pandemic routine

Twitter has this beautiful imperfection and permanence to it; you cannot edit a tweet. So writing a story on Twitter – especially the way I write, compelled – is a particular kind of challenge in terms of awareness and seizing the flow.

Here is a Twitter story – a thread – I wrote about the evolution of a pandemic routine at our house.

[27 April 2020, via Twitter]

At home, trying to work . . . . This resonated early on w me too, and helped me pause and look around to see more clearly what was and was not working. A thread on the shifts in my own home, inspired by @codetechnology and his days alongside @suerobinsyvr and their son. /1

[https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/38-days-mike-waddingham/]

Friday 13 March marked my first day at home. Perhaps it’s because I am from the prairies, but like a storm or a returning dog, I saw the pandemic rolling in the weekend before. I felt like a survivalist at the grocery store, purchasing for a long haul yet to be defined. /2

My daughter and I have been isolationists for several years now, supporting my husband and her stepfather through cancer into death, and seeking the balance that finally arrived w an autism diagnosis one month before her 14th birthday. We known alone. /3

The first two weeks were predominantly about answering the question – Are we safe? – in as many ways possible. Our privilege, our foresight, our experience all lead to a mantra of YES. But we kept asking, as we watched others settle in around us, from afar. /4

The next two weeks were the mourning, the grieving, the acceptance and acknowledgement of the change around us, in the every day, and within. We existed, adjusted, and survived in the context that is our own lives. We kept to old routines that no longer worked, because. /5

The last two weeks was a dichotomy, lead by a work deadline. Behind it trailed both old and new ways of living our every day lives, both of us hanging on to what we needed and dialoguing what might now work. The deadline was met and we melted, taking pen to hand and noting. /6

So now . . . I wake early and start laundry that was once done at night. The teen sleeps until noon, at which point I finish my work day. We both have showers, eat the meal that matches waking time, and use coloured pens to fill in a half page agenda for the day. /7

School is two hours in this house. Teacher Mama decreed. One of those hours is a new directed studies art class, for which we are grateful to the flexibility and support of teachers. The other is one of three classes that rotate each day. I am here; we talk out the need. /8

When our hearts let us, we walk. As with most things in our shared lives, there is compromise. We drive to the place where we walk, so it is not too much and so that we can move through trees. Our evenings have not changed, save for loud bells, no laundry, and more pause. /9

Our purchase patterns are dictated by a rabbit. The grocery store thinks we eat a lot of fresh greens: lettuce, cilantro, parsley, mint, basil. But really, it’s the rabbit. Around him there is the most routine of grocery lists, tracked on an ever updating iPhone note. /10

We are not bread makers. Instead, we are the makers of loaves. Banana. Pumpkin. Chocolate zucchini. But only on the weekends. And we give half of each one away. This makes the creation fleeting, and that feels just right. /11

I am a caregiver to one, for some time now. She has helped me see that caregiving is my trauma; someday this story will be more fully told. But for now, it means that I hold my heart and move slowly as I look around to see where I am able to be there for others. /12

This thread has no end as we are not there yet, but this day is almost over so I will stop. There is a kitchen to be tidied. A bunny who needs fresh litter. A teen to share silence with. And a light to turn out. Thanks for moving with me. Be safe. Well. /end

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