Lockdown: Resting beach face

Thursday was a slow day at work. I had stuff to work on but it wasn’t flowing. I had very few emails. The flow was slow but the day went quickly, and I guess my brain is still recovering a little from the sleep deprivation.

Something someone said on a podcast last night made me realize something I was aware of but not connected to: that most of us are living through incredible monotony. Like, I’ve been hearing this from others and understanding, even sympathizing, but not realizing my own life has been monotonous and I’m feeling a little off about it.

One reason I decided on Day One to journal every day of this lockdown was to keep monotony at bay — since I’m writing about each day, I’d recognize it when I saw it. Weirdly, I’ve noticed a sameness but not felt it. Then Wednesday evening as I got stuff ready to take to the laundry, I realized I wasn’t looking forward to it as I have for these past few months. It felt kind of like drudgery, which laundry is almost the textbook definition of, and of course drudgery is almost a synonym for monotony.

I almost didn’t go. I can skip a week of laundry with no real problems if the surrounding weeks are not normal going-to-work weeks. I’d still be okay, but I’d have to hand-wash some work clothes, which I have done and which I don’t especially mind.

But I really didn’t want to do a double load next week, and I had to get out anyway and get bottled water, and with the long holiday weekend, I didn’t think I’d get to go to the beach until next week if I didn’t go Thursday. So off to the laundry I went, and except for the visceral, extreme pleasure of the McD’s fries (which were heavenly), it just felt like a chore.

Even the accomplishments, such as my progress on this horrible house-related task I’ve named the Monster, are feeling routine. I still feel good about the small dents I’m making in an overwhelming project, but the feel-good doesn’t seem to have much effect on my overall mood or mindset.

I’m thinking I need a new project, and I certainly don’t lack for any. This will be my weekend pondering: to consider ways to get out of this humdrummedness in a non-superficial, meaningful way.

Strangely, I’m not feeling especially down about any of this. Nor am I getting very stir-crazy. I think I’m just a little disappointed in what feels like stasis when stasis doesn’t have to rule the day.

I’m also not ruling out the possibility that the crazy sleep lately has left me in compromised mental health. Maybe my real goal this weekend should be to get my brain and body back to some semblance of healthy.

Toward this end, after the laundry, I went to the beach. It was crowded even at 5:15 in the morning. I had to park on the side of the road away from the beach, something I almost never have to do. There were a lot more people wading near the shore, and maybe a few more people further out where the swimmers usually do their thing, and no more or fewer stand-up paddleboarders than usual, so it was all a little weird.

But I had a good, semi-strenuous swim and it felt great, and I mostly avoided other people the entire time, ‘though I could have done without the old Chinese lady hacking and spitting at the shower after the swim. Ugh.

I picked up breakfast from Pancakes and Waffles — another roast pork loco moco. I need to see if the Subway in my hood is opening up early for breakfast again, because I’d be so much better off with that, not to mention happier.

Lunch was a bowl of raisin bran. Dinner was (again) the Portuguese sausage Spam with fried eggs and the broccoli-kale-chicken brown rice. I have a few more meals’ worth of that rice, so I expect more breakfast meats and eggs in the immediate future.

I snacked on some tortilla chips and fresh salsa, and I had three or four peanut butter Oreos.

I usually save my trip to the grocery store for very late Sunday evening, but I was annoyed about those hot dog buns. Despite my dining habits during the lockdown, I don’t eat hot dogs that often, and I do love them, so I just couldn’t stand the thought of using those terrible buns just to use them. I had to get some decent (if unremarkable) buns before the weekend. I’ll freeze the rest of the lame buns and use them for something else.

The supermarket was pleasantly unbusy, and I got my stuff without having to deal with too many other shoppers. Picked up some bean sprouts, tofu, won bok, and baby bok choi, and Diet Pepsi of course, which was the only other must-get after the hot dog buns.

Didn’t go for a walk but it’s okay because I swam.

I’m watching the final season of Silicon Valley once more before I put it away. Took in the first two episodes before agreeing with myself that this journal entry could wait until Friday breakfast (which I just finished), turning in kind of early, around 2:00 in the morning.

Sharon and I texted on and off all day, mostly about work stuff. Crush Girl and I had a text conversation about a friend of mine, whose father just got home after 33 days in the hospital with COVID-19. The friend’s brother died from it a few weeks ago. Ugh.

That was it for connectivity, but it was enough for such a mellow day. I’ve got bandwidth for more, if you’re having trouble finding someone to connect with. Daily reminder.

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