A good 7 days after writing last week’s quarantine log, this is about the time I would be regretting cutting those bangs.
It rained all day Sunday but the sun has been out every day since. The birds are singing every morning as the sunlight spills over the tree tops and across the front yard. The kids have been going outside every evening after dinner and we’ve been playing wiffle ball and swatting the swarming gnats before retreating to the safety of the front porch hammock. The temperatures have swung pretty wide but each day has been warm enough for me to not regret wearing shorts. I’ve had to throw a sweatshirt on a couple of days, but no complaints about that. My run this morning was at about 38 degrees and it was almost perfect.
While last week felt gloomy and cursed, this week has felt a little more light and hopeful. I’m totally ready to leave the house and be social again, but I’ve developed a list of tasks that need to be accomplished every day and that has helped to keep me busy and moving forward without falling into the pit of despair (shameless Princess Bride reference).
I mentioned some of those daily tasks last week but I don’t think I mentioned the art remixes I’ve been doing. Several weeks ago one of my running friends from the Netherlands sent me a link to a museum encouraging their Instagram followers to spend their time in quarantine recreating famous works of art using only items they had with them in lockdown. These were pretty funny as they featured costumes and props related to the toilet paper shortages and face masks.
Our art department was looking for ways to engage our students from a distance and we put this challenge out to them as well. That meant I had to do a couple of art remixes to give some examples and it turned out to be very fun. I had to involve my kids in the making of costumes and props and they also had to help position me and take the photos. I have a healthy sense of humor and a low threshold of shame which apparently is a great combination when it comes to doing things like this.
I started posting them on Instagram and some of them were reposted enough that they sort of took off and got hundreds of likes. Many of my friends commented on them and said the images made them laugh. That was the inspiration I needed to attempt to recreate a new one every day. Now each day holds a new creative problem to solve and this engages my mind in a challenging way. I’m limited to what I have around the house and the time I have left in each day after doing school and managing my other creative outlets. It’s been a fun thing to do and honestly, it’s been a welcome distraction for me.
Beyond that, I know that everyone’s screen time is up during quarantine. I also know that many of us experience a broad spectrum of emotions and moods during a regular quarantine day. Most days there’s at least a small period of time where I find myself very irritable for no apparent reason. During those times, I appreciate a kind word from a friend or a laugh delivered by the internet. There may be some who would say I get obsessed with things like this and maybe I don’t have to do it every single day. Those people would be the unfortunate souls who have been stuck in this house with me for the last 5 weeks. But don’t worry, I’m very stubborn. I’ll go until I get bored or run out of ideas.
On Thursday we heard that our state public boat ramps were going to reopen. Violet and I immediately started talking about going kayaking. We figured this was something we could do while still being safe and thoughtful to our fellow humans. And we really, really needed to get out of the house.
Violet in the front seat
Saturday morning she was up before me, dressed and ready to go. She was so excited. We drove to our nearest lake and paddled around for a couple of hours. The weather was perfect. We saw ducks, geese, turtles, herons, and hawks. It was so great to be out in the sun. On the lake there was no hint of pandemic. It was a brief reminder that the world keeps on spinning and we, like the animals, are just passing through.