April 29, 2020

our new normal

I have a strange practice of waiting until the children are asleep each night to start scanning the day’s headlines. Alone and tired, I read about the heroes on the frontline, the businesses who are working overtime and those of us who aren’t allowed to work. The triumphs and the heartache blend together in large typefaces shouting at me as I scroll, scroll, scroll. I’m not sure what I’m looking for. Hope? A sense that I’m not solo on an island of isolation?

During the day, however, I am all-in on my children’s distance learning coursework, tending to spring tasks in the yard, getting out to exercise- both humans and 4-legged, checking in on clients, cooking, cooking, cooking and baby-stepping my way through house project lists that have needed more time. We have time now, so hop to it, right?

The days are busy. The nights are very quiet.

Tho I’m an introverted extrovert and love alone time, I miss people. I miss not thinking about going in for a hug. Or sitting close to strangers at Eventide. Stopping to chat in grocery store aisles. I wonder if live studio audiences will continue to be a thing as I watch pre-CV tv shows. If we’ll ever want to crowd together at the stage of a favorite artist. On ferries. Or festivals. Or schools. Or celebrations.

I’m guessing, you, too, have these thoughts late night as well. Sometimes it feels too much. Sometimes it feels nice to be so rooted and insular and simple. Mostly, tho, I’m grateful. For the gift of time with these little people and the adventures we’ve had together since this began 7 weeks ago. For my little house and my little neighborhood and my sweet town who paraded through our streets yesterday with big trucks and whirling sirens and lights and waving protectors who can do anything but at this point against this silent and brutal virus.

And so we wait. For guidelines. For numbers. For improvement. For haircuts. And we love.


ps- If you haven’t already, I wholeheartedly recommend you subscribe to NPR’s The New Normal email with my Wash Post pal Jill Hudson’s endearing daily roundup of news.