Lockdown: Uno momento, por favor!

It’s just past noon Saturday as I get ready to write about Thursday. I just put some quinoa in the rice cooker after wasting a couple of hours thinking about getting takeout. Honestly, a bowl of hot quinoa with a tin of mackerel or sardines (I haven’t decided yet) in olive oil has much more appeal.

I’ve a ton of writing things I want to get done today, but you know how it is. You can never tell how long one of them will take, and these things are always such a mental drain, sometimes I only have the capacity for one. I remain hopeful, however.

Wednesday night I got something like six-plus hours of good sleep. What a nice surprise. Got up Thursday morning ready to work. Worked on some web stories, posted but not published as I’m standing by for photos. Had the department Zoom meeting and a phone call about my next donor profile. Shoot — add that to my list of things to do today. Gotta send that donor the email I composed.

Mid-morning, I drove to the stripmall and picked up a bag of clementines, then got some Korean takeout for breakfast-slash-lunch. I think all those Korean veggies did me some good. The battered, eggy, fried slices of beef probably didn’t, but man what a good meal.

I’ve been doing too much phone-vegging lately. I’m already too married to the thing, and this is heavy duty even for me. I don’t know what explains it except maybe it’s escapist behavior, something I set out to protect myself against when this lockdown journaling began nearly a year ago.

I confess I’m starting to feel antsy, and the unresolved antsiness is turning into blueness. Additionally, I think I’m a little bummed that Ali and I aren’t texting anymore. As stressful as that friendship often was, when it was good I really got something meaningful out of it. I won’t pretend I’m not poorer for not having her in my life this past month and a half. Or however long it’s been.

Lent began without my marking it in any way. I don’t feel like dealing with it this year, but whenever I don’t observe it, I feel like I’m missing out, which is part of the antsiness too, I think.

Worse, the escapist behavior, as it always does, comes with neglected tasks, some of which are important and which I really need to deal with.

So Thursday evening mostly passed in a haze of phone-vegging (do you like it? I wonder if I coined it) until I forced myself up and made a pot of carrot-beet soup in the Instant Pot. The rote engagement of scrubbing veggies then chopping them for the soup helped. Something about the immediacy of a knife in my right hand, a root vegetable in my left, and the percussion of the knife on the cutting board as I assemble stuff for heat-provoked transformation fixes me in the moment much better than whatever I’m doomscrolling through on Twitter.

Driving, swimming, cooking. Total in-the-moment things by necessity. Is this what I need more of in my life? I’m wondering if this is why I’ve been playing around with the idea of meditation, another in-the-moment activity by necessity.

The soup came out decent but not great. It’s missing something. I’m hoping a couple of days in the fridge and some kind of interesting garnish will wake it up, although maybe it just needs more salt and more lime juice. I haven’t prepared the beet greens yet. Maybe that’ll do it. A little blanching, some slicing, and then just stirring into the nearly neon-red soup?

Tried to put myself to bed at a decent hour but was up until three or so.

I texted Gwen to see if we could arrange a socially distanced meeting (although she got her vaccine because she works in healthcare) so she could give me the cool gift she got me. Plus, she’s had my car’s second keyfob since right after I bought Jessica (from her friend) and I should probably get that from her.

Jennifer texted me a video. Ten minutes of Japanese bullet trains rocketing through an empty train station in the snow. It’s strangely calming.

I’m listening to my 80s playlist on Spotify, and it’s Paula Abul’s “The Way That You Love Me,” a song I hated when it was a hit but which I kind of like now.

This only took me forty-five minutes to write, and I don’t feel mentally spent. A good sign. I’m going to make breakfast and get started on the next task. Somewhere on the list is writing about Friday, so there will be two lockdown journal entries today, assuming I don’t get sucked into a social media hole.

La laaaaaaa la la la laaaaaaa lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala leave a comment if you need someone to connect with in these tired tired tired tired tired pandemic days!

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