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Single and Alone During a Pandemic

On Wednesdays, my children go with their dad for the night. While this was at one time a much-appreciated and well-deserved break for me, during this pandemic, my feeling of isolation is exponential. It reminds me of when I had to put the Christmas tree up by myself. An experience like that that can be joyful with a family around, but it can be that much more lonely as a single person. Worse yet, a single person who actually has children but who cannot be with them. I often fear Christmas day when they leave mid-morning for their dad’s house. Today, I fear the sadness I will feel over the coming hours. The nighttime is the worst.

Sometimes, when I just can’t handle the nighttime by myself anymore, I turn off the lights and go to bed at 8 o’clock, like I’m a toddler. I lay there, maybe take a melatonin gummy to fall asleep and wait until morning. Sometimes I lay there and wonder what the hell happened, and how I find myself in this situation. Where did I go wrong? How can I fix this? Regrettably, I can’t. I can only move forward and have to accept that. Acceptance isn’t easy for me.

man wearing crew neck t shirt walking on gray pathway during nighttime
Photo by Ashutosh Jaiswal on Pexels.com

I am not writing this as a call for help or for you to feel bad for me. I’m writing, because it’s how I can work through something. I also like to communicate with others through words, and to share my thoughts with people who might feel the same, and it resonates with them. I also write to give some insight to those of you who are stuck at home with a partner or spouse during this pandemic, and you are going nuts and dreaming of getting a divorce. Maybe you’re walking up the staircase lobbing out the middle finger. Or maybe you’re rolling your eyes behind the fridge door as you sneak a tug of wine. Let me tell you: the grass isn’t greener on this side. Really think about it, I say, before you do anything drastic. I did hear, interestingly enough, that the domestic violence rate is up right now during the COVID-19 social quarantine. If you ever find yourself there, or as some say “in the wrong story,” then leave. Definitely leave, then.

Yesterday, I felt exasperated trying to work remotely and entertain a 7-year-old and 9-year-old. It’s kind my fault she always wants to play with me, because I am extremely good at Barbies. #resume #skillset In fact, she often touts this about me, and when they had to do a Mother’s Day assignment in school and fill in the blank for “My Mother Is Good at ____,” she wrote “Barbies.” Most kids wrote “hugs,” “cooking,” “stories.” Cooking? Not my forte.

This reminds me of when I first got divorced, and I was in the local coffee shop. I looked at the bookshelf to my left, which had a few straggling books left behind. One of them was titled Cooking for One. Something about that title just strikes me as inherently depressing. Like, in buying it, you’re admitting to yourself a life of solitude.  Perhaps being alone works for some people. And that’s great. However, I’m not one of them. I’m a ENTJ, or whatever those acronyms are. Simply put: I like to be with people. I’m more of a social animal, like a dog or a hyena. Wait…

Anyway, I hope those of you who are home alone today–or even feeling alone with people–know there’s someone here who empathizes: me. We will get through these times.  As Charles Dickens once wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Oh, and I hate people who quote Dickens. The end.

 

 

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A Brand New Day #quarantined

It’s only 10:00 a.m. and I’ve gotten, “I’m bored” already. I also said something I never thought I’d say, including, “Want to do something fun? Here, take the vacuum, and suck up all the crumbs that are under the couch cushions!” I mean, I think it’s fun? And, honestly, I had a decent time doing it, but she didn’t think it was amusing. My house is actually getting very clean and organized. Oh, except for when I spilled the entire pot of coffee on the floor because I was busy reading a text message.

The two worst parts about the spill: wasting coffee that is in limited supply in my house (only bought three bags while hoarding groceries in the market), and using up some paper towels. I do have to say, Bounty got it right–it does really absorb. Props to them! I mean, I’m being conservative in my usage of these paper products (fold the toilet paper, guys, and only one square at a time), because just one paper towel was able to soak up the entire pot.

I’m creating an agenda for the day, and it looks something like this:

  1. Go outside in the yard.

That’s where I stopped. I can’t really think of anything else to do.

I’ve become somewhat of a Forest Ranger, as one of our activities is taking the wagon around the neighborhood and collecting sticks and dry wood for a fire in the fire pit. It’s sort of like a low-budget lawn clean-up for my neighbors. I mean, honestly? I might have to start leaving invoices surreptitiously in their mailboxes, ‘ya know, just to get some extra coin when times are tight. That will go over well at the block party this summer. If there is one.

Me
“Hey, guys, need a lawn clean-up?”

Here are a couple more highlights from today (oh, and remember, it’s only 10, so today has barely started):

  1. I got yelled at by my son for stockpiling the freezer, because it flattened out the ice cream sandwiches (i.e. breakfast)
  2. Our dwarf frog, Gill, has gone missing. I am not sure if Pearl, the goldfish, ate him because she too is hoarding food, or if he jumped out. It’s kinda grim looking for a frog skeleton
  3. I am wearing another smoke-show of an outfit: pink fuzzy Job Lot pants (who knew JL had such great fashion choices?), Ugg boots (for going back and forth between inside and outside regularly), a scrunchie (guys, they are back in style. No, they are), and eye concealer. I might do a videocast, but I’m worried too many men will start stalking me. I mean, could happen in this gear.

Speaking of men, it’s hard to be a single mom during the quarantine, because there is one of me and two of them, and I don’t have another adult around to talk to. Please comment though and tell me if I’m wrong. Like, are you all going nuts with your partners? Wait, I’m having a pity party right now. Hold, please.

The kids have FaceTimed their friends, and speaking of parties, I do have a #Zoom party later with some friends, so that should be fun! Right around pour time…Another good idea for everyone to connect.

Well, enjoy your day. I know I’ll continue to enjoy mine! #stayhome