Corona Days, Part 2

Oddly, restrictions in my state are still being lifted, despite a rising number of deaths from COVID-19. I suspect that even if the restrictions were not being lifted, or if different ones were being put into place, people would not stand for it. They are getting bored. Upon hearing about the George Floyd shooting and subsequent madness that broke out all over the United States, I first thought that people are so thoroughly frustrated, angry, and bored. People do not like being told what to do for so long. Authority is difficult to follow when it is so hard to tell truth from lies.

The news is getting even more painful to read than it normally is; I hate seeing the COVID-19 death toll blazing across the top of the screen every day. Now I hate seeing all the pictures from the protests (violent and nonviolent) everywhere. To top it all off, my local news station ran a story this past weekend about how more than 10,000 cats and dogs will be euthanized throughout the state’s animal shelters if no one adopts them. Ah, the guilt.

Sadly, the library is not yet open (at least in my county). However, materials can now be requested online, which I don’t enjoy doing as much as browsing through the shelves and picking up books at random. My son also enjoyed looking at (i.e., trying to chew on) the board books in the toddler section, but now I’m stuck reading Little Blue Truck over and over. (I know it by heart!) On the bright side, I have plenty of reading material at home (current read: a biography of the Kennedy men; a look into the past is always nice when the present and future are scary).

In our diocese, the Sunday obligation is still suspended. Some parishes have many more restrictions than others, which brings confusion into an already stressful situation. The lifeblood of Catholics is the Eucharist. We need this spiritual food for survival, especially when the battle we will have to fight in the coming days is largely a spiritual one. Even so, there is a need to protect the vulnerable. Mass is being celebrated online, outside, or even inside, but people are allowed in only every other pew, with a host (no pun intended) of other restrictions. I suppose we are all doing the best we can to balance the need for spiritual sustenance with physical safety. I just wish Mass would be back to normal. I would take Mass over the library. 🙂

So in the midst of all this madness, I hope you are staying safe and sane. Take breaks from the media. If you can, adopt a dog or cat. Write something by hand instead of typing it (I’ve been doing this almost nightly, and it’s refreshing). Show someone you love them (from a safe distance!). Escape into a good novel. Pray, pray, pray.

Ten-Year Blogiversary

My blog has hit double digits, so now is the obvious time to do some reflecting. Ten years ago was 2010, and I had just graduated from college. I created this blog the day before I graduated, not because I expected to make any money or get a job from it, but because I was (pardon the clichĂ©) starting a new chapter in my life. Blogging was still fairly popular at the time, so I didn’t feel like I was coming into it too late, like I had done with most other social media.

The economy in 2010 was terrible. I don’t know if it was because of that or because of my horrible interviewing skills and social anxiety, but it took almost two whole years to get my first “real” job out of college. I remember that 2010 and 2011 were depressing times. This blog helped me cope with that by giving me something I could feel good about. A place to write was good. Having readers who testified that my writing was not utterly terrible was also good.

So many life changes happened between 2010 and 2020, most of them positive. The change that’s most relevant to this blog is that I essentially stopped writing. I don’t consider that a positive change, but I try not to lament the fact that I have “less time” for writing than I did in the past because I will only hear a little voice in the back of my mind say, “If you really wanted to do it, you would make time for it.”

Yep, I know, I know. I have not made time for writing recently because I suppose I don’t really want to write all that much. I had been spoiled by all the writing time I had before. That was one of the better things about 2010 and 2011. I could sit in my bedroom at 7 in the morning and write without interruption until 10 or 11, then feel as if I had accomplished something. Writing would make me incredibly happy, almost like I had gotten a kind of “runner’s high.” Other days, I wouldn’t want to write and would do anything to procrastinate. One time I did the filthy, mundane task of cleaning the vacuum cleaner’s brush roll, simply because I did not want to write.

The same thing happens to this day. When the baby is asleep for the night and I have a glorious hour or so to do whatever I want, I usually spend it doing something other than writing. I blame this on my “morning person” habit and that my brain fails to work effectively after about 2 p.m. Again, that haunting little voice in the back of my head says, “If you really want to write, you can do it. Now is the perfect time.”

Practicality also agrees with that little voice. The older I get, the more realize that there really is no time like the present. Coronavirus made me realize that, too. Our time here is so limited, and we have no idea when it’s going to end. That’s part of the reason why I am posting THE ARCHIVES now: So I can say I accomplished (or “published”) something in the brief span that is my life. It has become a habit to go on the computer for 10 minutes every day, so I can edit and post the next chapter.

After the chapters of THE ARCHIVES have all been posted, I’m going to post something else, likely much longer. I have often had the happy thought that if it was that easy to get in the habit of posting tiny chapters of THE ARCHIVES, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to post longer chapters of any other already-written story. (I have a lot of stuff that’s already been written and is now collecting virtual dust.)

tl;dr version: This blog isn’t ending after 10 years. Despite not making the time for writing, I really do want to write, so I’ll post whenever I can convince myself that writing is in fact more important than chores or reading or all the other things I do in my “free” time. I am going to post some other piece of fiction after THE ARCHIVES, but I haven’t decided on what it is and how often I’ll post.

Thank you to my readers, likers, and commenters over the past 10 years. I appreciate you sticking with me.

Corona Days

The social distancing measures recommended (mandated?) by the government and other authorities are an introvert’s dream. I am actually enjoying staying at home. The apartment is cleaner and more organized than it has been in weeks, I am saving money by not eating at restaurants or driving as much, and I have no excuse to ignore all the books on my shelves in favor of books on the library’s shelves. I also get to avoid the meaningless break room banter at work, because I have been working from home since March 16.

All that said, I recognize that my position is extremely fortunate. I am so grateful to have a job that allows me to work from home. I am also very grateful to my in-laws and husband, who watch my son every day so I can work. I wake up in the mornings and thank God.

I’m sure you have all been hearing variants on “stay healthy,” “practice self-care so you don’t get too stressed” (ooh, I dislike the term “self-care”), “God is imposing a Great Lent on us, and we heathens deserve it,” and “wash your hands, ya filthy animal.” There really isn’t much more I can say that hasn’t already been said, and I don’t want to take someone else’s words and try to make them better.

So… Happy Easter! No matter what, there is hope in the Resurrection.