I should be in Mexico right now. Or perhaps still on the plane or in the airport, but you get the point.
Friday is our 10th anniversary and we’ve been planning a getaway for over a year. A week away at an all-inclusive resort – an homage to our honeymoon. We had a complex web of childcare and puppy coverage. We had the time off of work; freshly renewed passports and child-like anticipation of a footloose and fancy free week away from reality.
Today was getaway day. When Cassadee woke me up at 6:00 am like she often does on the weekend, chattering so loudly through the monitor it jerks me out of sleep, my first thought was, “I should be boarding a plane right now.”
The last weekend in March was supposed to be a girls weekend away in Reno. We bought tickets to a “momedy show” eight months ago. We booked our rooms, we booked massages/facials. I was going to see my wonderful friend Lori because she lives there and was going to meet up with us.
January and February were hard months – both work and home seemed to be going at breakneck speed and all I could do was hold on. I was counting down the seconds to my girls weekend away and then to my tropical vacation to celebrate a decade of marriage.
I have concert tickets to one concert every month through November. I have overnight lodging and childcare for three of them. I don’t think we’ll be going to any of them – not even in October.
Trying to find a balance between work, home and self is such a difficult task. I have a word document on my desktop that lists out family events, important dates, holidays etc for the entire year. It is even color coded for who is watching the kids if we’ll be away, what I still need childcare for. I build it for Derek, so he can make plans ahead of time – know what we’re committed to. Most of all so he knows when I am going to be busy without him and he is on full time kid duty.
I remember looking at that calendar in early February and feeling the excitement build for what a great year we had planned. Monthly fun scheduled, quarterly overnights away without the kids, a weekend away with the girls (and for Derek, the boys). A week away together. I am supposed to fly to Seattle in July for a family wedding.
We are building a pool. We broke ground in early February and work continued steadily, even after the Stay-at-home orders because construction is considered essential. We were one step away from pool completion. They literally just had to put the plaster and acid wash on and start filling it with water. And then the city I live in decided to impose additional restrictions on construction companies and now we have a nearly finished pool that has to wait for completion until this is over.
It has only been about six weeks since life was canceled, but it feels like a year. And looking forward – it IS going to be a year and I’m mad. I’m angry and resentful of what has been stolen from me, from all of us. All my vacations and concerts will be rescheduled, I know. I weep for those that have lost things that can never be rescheduled – like senior year and trips to the DMV on a 16th birthday to get a driver license and grandparents visiting their first grandson in the hospital after he is born.
I don’t mind working from home. The super grungy, hates make-up and curling iron girl inside of me is actually rejoicing. I can do my job at home without missing a step, I don’t get distracted by the dishes or the laundry unless I specifically take a break. I am so fortunate to have a laptop and a cell phone and no need for anything else to do my job. My kids are still going to daycare every day so I don’t have to juggle feeding and nap time with conference calls and deadlines. I have nothing to complain about professionally. But I know people that are now unemployed, people that have kids out of school, closed daycares and essential worker spouses that are still out there – on the front line.
Last week I had a work event that required me to leave the house and be around people. I hadn’t left the house for work in 27 days. The mixed feelings were so real. Being out of the house, in jeans (ew), makeup (double ew) and walking around people that could be ticking time bombs was unsettling. But I loved every second of it. I miss the practical part of my job managing media on location.
Every week, sometimes several times a week, we get groceries through curbside pickup. This last weekend I took the kids with me and Landon burst into tears when he realized we weren’t going into the store. Even my three year old who, arguably, hasn’t had a single thing in his life change, has started to feel the impact we have all been feeling for weeks. He can’t walk over and visit his friends, he can’t go inside the store, he wonders why we cross the street when we are out on a walk and other people are coming towards us.
I have been living and breathing COVID-19 since the last week of February. My job is 100 percent centered around media inquiries on 47 different topics that are all the same – all COVID-19 related in some way shape or form. Local media, media from other parts of the state, media from other parts of the country. What is Sacramento doing? When did Sacramento become so important? The media has to be bored by now. I have worked in this profession for 15 years and I have never had to provide this kind of intensive crisis communication for so long.
I hate running, I always have because I am slow and awkward and it makes my knees hurt. In March I ran almost 40 miles, in April I am on pace to closer to 50. Yet I haven’t lost a single pound because I am eating like crap and drinking wine nearly every night.
I am exhausted – mentally, emotionally, physically. I was supposed to be in Mexico today.