I Am My Own Life Raft. Day 140, “The Me Project,” Day 5, “The Bunker”

What am I doing to chill myself the fuck out during isolation WITH children AND husband? This morning, I slept in. All day, I chose fun things, peaceful things with the kids versus trying to accomplish everything. This terrifying, frustrating, grueling reality in which we now live has me reeling, but there’s only a few things that I HAVE to do daily. We’re in this for the long haul. I’m trying to pace myself.

I am exercising every day, no exceptions. We’re going outside to play, on walks, on bike rides. I am grateful there’s some warmth and sun, so it’s joyful vs punishing to be outside. I am following my good food/drink choices, even though we’re in the end of times and could a homemade 6' sub made out of Oreos and ice cream and frosting really hurt? Yes. Yes. It could.

I’m also trying to fully, face-forward play with the kids when it’s kid time (There’s a LOT of kid time), and not be distracted. As in, if I need to do BUSINESS, I remove myself to do BUSINESS (this means work on my computer, and also pooping) but when it’s kid time I’m IN IT with them. Trying to establish boundaries and some sense of structure, which I’m sure will get better/worse as time passes.

I’m also reading.

More specifically, I started and finished Glennon Doyle’s third memoir over the past two days. It’s about a lot of things, but the general theme is identifying the ways society has taught us to be women and unlearning those lessons. “Untamed” is about her learning to trust her inner voice, to understand THAT as the presense of God, and learning how to go deep for it when faced with dilemma, learning to rely on it and free those around her (kids, spouse, colleagues) to rely on theirs, as well. It’s also about the process by which she ended her marriage so that she could create the life and family that she wanted; the fall-out, the chaos, the pain, the trying, the rising.

I listened on Audible. Even in forced sabboth, I have trouble justifying just sitting my ass down with a book to “do nothing.” At first, I listened when I was doing other plausibly useful bunker-keeping activities, like dishes or cooking or bleaching down everything and everyone. Then, I listened when I walked/jogged outside by myself. Then, finally, I lie down on my bed and listened while I played a dumb phone game (2 dots, so fun, try it). Part of the message of the book is that we all deserve rest, that we all can take the time to be inside our heads in any way that is healthy and useful to us, and that we need to unlearn the social conditioning that tells us if we’re not women in a tizzy of helpfulness, we’re nothing. So, I lied my ass down. Next to my daughter, who was lying her ass down watching cartoons on an iPad, and then later by myself, while my husband put the kids to bed.

It was good timing for me to learn to lie the fuck down and not do anything. We’re stuck not doing much for the loooooooooooong hall. My anxiety and my need to DO all the time makes life generally a little hectic. If I apply that ‘energy’ to this situation, my family will bury me in the backyard and tell everyone it was the virus that did me in. (#toosoon)

I’m still processing the book, and doing so- remotely- with some friends online. Glennon is a writer and activist and there’s so much to chew on about her observations about faith, religion, race, sex, pain, and self-knowledge. If you’d like to discuss, hit me up. I’d love to.

I’ve always seen my anxiety and depression as, well, first, these mortifying things I need to really move past to be whole, and then, second, nothing that can ever interfere with my or anyone else’s life, because THAT would be too self-indulgant. I’m trying to see it as forever parts of me that don’t need to be excused or apologized for, and ARE allowed to require some time and tenderness.

It’s hard.

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