Sunday, April 19, 2020

Moving forward to keep sane

Welcome to the new normal. Just about a month ago my Spring Break started with a small gathering of teachers at a local bar.  We talked about our conferences, the virus, the book fair, what fun things we were going to do with our free time over Spring Break.  One person said "maybe we'll have a week or two off to keep the virus at bay." I'd like to take that day back and appreciate that moment just a bit more. I would have hugged everyone at the table as we left that night because the fun things we had planned to do together over our break never materialized. We were asked as a state to not gather and then pretty quickly our restaurants, breweries, and bars closed except for take-out and while we were still "relaxing" we were all worried how far this would go.

That reality was announced yesterday when our governor closed schools for the remainder of the year. Tears, heartbreak, and anger are mixed with the mixed blessing of better safe than sick. I miss my students but I can be happy at home because I like my own time. I can fill it with all kinds of activity. I read, cook and bake, put together lessons for my students, relax with my two dogs, and I can watch the birds and other wild things in my backyard for a good long time. I know my daughter feels robbed though as this IS her senior year. I feel robbed of experiencing that with her. We had talked about prom dress shopping but hadn't actually started, we have beautiful grad announcements on our table, we have hopes for a final dance recital to culminate her years of dance and a solo to perform one last time. I cried when our governor said the words yet we've moved on already. As May approaches we may fall back into grief and by that time we may be starting to get sick of each other.

As it is now we seem to be forging ahead.  Being around my husband 27/7 is annoying somedays but we work it out. I love my own quiet time and he is extremely active. He worked long hours at the theatre, often late with rehearsals so I've always had lots of space. Lucky for me he is still going for long runs, spending time at the theatre- volunteering his time with the hope that theatre will begin again in June or July, and works outside when he can. He is filled with projects because he isn't good at sitting still. I start my day with yoga most days and have done a lot of deep cleaning of my house, yet I have no problem stretching out in a chair reading for a few hours or watching Anne w/ and E with Groovy Girl. Eating a fair amount of dark chocolate also helps.

I've read 6 books in the time we've been sheltering at home. All of them good, some of them amazing reads. I've zoomed with students, teachers, and had a few happy hours/dinner hours with friends and family.  I've watched quite a few shows and movies.


The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates: excellent look at The Underground Railroad. Coates has an amazing writer voice.
The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald: 800+ pages of excellent writing about a Canadian family living on an Army Base with many twists and turns.
Love Among the Ruins by Robert Clark: True love for two teenagers in 1968.  William is afraid of the turns the world will take after Robert Kennedy is killed and the riots during the Democratic Convention in Chicago.
Goodnight, Beautiful by Dorothy Koomson: Story of Malvolio and Nova in London as they navigate friendship and love in the adult world.
Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy: Wow!  I read this one in two days because I just had to know what happened to the children. My husband and daughter both read it before me so this morning we were able to talk about the characters and Meloy's airtight writing.

I'm also reading Moving Target by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (great adventure in Rome) and Maximum Ride by James Patterson (group of unusual kids with out-of-this-world skills) to 4th and 6th grade students through videos posted to Google Classroom.

Little Fires Everywhere, Sex Education, Harlan Coban's The Stranger, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, and recently discovered Kim's Convenience.  We also had a list of older movies we wanted Groovy Girl to see and we've made it through a few: Pretty Woman, Something about Mary, The Talented Mr. Ripley were all good to watch.

She particularly loved Pretty Woman and we were thrilled by Mr. Ripley. I'd avoided that movie years ago because I thought it was too creepy (as is The Stranger) and it was but it's easier to take when we're all there together which really sums up this pandemic. We have to be better together even though we are apart. I'm quite angry with Trump for not taking this serious right away because for me that's what it means to be president; to see a little into the future and take steps to contain and control. He didn't do that. I'm happy to have my family around me as we weather this crisis. I'll miss being physically with my son' for his 25th birthday, I missed my trip to Guatemala,  and many other important moments and I'll do all this to keep people safe.  I'm not going to cry about my freedom or what should have been. I just need to keep moving us forward.

What are you doing to keep sane?

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