How are you feeling these days? Are you sinking into this time? Are you flowing with it? Rolling with the punches? Itching to spring out of it? Dreading what awaits on the other side?
I find myself NOT wanting to go back to “normal.”
Ever since quarantine began, I have been less stressed, less depressed, less on edge.
I feel guilty about it because so many people are suffering.
I miss my parents and my sister and I wish I could go visit them. A plane ride to Tel-Aviv… Who knows when that will happen.
I miss the beach. And I miss hiking. And I miss being able to go on adventures with the kids.
But I don’t miss the schlep.
There’s something about the home-bound-ness that feels like I’ve been rescued from being buried under the pile of the too muchness of it all.
It’s not that it’s not hard. Sometimes it’s really hard. Naturally, sometimes it feels like shit. But most of the time, there’s a calmer sense of beingness that wraps around my body and makes my heart feel softer. The kids are here. I make vegan, gluten free raw chocolate. OR brownies. Or Banana Bread. Andrew is working from home. I feel less lonely. More supported. Much more grounded.
I feel guilty because we’re lucky. We’re together. And I don’t take that for granted. Andrew is working. And I’m working too, and we’re making it all work. I know we’re fortunate. And privileged. And I’m grateful.
It’s not that we’re in some harmonious state of utopia. Life is life-ing, and it’s non stop, and I’m cleaning and cooking and homeschooling and ordering… I seem to always be ordering something. Half the day I’m on my phone putting together orders from Farm Fresh and Thrive Market and Instacart. And Amazon.
I feel guilty for all the packaging.
I stay up way too late working. And wake up early to practice. I’m tired as fuck. And I’m not always the most patient person in the world.
But I’m not chasing time like I did when I drove around LA trying to keep life together.
I take pleasure in my afternoon neighborhood walks with the kids. Even when they meltdown. Even when I have to pick up a boneless three year old and carry him home kicking and screaming, while a seven and a half year old criticizes me. #MOTHERHOOD #MOTHERFUCKINGMOTHERHOOD And even when my patience runs out.
Still… This collective crisis translates for me as a break from the nonstop insanity of life in the 21st century. And I’m feeling relieved.
And still the days slip away, with hardly any time. I’m not the art project mom. There’s no endless craft activities on the living room floor. I still talk about planting vegetables, and I still never get to it. I hear them slide between playing beautifully and fighting brutally, while I try to catch up with keeping the house clean and organized. Hopeless battle.
My kids don’t do yoga with me. They do climb on top of me when I do it. They don’t meditate. They ignore the fact that I do. But my little guy told me this morning that it’s ok that I don’t talk to him while I meditate.
We read Harry Potter. Sometimes we listen to Mozzart. Sometimes we dance around to loud house music. I still chop plenty of kale and make apples with Peanut Butter snacks. Kesem’s reading has gotten so much better since school stopped. Her math too. I do have to deal with complaints and resistance to doing schoolwork. Every. Single. Day. And it’s annoying. But I don’t rush her as much as I do when there’s no pandemic – when the routine suffocates my soul, and there’s nothing but a schedule to keep up with. So I give her more time to feel her feelings and get through it.
On Saturdays we’ve been watching silent films, introducing the kids to Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Our parking area in the back is transforming into a roller skate arena, a tiny bike path, a hula-hoop dance studio, a kinetic sand box, and a water park. All we have there is concrete. But still we feel the elements. During the heatwave we filled up the kiddy pool. Our feet splashed in water and the sun bathed our bodies in light.
I feel guilty because I love this time.
There’s a growing sense of space inside of me. Not separate from the impatience, but woven into it with a sense of acceptance.
It doesn’t stop my demon of not enoughness from attacking me, trying to throw me off my throne. “But baby, I’m the queen of quarantine.” I say. And she quiets down for a couple of hours. And then flares up again. “You’re not doing enough!” She yells at me. “You’re lame!” I breathe. I am the Quarantine Queen – I remind myself.
I am not in control. But I am sovereign. Not in the biz of making it into something that it’s not. I inhale, and I receive this as it is – fucked up, and complicated, full of sorrow, and it may change the world forever. I feel embraced by the softening of life. And guilty for being into it. I am not in charge. But I am empowered. I exhale , and I release the expectation of living in a pace that isn’t healthy, or satisfying. Without pushing, without forcing, I am engaging the opportunity to regenerate, to recreate, to redefine my life. I breathe the pleasure of simpler living, and the complexity of how it takes its shape.
Within the boundaries of this castle, my guard is off. Vulnerable, I carve new paths between the chambers of my life. And in this strange and unpredictable way, I find refuge in disintegration, stability on this shaky ground, pleasure in times of pandemic, and sovereignty in the wildness of this ride.
Breathing out. Breathing in. Queen Of Quarantine.