Life During Coronatime
It's been a while.
I'm fortunate that no one in my house is sick. And that I am able to work from my home. I'm choosing to see this time as very meditative, and extremely conducive to mindfulness. I find that I love having one home base. One location, rather than the 4 I usually have - my office at the university, my therapy office, my house and my car. BC (Before Corona) I spent a lot of time bouncing around to one office or another, then to Pilates, then a therapy group or home. I lived out of my car quite a bit.
I don't miss the time formerly spent on driving, dressing acceptably, shopping, and bouncing around. Another upside of being home is that my cat Pretty Boy Floyd is really sick and old. He's on his way out - over the next few months I'm guessing. And being able to be here for him now is really a blessing. He's a needy little grandpa cat! I adore him.
Now I'm spending my time.... disinfecting! We have 2 immune-compromised household members. My adult-ish 21 yr old son has Marfan Syndrome, which is a connective tissue disorder. He's a professional musician but they are side-lined for now. My adult-ish 25 yr old daughter is also in the house - she works at Tonic Herban Lounge in Boulder. They are closed for the duration. My husband's employer fired everybody - they do tech support for restaurants and couldn't sustain payroll. Hooray for unemployment! I'm immune-compromised from my MS med that rounds up all my B cells. I'm not taking any chances and have become a bleaching fool.
I turned half my bedroom into an office. For my CU work and also for a few therapy clients I'm seeing via Zoom....it's still in progress. But it feels ok. I'm hooking up an external monitor, maybe 2 to my laptop to facilitate all the Zooms and the detailed work I do at CU. I'm on a different schedule than the other 3 in my house. They are musicians and in the restaurant business with upside-down schedules. The earliest anyone else gets to the kitchen is 10:30-11:00 am. Floyd and I get up at 5:00 am! That means that many mornings I have 6 hours of just me & the cat. How can I not love that. I'm using the time to do things I've really wanted to do, in terms of self-care, as well as work. When it's quiet, I practice watching my thoughts and being curious about them. I can say that, for me, all my thoughts come from some part of me. So when I have a thought that feels particularly harsh, or crazy, I track down the part that it came from. Then I give that part of myself some love. That's what they really seem to crave. There are some mornings I feel like I'm on a silent retreat. Except for the talking to the cat part. I'm also spending some time on building my therapy practice up.
I've been using the Buddhist Tonglen practice to process both the suffering of other beings, and the gratitude for those medical & health personnel doing their work, as well as everyone else helping to shore up the walls so we can stay upright. I'm trying to get up the courage to volunteer as a therapist for a New Yorker or two right now.
The rest of the day I'm keeping up with the numbers - I'm a geek about something like this. I'm watching the New Jersey numbers - my 80-something dad is in an assisted living place there. I'm continuously letting go of anxiety about the future. It's not worth it. I can't control it. I'm gonna trust that if I stay present, I'll know what's up.