Lockdown: What passes for survival

Wednesday was a second pretty good work day in a row. I worked on some teaser copy, messed around with a story, put together a statement for a coworker who’s being recognized for something, and much later (as in around 11 at night) put the final touches on that proposal I’ve been working on since October. There were a phone call and Zoom meeting in there too.

Honestly, I’m wondering if something I generally dislike is the way to get through this stuff: routine. I usually like every week to be different from the one before, and every day to be its own unique thing. But I think a lot of people have found in this stay-home period that the days kind of go by more quickly, over the long term, when we’re not distracted by novelty.

These last two weeks have been pretty much a rut, but a pleasant rut. I look back at these last several journal entries and I sense a sameness. At the same time, a day like today has been calm and mostly quite good: wake up, eat, get some work done, take a nap during my lunch break, get up for a meeting, eat lunch while working the second part of my day, do a few chores, goof off and laze about until it’s time to have a late dinner. Think about going for a walk but don’t actually go on one. Do some journaling. Listen to music the entire day. Crash for a few hours and do it again.

The problem with letting the days slide painlessly by like this is that you look back and have nothing to show for it except the time spent. Ugh. Just thinking about it this way makes me all restless and anxious and stuff, jiggling me out of my serenity. I’m not even kidding. I’m all tense now.

Gotta think about this.

I think I actually planned for this, too. When I went to the supermarket Sunday night I went for old stand-bys, the stuff I can prepare quickly without much thought, stuff that pleases me but doesn’t excite me. And it’s been pretty great if not exactly Instagrammable.

Breakfast was a bowl of raisin bran. Comfy, tasty, easy. Lunch was a tuna sandwich. Ditto, plus heck yeah. I love me a tuna sandwich. Dinner was not the pot roast I made late Tuesday, but the leftover Chinese food I bought — when was it? Saturday? I just looked it up, and yeah it was Saturday. This was the untouched tofu and veggies dish. Broccoli, snow peas, choy sum, carrots, baby corn, mushrooms, won bok, and tofu. I made a fresh pot of hapa rice but didn’t eat much, because the veggies were fine without it.

Okay, the Chinese takeout probably goes in the not-routine category and definitely added some excitement to my week, but Chinese food isn’t exactly trendy or cutting-edge.

I nibbled here and there on the pot roast, actually. I got the munchies a few times and needed literally just a bite twice or thrice. And over the course of the day had about five chocolate peanut butter pie Oreos.

I did not go for a walk this evening despite having time and energy to do it. Wanted to get that proposal done, but if I’m feeling Thursday night the way I felt Wednesday night, I’m going, even if just for a short trip. Still feeling the knee but it’s not too bad.

I texted with AJ in SD. She mentioned something about the magazine market for freelance writing, and it led to a short conversation about this and about the puzzle she sent me (it’s still not begun).

Ali and I did more Kindle talk. That was nice.

Suzanne sent the engineering firm group text a photo of the ducks. They seem to be doing okay.

Crush Girl and I talked a little about the chocolate peanut butter pie Oreos.

There was some work-related texting with a coworker, too.

Ryan and I are discussing via email the next issue of Hawaii Stories. That’s pretty fun to think about. I paid a few bills online. I like waiting until midway to the next payday to pay bills when I can (I usually can’t, but since I’ve been spending so little money in lockdown, I’ve been pretty current with stuff, and I can trust myself not to piss away everything and cluelessly find myself broke midway to payday without having paid any bills — yes, I’m terrible with money). It just makes me feel wealthier, to have that fatter account balance for seven days instead of for seven hours.

Oh, I spent the day listening to albums by bands I’ve never listened to before. That was kind of a fun trip. Thränenkind’s King Apathy. Killing Joke’s Pylon. Pyrrhon’s What Passes for Survival. Wilderun’s Veil of Imagination. The Thränenkind and Killing Joke albums were especially good. I listened to King Apathy three times, I think, and Pylon twice.

I’m developing an unexpected fondness for black metal, which is not even in my top seven metal genres, but which I’m finding pleasing lately. Good to have in the background while I’m doing chores or cooking. It’s not bad for naptime either.

I’ve found a strange peace in the mundane, and as long as I’ve got some good people to connect with, I think it’s working, at least for today. Hopefully you’ve got good people to connect with too, but if you haven’t, please reach out. It’s crazy out there and it helps to have a lifeline or two.

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