Asking myself some questions
Earlier this week, Amit shared a list of questions posted on Quartz that they recommended we ask instead of “how are you doing right now.” He then went on to answer some of those questions, and I thought that would be an excellent exercise to get me thinking about how I really feel right now.
Here are my unedited and visceral answers to some of the questions, mostly just scribbled here as a kind of reflective practice for myself.
How are you taking care of yourself today?
Drinking lots of water. My water consumption tapered off a few weeks ago when this all went down, so I’m doing my best to get back to a good level of hydration; I always feel better when I drink enough water during the day.
What part of your shelter-in-place residence have you come to appreciate the most?
We used our family room—the one with the couches and fireplace—a bit before all of this, but most of our time at home was spent between the bedrooms, bathrooms, office, and kitchen. Now, I’m enjoying the family room a lot more, spending time on the couch reading or just doing nothing.
What surprising thing have you been stocking up on (that isn’t toilet paper)?
I’m not much of a hoarder—perhaps the opposite, I get rid of things too easily—but I’ve noticed that I am stocking up on eggs a lot more than we usually do. Perhaps this is because we use more of them in our meals and in our baking than we did before, or perhaps because I know that they make for a good quick snack or help bring together a meal perfectly, but I always have at least a dozen in our fridge these days, if not a few more.
What habit have you started, or broken, during the quarantine?
I definitely broke my habit of going to the gym at least three times a week, mostly because the gym is closed. I’m trying to work out more here at home, but it isn’t quite the same. I have started a yoga practice recently, using the Down Dog app. I’ve had it for a week now and have been using it almost every day. I’m hoping to keep with it long after the quarantine is over.
Which specific place in your neighborhood are you most looking forward to visiting once this is all over?
I wrote about this before, and my answer hasn’t changed: I can’t wait to hang out at my local coffee shop again. Second on the list is our local library branch; I really miss that place and all the people there.
What’s the easiest part about the quarantine?
Losing track of time. The days fly by before I even know that they are gone. Always too much to do, never enough time to do it all.
What’s something you own that feels useful?
My internet-enabled electronic devices. My home. My health. My shelves full of books. So many things to be incredibly grateful for.
What problem—either yours, or something more global —do you wish you could solve?
Globally, I think I’d love to solve unkindness, especially when it comes from a place of selfishness. I hear protestors chanting “coronavirus isn’t real” and think of all of us who have lost friends and family and acquaintances to this virus and my heart breaks from the unkindness. It would all be so easier if we were kind to each other.
From a personal stance, I really need to stop my boredom eating. I eat to pass time, and it’s something I’ve been grappling with for years. It’s not a big problem in the grand scheme of things, but I’d still love to be able to solve it soon.
Which member of your family/ friend group have you been thinking about the most during this time? Why?
I’ve definitely been thinking most about my grandmother. I miss not being able to see her, and I worry about her health all the time. We try to FaceTime once a week, but there’s something about being able to see my grandma in person that brings me such joy, and I think of that and miss that all the time.
What’s the last thing you experienced that made you laugh, or cry?
Everything makes me cry, so it’s no surprise that the last thing that made me cry happened just minutes ago: I was watching the first episode of We’re Here and parts of it made me blubber up in tears.
L and I make each other laugh—hearty, full, belly laughs—all the time. I’m so lucky to be with her and share those laughs during this time.
What times of the day or the week are hardest?
I struggle with the early afternoons; it’s when I feel the change most deeply. I’m a morning person, so my mornings are filled with productivity and excitement. In the evenings, I’m wrapped up in cooking dinner and doing stuff around the house. In the early afternoon, an hour or so after lunch, I have the mental and physical space to step back and think, “this isn’t normal.” Those are the hardest times.
What’s giving you hope right now?
I am infinitely hopeful by nature, so there’s a lot giving me hope these days and every day. Most saliently, I am given hope by knowing that we will be welcoming our daughter into this world in just a few months; there is so much to do before that time to make sure she’s entering the most loving and lovely world possible.
What’s the best thing that happened to you today?
I woke up next to the woman I love and got to spend a good chunk of my day with her. That’s always the best thing to happen to me, any day.
Otherwise, I wrote a few letters to friends and sent them via post. Writing letters—especially on gorgeous stationery—to friends is always a highlight in my days.
What do you hope we all learn or take away from this experience?
I really hope this will help us all remember just how connected we are to each other, and how kindness and care for the people around us is the only way for us to live fully, wholly, and joyfully.