COVID-IARIES, DAY 2: The Anger Report

Well, we made it through Day 2. I mean that in the most literal sense. ALL we did was make it through. Schoolwork was attempted, and schoolwork was abandoned in fits of rage. The house remained a heinous, impassable mess. To comfort myself, I made American style "tacos" for dinner: ground beef, hard shells made from genetically modified corn, shredded cheddar, iceberg lettuce, salsa from a jar. It wasn't anything like I normally cook, and it was damned delicious.

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There are two things I do when I get stressed: I write and I clean. Right now, my bathroom is probably the cleanest it’s been in months. It’s "I scrubbed the molding" clean. It’s "I dusted behind the toilet" clean. You people right now perusing Netflix in your loungewear probably do things like "dust behind your toilets" all the time,  what with all the free time you have to wear loungewear and watch movies. But those of us with kids... we're outwardly scoffing at your offering of adorable lists of things to do while all we're under quarantine (hang shelves! clean out closet! make a nice meal!) but secretly wishing we could be doing the same instead of fetching endless bowls of CheezIts and breaking up baby fistfights.

Both of my cars are also vacuumed and wiped down, which is oddly both the most privileged and the most prepared thing I've written in probably my whole life. I’m not a germaphobe; quite the opposite in fact. I’ve been known to eat questionable things off the kitchen counter. (The five second rule is more like the five day rule.) I just needed a good deep clean to stay on top of SOMEthing, to give me the illusion of control. When I was young, my mom cleaned like she was going to into battle. She put on her best rags and got down on her hands and knees and mopped and polished and inspected the carpets for tiny bits of lint. Looking back, I imagine that, as a mother of four kids, it was her way of exercising SOME authority over an otherwise circus-crazy situation. I feel like I’m caught in that same understandable trap. I’ve just vacuumed under the couch and I have convinced myself that everything is going to be alright for at least the next twelve or so hours.

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An Empath’s Response To Suicide

When the first headlines about Chris Cornell started to appear on my Facebook feed, I thought maybe he’d died of a health-related issue.  He must have collapsed from the pressures of being on the road, I’d reasoned.  Musicians get overworked all the time.  White males, especially, are prone to heart issues. By the end of the night, though, the headlines were weightier, sadder and more reflective.  Cornell had actually taken his own life.

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The Work BEFORE Work


There are times in motherhood, times involving cursing and sweating and frantic rubbing at stains, when you must weigh the situation at hand and determine if:
a) you are actively dying or
b) someone out there has it worse than you.

These times demand your careful consideration because otherwise, you can become overwhelmed by the seemingly intractable, filthy circumstance you find yourself in and you can go mad with the injustice of it all.

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Work Vs. Work


It came to me during a doctor’s visit: The reason for my anxiety over my decision to go back to work after the baby was born.

The question that had been on my mind lately was this: Am I working because I want to, or because I feel like I should? Financially, I don’t need to work outside the home. I had been convincing myself I go to work for two main reasons: one, for my sanity, and two, so I can feel like I’m contributing to our household. I don’t really think, though, that these two reasons cover it all.

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