pandemic diaries: week 23

Big news around the Bay during week 23 is that the mostly dry lightning event I mentioned in last week's update eventually resulted in several large fires by which we are now surrounded. While we're not directly affected by any evacuation warnings/orders, air quality has been moderate to downright unhealthy since about Wednesday last week, making me realize how much my morning runs, neighborhood walks, and family hikes are getting me through this pandemic. Without those (or with very brief morning and maybe evening walks, plus a little midday Just Dance) it's been a tough week, maybe the most challenging stretch for me since this all began. But I know it could be a lot worse and I think we're all just looking forward to relief, whenever it arrives. Here are a few other things that happened last week.

Sublime skies over Oakland.

If you've been homeschooling your kids for any part of the past six months, Alanis Morisette's performance of her new song 'Ablaze', with her daughter on her hip, might - okay definitely will - make you cry. "My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze." Consider yourself warned (but it really is awfully sweet and a good reminder of what to prioritize right now as more and more parents return to juggling working from home with some portion of remote/online distance learning).

Speaking of school, the 7th grader continued to have just one hour of advisory per day last week, but he received his first mini-mester schedule on Friday, as anticipated, so his schedule this week has suddenly been quite a bit fuller. More about that in the next update. Not much change for the 2nd grader, either, although she did begin a Creative Spanish "after-school" class (via Zoom, of course) with one of her best buddies taking it, too, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much she enjoyed the first class last week.

This article in the SF Chronicle is one of many about how the pandemic has intensified, like so many issues, the struggle most (all?) working women face at some point between work and children. "Her husband shares the workload and was open to staying home, she added, but he earns more and his job provides the family health insurance." Same. One of these days I'm going to cobble together the many posts I've written about my own trajectory over the past 12+ years of motherhood. Over that time, I've dabbled in just about every option of motherhood plus making money (or not): not working, working full-time, working part-time, or being self-employed. In a weird way, my experiences trying to navigate some sort of peaceful coexistence between the work and family spheres (all the while sustaining some sort of creative practice) led me to my current gig, which is about as pandemic-proof as it gets. And for that I'm grateful.

In smaller victories, I was very happy to finally find some Fresca at a Target I don't normally frequent. Apparently there's an aluminum can shortage because all the usual bar-goers are buying and drinking more canned beer at home. 

Updated the numbers on our house, 10 years later.

Finally, one thing I failed to acknowledge in my week 22 update is that we celebrated our 10-year anniversary in our house on August 11th. I love our little house and all that's happened here and all we've done to the place, but like so many people right now, this pandemic has me reevaluating a lot of things, and where to call home is always top on that list. I'm envious of people who find themselves surrounded by extended family and close friends. I feel like both have always been or have become quite scattered lately, so I'm often questioning what roots us here and if we did move, where would we go? Seems like we have 3 options: we can stay in our current house in Oakland, sell and buy a different house in Oakland (1100 square feet feeling pretty cozy after 6 months of non-stop together time), or move out of the area altogether. Alas, where would we go? And is now a good time to make a big decision like that? I don't yet have answers to these questions but time will certainly tell.

No comments: