leash, the limits of which were my taxi duties for my family, and running to the grocery store. It’s like that, but the leash is shorter.

My normal body temp runs around 96.5. I’ve been taking it three times a day for weeks. I am one cool lady.

Working out at home with other people in the house is weird. I’m self-conscious about being too loud and disturbing other people. But working out makes me feel strong, so I push myself to do it. Even a little “it.” I do it.

I like to make my bed *every* day.  It’s not just nice, it’s essential to me feeling calm.

Tim is very focused during work hours. It’s impressive.

I *really* don’t like video calls. Like, REALLY. They’re awkward, difficult to hear, people talk over each other, constantly interrupted by technology, and full of people looking away from the camera. As much as I hate phone calls, I would prefer THOSE to video calls. I’ll send you a picture of my face–one that I like–and let’s leave it at that. You don’t need to see my face for this bullshit; you’re not even looking. Stop it.

It reminds me of when one of my brothers had an early version of voice-activated-calling. He loved to show it off to anyone nearby. It always ended the same way: him yelling the name of the person he wanted to call into a phone that couldn’t understand what he was saying, and him getting increasingly irritated and louder with each attempt. When he finally did get through, he was too pissed to talk. It’s like that, only with a whole group.

I have WAY more people reading my writing now. I’m not sure how this fits into my discouraged theory about how writers are the least appreciated of all artists, because we have no way of forcing people to consume our art. Except, I guess, during a pandemic, when everyone is bored.

I have extremely weird dreams. Last night, I dreamed that I found John Mulaney sexy. He’s cute as a button and he makes me laugh, but there is nothing sexy about him. My dream mind must be sad and desperate.

My husband and I are more alike than I realized: He has Aspergers, and the only way he knows how to express his big feelings is through anger. I do not have Aspergers, but I am really good at expressing anger in writing. And right now, people REALLY LIKE IT. I know that’s a limited-time offer. (Tim corrected my spelling of Aspergers, because he reads these the minute they’re posted, which I think is very sweet.) (He also wishes it WERE Aspbergers, because then we could riff on “berger berger berger”, but alas, it’s not.)

Tim and I have been through a lot together, and thinking about what we’re going to have to go through in the next few years is overwhelming. Everything in the world is affected by the pandemic, from loss of life to loss of livelihoods to loss of housing–all long-term effects. This doesn’t end when isolation is over, and the not-knowing makes me tremble.

Big-muscle activity, heavy exertion are the only two things that make me feel better. Workouts, riding my bike and gardening actually make me smile. A real smile.

I sing less at home, with people who are ambivalent about hearing me. I sing more at work, where people are likely to join in. Does that make me an extrovert? (she panics)

I’m worried about my sister. And my friends. I feel better when I hear even a brief word from them, confirming they’re healthy.

The world as we know it is falling apart. It was held together by neglect and ignorance. I wish the disease would only affect people who don’t believe in it.

I have a date with a book, a glass of iced coffee, and a patio.

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