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Quarantine Diaries

blue roller skates with rainbow laces

Well, blog, it’s been a while. Seven weeks (?) since our family started the full lockdown due to COVID-19, and derby’s been cancelled for just as long. I was looking forward to a lot of cool things this year, and now everything’s on pause. 2020 feels like it’s been on for-freakin’-ever already.

On the whole, I’m doing OK. Husband and I still have our jobs, Little Nerd (age 4) is managing alright at home during the day with us, nobody’s gotten sick, we’ve got a full freezer and a whole case of toilet paper in the garage. We’ll get through this.

But some days are really hard, even for this Nerd who always tries to bring the love and sunshine to the people around her. I know I’m not the only one in that boat, but amid the isolation of social distancing, I’ve felt like I’m struggling alone more than a few times.

Struggling

So here’s the state of things, more or less:

  • I’m trying to be an employee/manager, a mom, a wife, a teammate, a BOD member, and give 100% at everything. I know it’s unreasonable to expect that right now, but it’s hard to cut myself any slack. I had a minor meltdown over something work-related last week because I just didn’t have enough spoons to handle everything, and honestly I’m kind of shocked it took as long as it did.
  • I’m fortunate that my mental health is in a decent enough spot (shout-out to Latuda, Trintellix, and the occasional Xanax! Whoo, modern pharmacology!) but I’m definitely fighting off creeping anxiety. My sleep is kinda fucked and my OCD is popping up in some weird ways. I’m lucky that I (virtually) see my psychiatrist tomorrow, but it’s frustrating that I have to deal with mental illness on top of everything else.
  • By all measures, Little Nerd is doing fabulously. But I feel tremendously guilty that I’m not doing enough with him right now, especially while putting in full work days. I’ve seen all the Pinterest boards and Facebook groups for “pandemic homeschooling” and feel guilty that I can’t live up to that. Luckily he’s great at entertaining himself, and we still do fun stuff in the evenings, but I have that gnawing feeling that I should be doing more.
  • My exercise stuff has basically collapsed. Before COVID, I was training for a 100 mile bike ride and a triathlon, plus working hard at getting stronger for derby. That’s all gone completely kaput. On top of that, my eating has gone pretty seriously off track; I haven’t gained any weight, but I’m not exactly cementing healthy habits, and knowing how much I’ve struggled with my weight, even since having surgery, that’s not a great thing. Not only do I miss feeling stronger, it was a big part of my daily routine that helped keep my mental health stable.
  • On top of it all, I feel guilty whining or complaining because others out there have it so much worse than I do.

Good stuff

On the other hand, there are good things happening, and I try very hard to remind myself of it.

woman in a red power rangers shirt, black skate helmet, and sunglasses
Go go skatey rangers!
  • Little Nerd is super happy. This weekend, he discovered Minecraft, and he is so excited to fly around and smash things and cover the land with jack-o-lanterns. We’ve also done Cosmic Kids Yoga together and have a blast!
  • I’ve been going on trail skates with my Moxis (which make me smile so much), and I even did a half-marathon skate a couple of weeks ago. It’s been a great way to clear my mind, get some fresh air, and have a bit of time to myself. I even bought a bunch of costumes on Poshmark to wear while I skate and make other people smile! While I can’t do this any more because of the Arizona heat, I’m glad I can at least strap on my wheely shoes for a bit.
  • Since trail skates are off, I’m going to try to do more stuff indoors. I’m aiming for yoga twice a week (or more), even if it’s only fifteen minutes per session. I also need to get back on my faux-Peloton (using the app on a Schwinn spin bike), so I’m going to try and also do that two nights a week, even if it’s just a short class.
  • Mr. Nerd and I have started playing Final Fantasy 7 Remake and OMG it’s beautiful. I have to smile because we did the exact same thing– curling up on the sofa with a JRPG– when we first started dating 18 years ago. Nerd love, yo, it’s the best.
  • In terms of derby stuff, I was finally able to get our league’s finances order. I put together a full P&L going back to 2019, categorized most of our revenue and expenses, and built a budget– at least one that would have worked before we shut down for the pandemic. I’m getting QBO set up with some help from a leaguemate, and hopefully we’ll have it all set up and ready to go.
  • Our league is also doing some really cool work about creating a more positive culture in terms of things like self-care, diversity and inclusion, and the like. I’m really excited to be a part of it, and I think we’re going to do some great things.
  • At work, I finished up a huge project that came out really well and I’m super proud of it. I’m grateful for my coworkers and the hard work they’ve been putting in since last spring, and also very glad to have it off my plate so I can finally work on some other stuff! This makes me grateful that I finally found a job that fit my interests and abilities; for a while, I really felt lost in my career and it was pretty awful.
  • A few times a month, I’m playing D&D with a bunch of derby buddies. I had been doing an original campaign, which was a pretty big emotional drain since I wanted to do a good job, so I finally asked if we could run a premade adventure, and it seems like we’ll be shifting to Curse of Strahd shortly, after we wrap up our current goofy Monster of the Week one-shot. I’m super grateful to have such fun people to play with.
  • I’m also joining a play-by-text Star Trek RPG over Discord with a bunch of friends from college that I don’t normally get to chat with. One more fun diversion? Heck yeah.
  • Animal Crossing is tons of fun, also a very good investment. My island isn’t super fancy yet, but my goal is to someday build a little derby track of my own.
  • I’m participating in the virtual “Ref School” being put on by London Roller Derby. At the very least, I’d like to be able to ref for our juniors’ games, and hopefully the study of the rules will be helpful as a player. I also like the idea of being able to ref if I decide that skating isn’t for me; I was starting to lean that way, primarily due to anxiety, before COVID hit, and it’s always nice to have more possibilities in front of me. I even put my name on a stripey shirt!

The sum of things

My OCD brain likes making lists like these, because now I can look at them and go “oh look, the good list has lots more bullets than the bad list!” Getting things from my head to a list is also a good way to process and empty my brain out, so I’m grateful for the mental exercise.

Bottom line? I’m staying away from the news, keeping myself inside, trying to stay active, and doing my best to remember that I have it pretty good. Doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be sunshine and rainbows, but I can make it through, one day (and one list) at a time.

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