It has officially been eight weeks of staying (relatively) away from the life I used to know and I think that (at this moment) I’m getting the hang of it. If you’ve been a follower of my corona virus themed posts you will know that I have not even remotely kept up my end of the bargain as far as all the writing I was promising you–the writing I was promising me. Some days I don’t give a flying fart and then other days I feel guilty and lazy for not taking advantage of all of the “free” time I seem to have in my life now. But I have to tell you, I don’t always want to think about this strange life I find myself floating around in. I just want to forget it all and just do the things that make me feel good in the moment.
My first four weeks at home were scattered with gratefulness for having time with my family that was with me every day to the desperate need to get out of the house for at least two hours at a time. I mean, my hubby has discovered ALL of the acoustic music playlists on Spotify and, really, there’s just so much I can take. I’ve huddled in the abandoned bedroom with all of the random stereo equipment we’ve accumulated over the years and I’ve jumped on my stationary bike to burn 1000 calories. I’ve eaten two family sized bags of potato chips (and green chile dip) in three days and I’ve tried to get back to intermittent fasting. I’ve had more time (and desire) than I’ve had in years to mow the lawn and pick weeds and I’ve also somehow found enough time to find a spare three hours in the middle of a few afternoons to fall asleep and do absolutely nothing of value. I was going crazy. And I was very, very sad.
I didn’t know how I was going to break free of the feelings that I was having. I prevailed upon my friends to help pull me out of the abyss, but they all have their own lives and families and worries and I didn’t want to come off as a crybaby. But crybaby I was. Work was keeping me busy (try relearning a job that basically requires working with the public on the day to day) to a point, but I was not doing really anything that I thought was essential or important. More like busy work to show that I was still worthy of a paycheck. I was losing my mind and I needed something to kick my ass and bring me back to life.
But what? I really had no big plans on how to create this disruption in my life and I was pretty limited in the amount of things that I could actually do to make it happen. I didn’t want to walk so much anymore, I didn’t want to write, I didn’t want to sit with my hubby and watch any more of The Voice or Big Bang Theory (huh, now that I think about it why am I with this guy?), and I didn’t want to do any more home projects. I just needed to move. Get it all out. Primal screaming was off the table (but I still reserve the right) and the treadmill could go fuck itself. So I decided on dancing. By myself, in my basement, without regret. I told the kid to take his shit upstairs and not come down until the timer gave me my full 60 minutes. It was going to be epic!
I decided that I would throw myself a dance party and actually considered finding a phone app that would simulate a disco ball. I settled on just turning on the string of Christmas lights left up the last two years and turning all the other lights off. I grabbed all of the Time/Life Awesome 80’s music I could find and got ready to party. I didn’t really know how much I would give in to the reality of the moment but I prepared the best I could. I armed myself with a bottle of water, strapped on the hardest core sports bra in the house, and set out to have a par-tay.
When Rick Springfield started singing I threw myself into performing like I hadn’t since I had taken dance in college. I was spinning and dipping and pretending that I was a background dancer in High School Musical. It was glorious. Two and a half minutes later I was panting (but smiling) and ready for the next hit. I pretended I was back in school practicing for a color guard performance. I flirted with the couch. I gyrated for the pillows. I rolled around on the floor…
Which (obviously) was a big mistake. Because I can’t just hop up off the floor like I used to. Even with Hall and Oates pumping through the room I could hear my knees cracking. The couch I had just been dancing for became an essential tool in getting me off the ground. I twirled a little more and managed to shake my hips, but I was panting, sweating, and almost already over it. I looked at my phone and realized that I had been at it for a whole whopping twenty minutes. Twenty minutes. Twenty freaking minutes. Pathetic. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep going at the pace I had set but I wasn’t about to give up to my age and physicality. It was 60 minutes or death. Literally.
So I stuck it out and I had my fun (I was hurting but it was worth it) until my teenager ran downstairs (one hour on the nose) and asked if I was done yet. He had friends to play video games with. Why yes, little person. Please come down and enjoy yourself in the musky after scent of my grand experiment. Just know that your mommy made a goal and she stuck that fucking thing. Bask in the afterglow of the hour I spent defeating my ennui. Know that your mother did what she said she was going to do. She is a queen and she is amazing! I kissed him on the head, downed my water in ten gulps and hobbled my successful ass back upstairs and straight into a carton of Kit Kat ice cream. Queen indeed.
Fair to say I had pushed things a little too far and I paid for it for the next few days but my life felt back on track. I was able to find the loveliness in my unexpected time away from the library and I was able to be more productive with the work I did have. I cleaned all of my bathrooms (for the millionth time during this pandemic, I swear), washed all of the sheets, made dinner and dessert several nights in a row and enjoyed a movie night outside with the fam. I felt almost whole again and I was happy to be there.
Now four weeks later I find that I am still in a relatively good place but I’m slipping here and there. I haven’t danced any more but I have managed to keep up with the walking and the housework. I still hate the hubby’s entertainment choices and I still try to cajole my son into throwing me a bone once in a while so we can hang out but I’m handling it a whole lot better. I now know that I have a go to event that I can use if I ever get to that dark place again. But forget Rick Springfield and his pop music cohorts—I’m going full on Headbanger’s Ball!
Day 56 round up:
1 epic 80’s dance party
1 hair color change (purple)
3 visits to my library
4 to go orders from local Mexican Restaurant
12 hot dogs (approx.)
10 viewings of Season 6 of Schitt’s Creek (Buffy who? David and Patrick are my life now)
54 calls to my mom
Thousands of tears shed
1,000,000 bathroom cleanings