I know, it’s supposed to be silver linings. However, I prefer rose gold to silver, so that’s what I’m calling this . . . my random musings of subjective positivity. Key word here being random.
I heard a sound coming from the kitchen yesterday. My husband was out, so I was a little concerned that a stranger was in the house. No, it was just a daughter unloading the dishwasher. It’s not a sound I’m used to, but one that’s becoming more frequent of late. I’ve also noticed that I’m not doing any laundry, but my girls seem to be wearing clean clothes. They are also cleaning. To think that I spent years feeling bad about my mothering skills because I didn’t have one of those chore charts hanging up. Through sheer osmosis, my children apparently learned the basics anyway. Who knew? Of course, this virus could also be a vast right-wing conspiracy to get young women out of the classrooms and into the kitchen. I’ve been reading a lot of dystopian fiction, so I’ll leave that thought for another day.
During a dog walk this week, an old-man neighbor did the equivalent of “get off my lawn” by mansplaining to me why my dog should not pee on his private property (ie. the approximate foot of dirt between his yard and the sidewalk). In my BC (Before Coronavirus) life, I would have said to him that he should get over it. I figure he’s in the demographic that could be dead soon, so I let him have his say, and told him to have a nice day. But before anyone thinks that I’m growing from this experience, I also muttered a “fuck you” under my breath as I walked away.
Social media still has the ability to make you feel like you’re not doing enough. Even though all that is required of us now is to sit on our asses. I’m anticipating that, when this thing finally ends, many of us will resort back to feeling like we’re not enough because we didn’t: write that novel, finish those damn baby books, organize the photos, clean out that closet, organize those files, learn to meditate, ramp up our workout routine, practice self-care, stop being selfish, learn a new language, learn how to knit, learn how to play chess, take one of those Master Classes you’re always hearing about, learn how to code, get an online degree, train the dog, finally figure out if it’s “grey” or “gray”. Actually, that last one I do now know, thanks to a friend who knows how to spend her time productively.
I’m thinking more about my family – the dead ones – my dad and grandfather. How they spent their whole lives not really liking each other, and how it never got fixed, and that’s just how it goes sometimes. Some family relationships are just not meant to be anything more than a result of biology. When this is the case, maybe the best you can hope for is to say little, be nice, and then quickly back away. I’m thinking if people identified this early on, there would be less angst. Not every brood is going to live up to the social construct of the perfect family. We would all do well to consider that behind every smiling family photo on vacation in some exotic locale, there could be a kid giving you the finger. I know this to be true and I have the photo to prove it. And, it’s okay.
When this thing first was getting only moderately scary, and my mood was just scratching the surface of terrified despair, I said to my daughters, “I’m not part of the Greatest Generation. I’m a cream puff and I’m not equipped to handle this.” Elder daughter disagrees and reminds me of a particularly trying moment for her and I. Reminds me how I rose to the occasion and did what I had to do to take care of her on the fly. So, there’s that.
I’ve mildly worried for years that my being a heathen and openly dissing organized religion was doing a disservice to my children. My daughter, home early from a study abroad program in Italy, spent about a half hour yesterday explaining Christianity and the history of the bible to me. All from the Italian art history she studied. She said it might have been easier if she had some foundation for this stuff, but I think the fact that she was such a blank slate, religion wise, she just soaked it all up. She seems to find it really interesting. This makes me oddly happy.
There will be no school shootings in the foreseeable future, because there is no school. However, gun sales have evidently increased. Apparently, there is a segment of the country that thinks they can defeat a virus with a handgun. So, when this finally ends, there will be even more American households with firearms. Which means that my volunteer work in this area will still be viable. Yay for me.
That’s all I have for now, except this. For the past couple of days, I’ve noticed a hacksaw hanging on one of my neighbor’s mailboxes. I know, weird right? I wish I took a picture, but it was gone when I walked by today. Clearly, someone had borrowed it and was returning it in a germ safe manner. Still, it seemed a bit risky in these fraught times to leave a hacksaw freely hanging on someone’s mailbox. But, it gave me hope. How bad can things really be if some people are still willing to leave lethal gadgets randomly hanging on a mailbox? That’s a rhetorical question.
Stay tuned (and please stay home and keep washing your hands).