April Did Happen

Fast and slow are inseparable.  Each day is eternity that passes too quickly.  April did happen.  My niece became a teenager.  My parents did celebrate 55 years of marriage.  My husband and I marked our 12th anniversary.  There are the milestones that braise the edges of a holding pattern. A holding pattern that has worn out its welcome.  A holding pattern that has no confirmed/hard/absolute end in sight.  An end will be more subtle.  Just today I heard some counties in the Bay Area may allow golf, tennis and gardening.  Will there be summer school in smaller groups?  Is summer cancelled?  Will school start earlier? I don’t dare share that with my ten-year-old distance learner. Who slogs through remote learning with mostly a smile, but not every day.

April happened.  Easter happened.  It did not really feel like Easter.  Spring break happened – I guess, technically.

To protect myself from depression I disconnect a bit from the reality of quarantine.  Or am I just getting comfortable with being home?  I am not naturally a homebody.  I still act like I am still living in a New York apartment.  Unless I am ill, a two hour stretch during the day is a long time to find me at home before I find an errand to run, leave for a meeting or take a walk.  When this started my husband was most worried about me.  He is a homebody and even he started feeling trapped the first official weekend.  I wrote in my last blog post (51 days ago!) about our voluntary shelter in place the weekend before this all happened.  The LA Marathon makes getting around tough and even the day before we were just not compelled to go out to dinner given the impending virus.  Little did we know it was our last chance for a while, a long while — 50 days in quarantine to be exact.

The reality of quarantine hits me every time the stated/official deadline is moved/moves later.  Is this really happening?  Time is held in a temporary status as if life will resume right where it was before.  Well it won’t return there and should not.  This is a time of reflection and edit.  Physical edits; my closet, the pantry, the kitchen and the toy room.  Relationship edits; more phone and Zoom time with people I did not see that often. An edit of my beauty routine; more detox baths and masks and no makeup.  The more important edit happening in my head is what will I bring back “out there”.  I’ve achieved a level of appreciation for little things coupled with even less patience for nonsense.  Things that don’t serve me or my family need to go.  We are crafting a new way to live while in this waiting room.

What did happen in April?   Most days I don’t feel like I accomplished much.  I suspect it’s more than I realize.  Here is April in a few numbers.

I finished eleven books and started one more.  The list is a mix of light reads, heavier reads and one kid’s book. I have caught up on various book club lists, thanks to The Stripe.  My own book club read was Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  I enjoyed them all.  The writing in Manhattan Beach was extraordinary and I will admit I used the dictionary feature in my kindle more than once.  I love when that happens.  Here is that list in the order I finished them with links.

The Idea of You, Robinne Lee

The Other Mrs., Mary Kubica

Untamed, Glennon Doyle

The Jetsetters, Amanda Eyre Ward

In Five Years, Rebecca Serle

Do You Mind If I Cancel?: (Things That Still Annoy Me), Gary Janetti

Billionaire Boy, David Walliams

The Dinner List, Rebecca Serle

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford

Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan

The Light We Lost, Jill Santo-polo

I just started The Beautiful Fall:  Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris. Alicia Drake. Thanks to Marquis Paris for the recommendation.

Over 200 miles cycled on the Peloton.  Reached my;  300th ride,  50th walk and more importantly my 100th stretch milestone.  My goal is to add more stretching, foam rolling and strength training to the cardio.

Prepared 90 breakfasts, 90 lunches and 88 dinners (two curbside pickups)

Scored eight Whole Foods deliveries on Amazon and three Fresh (including toilet paper – I felt like to won the lottery).  I did not track the number of times I tried to get a delivery window, but I am sure it is close to 100.

Prepared 16 daily homeschool schedules on the white board and helped with homework, writing, and practice spelling tests (Of late we mirror the iPad to the TV and take the test with the iPad pencil)

Baked six batches of my favorite cookies (recipe and tips and tricks here), two batches of brownies (one in the shape of bunnies for Easter), two sour cream pound cakes, the best croissants you can order here and proof and bake at home, four batches of Belgian waffles (my favorite mix), and three batches of ricotta pancakes.

The baking and the Pelotoning reached a magic equilibrium that have left the scale unchanged. As one of my favorite instructors says “You can’t outrun a bad diet”.  Quarantine 2.0 will include a transformation if I can just leave the baked goods alone and the chips and the popcorn.

Watched eight James Bonds films for family movie nights that included 5 of the 6 actors who played Bond.  Sean Connery is still my favorite and my 10 year old’s as well, but I have to admit Daniel Craig is suited for the part and I can’t wait until we get to see him again whenever No Time to Die makes to the theater.  It’s hard to imagine sitting in a theater, with strangers, ever again.

Taken two Improv classes on ZOOM and performed in one show with more to come.  I feel like I am fulfilling my childhood dream of being on ZOOM on PBS, kind of.

Completed two puzzles.  The last one was a 1000-piece collage of Andy Warhol selfies.  My family begged me to take a break.  They wanted me or more likely the dining room table back.  The reading also took a hit that week.

I guess April did happen; I am tired just thinking about it.

In the name of editing here are a few things I did NOT do in April:

Buy a tie-dye sweat suit (I can’t do it.  I feel like I will never look at tie-dye the same again)

Bake sourdough bread (though I want to and have the perfect pan)

Post on Tik-Tok, but I have spent too much time watching and I did make the Dalgona coffee (too sweet!)

Buy this bag I am coveting.  I had just ordered this one (my third in this style) and have yet to leave the house with it.  I treated myself to this one when I visited Parker Thatch in person on my last (for who knows how long) vacation in February.  I did order several of their masks and the cootie stick is next on my list.

Get a fun mani to commemorate my anniversary like this one or this one. My nails and hair are barely hanging on.  My color is being saved from total disaster by alternating this mask with this one. And yes I now wash and dry my own hair!  Thank goodness for this blow dryer.  I am considering this tool as well.

Get dressed each day other than in PJs, workout wear or loungewear.  I did add to my arsenal with this workout bra in grey leopard, these favorite socks and these leggings that I reach for over and over.  I also bought a second pair of my favorite kicks for the treadmill and only wear them indoors.

Happy Quarantining and Editing.