social distance diaries: days 100-105

keep wearing those masks. make it fashion.

Day 100, Tuesday

Trying to get back into the swing of things after being out for two days. It doesn’t seem like a long time, but emails have a way of multiplying even under normal work circumstances… meetings kept me from getting much done TBH.

Day 101, Wednesday

Day off for doctor’s visits (for myself and mom).

One of my coworkers had a heart attack recently, and my mom’s neighbor had a stroke… that spurred me to finally see a cardiologist to discuss the heart palpitations, faintness/dizziness, shortness of breath I’ve been experiencing for a little over a year.

For the record – I’ve seen my GP twice (after the first time I nearly passed out and, more recently, when he prescribed anxiety meds), as well as my endocrinologist, and my gyno to check all my hormone levels… none of them found anything, but I’m not fully satisfied with anxiety as a diagnosis. For one, my mom has mitral valve prolapse; I don’t want a misdiagnosis if it’s more than anxiety (there was no pandemic when it started), or a regular part of my body being slightly different.

I have a followup scheduled for an EKG, stress test, and Holter monitor.

Day 102, Thursday

Finally catching up on work… It’s surprising how quickly things pile up, even when I tend to stay on top of tasks and prioritize.

We’ve finally hit the summer heatwaves and it’s been miserable being at home (I don’t have central AC and my wall units can barely cool the room when the sun hits in the afternoon).

Sunset was at 8:15pm FFS. The sun was unrelenting.

Day 103, Friday

It’s HOT. I ordered a second fan to try to cool my home office (ie, my living room) while I keep working from home. Kitty is as languid as I feel. I think she’s shed some of her undercoat because she looks slimmer. I feel ya, kitty.

Finally feeling better after a three day migraine attack. I’m pretty sure it was caused by my lack of restraint over the weekend (there was dairy and other stuff that doesn’t sit well with my body) and the heat.

No heart palpitations today, so that’s a plus.

Meanwhile, the state just announced 9000 covid cases in a single day. Wear your masks, people! I have zero tolerance for selfish disdain for human life.

Day 104, Saturday

I’ve felt decent for the last two more… more than decent actually, and I’m taking full advantage of the ability to focus and write.

Since I haven’t been going out to eat (I can count the number of times I’ve had takeout), I decided to take the plunge and try Daily Harvest. 1) because I’m tired of coming up with lunches and snacks, 2) because I’ve been eyeing their ads forEVER. If you want to try it yourself, I have a referral link.

Day 105, Sunday

Another good writing day. Using a timer and setting pomodoro type sessions has helped me reset my writing routine for the weekend. My weekday writing sessions are usually an hour long, but I’ve had a hard time sitting with the words when there’s so much to do at home. This is an improvement.

Listened to an excellent episode of Smart Podcast, Trashy Books. Highly recommend. It was just what I needed to remind me that it’s ok to just take care of myself and stop. Episode 411. Caring for Tired Brains with Alexis Rockley

Meanwhile, the number of covid cases keeps hitting new highs. I’m still working from home, my risk is minimal, but I’m also an empathetic person. Between the fear and sense of collective grief, it’s been tough. YouTube videos from folks who’ve survived the virus are one of my weird ways to find hope.

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social distance diaries: days 85-91

yes, I’m still working from home and keeping my distance. cases are still on the rise.

Day 85, Monday

Interrupted sleep and another bout of whatever hit me on Saturday = a very lethargic day. Maybe it’s a migraine coming? Maybe it’s PMS? Maybe it’s whatever I had in March giving me second go? Who knows. Living with chronic issues is a guessing game.

My general fatigue manifested in some rather low blood pressure in the evening. 75/63

Day 86, Tuesday

Meetings that went on too long, nothing resolved.

Day 87, Wednesday

I’m experiencing empathy fatigue re: my parents. I can’t help them, but the constant barrage of negative emotions coming from my mom, and my inability to do anything for my dad (he lives with people who are actively out and about and bringing people over without a care) are wearing me out. I speak with both of them multiple times a day, but there are times (like today) when all I want to do is say yes, no, and hang up. TBH I have a lot of unresolved issues that stem from the f*ck ups of these two humans.

Day 88, Thursday

We had more than 1600 new cases of COVID reported in Florida in today’s update and, somehow, we’re opening even more places where people gather in large groups… We’re f*cked.

Right now, everything feels hopeless.

On a lighter note, I visited my dad for a distance date. It’s the first time I’ve seen him since quarantine and it relieved some of my anxiety. I brought him a bag of his favorite bagels (he calls them donuts) and he was very pleased by the surprise.

Day 89, Friday

Cue the latest migraine. I’ve been feeling it coming for the last few days — extra fatigue, clumsiness, inability to concentrate, and generalized achiness (also, wrist pain, which is one of my first warning signs). Two days of interrupted sleep and neighbors slamming stuff didn’t help.

Decided to whip out the smaller of my teapots for a renewed, reading time tea ritual. I’ve also started using a small coffee cup with saucer to slow down my morning coffee moment.

Day 90, Saturday

Laundry in the morning, weekend chat in the afternoon. Amused (and confused) to receive an email from the university telling my I owe $3.50 for tuition… I’m a faculty member and haven’t taken a class since Fall 2008. I’m hoping it’s a glitch, but emailed them to investigate. I had enough issues with records when I WAS a student. (as faculty too if we’re being candid).

Podcast recording. (latest minisode)

Day 91, Sunday

Writing and dealing with mom drama. She is the greatest source of stress in my life right now. Yes, including covid, because keeping her safe from infection is compounded by the fact that she has a million health issues and keeps needing to go to Urgent Care Centers with more frequency than ever before… ugh.

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social distance diaries: days 78-84

Day 78, Monday

Meetings and lots of them.

Started writing again. It’s slow going, but it’s a start. It’s been difficult to write in my current mental state, especially when trying to write a Romance that has some heavy angst.

Day 79, Tuesday

I don’t even remember what I did on Tuesday…

I wrote for an hour.

Day 80, Wednesday

Collected Cara’s ashes. They didn’t have my number on record, which is why it took so long. I called to ask and they already had him. They provided a ceramic paw print, which broke my heart just a little.

Meetings that I didn’t have on my calendar threw me for a loop.

Wrote for another hour.

Day 81, Thursday

Tired and feeling a little off, but I suspect mid-cycle hormone mess. I’ve noticed this increases my anxiety and makes my heart race.

Meetings and work on writing projects. I have ideas for future research that I’ve been mulling for months; I think the time is nearing for introspection…

Day 82, Friday

What would’ve been the uni’s chair’s retreat was hosted on Zoom. It was very informative. Our local infectious disease expert spoke candidly about the situation and what’s going to happen moving forward. Her conclusion: herd immunity won’t save us and vaccines (if/when we have them) will likely be annual.

I wore makeup for the first time since March…

Day 83, Saturday

Suddenly, incredibly sick with indigestion. Spent most of the morning feeling awful and the afternoon in a languid haze. Managed to get some writing done.

Day 84, Sunday

Donated blood for the first time ever. I’ve always wanted to but haven’t because of reasons (not least of which is my episodes of lightheadedness). It went well. Phlebotomist said, “Wow! You’re a bleeder.” Friends, I am apparently. It only took about 5 minutes to complete the donation. Part of my motivation was to donate, but the more selfish motivation was to 1) learn my blood type 2) participate in the covid antibody study that the blood bank is supporting.

Stay safe, wear your mask, register to vote!

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social distance diaries: days 50-56

social distance diaries

*in which we have a banner

Day 50, Monday

The inevitable migraine day. Spent some time working on a review, but had a hard time focusing.

Worried about the reopening process in Florida. Miami is still mostly under lock down, but public spaces have reopened and (of course) people have been irresponsible in their behavior.

Day 51, Tuesday

Woke up early for the first time in what feels like weeks. Got some writing time before settling in for work and meetings.

The boy came over for the first time since lockdown. I’ve been to his place to do laundry and have a couple of yard dates, but he hasn’t been over since day 1. He was surprised to find that my apartment is unchanged except for the tiny table I use as a work station and the art supplies on my kitchen table. TBH, part of me is anxious about being in close proximity. It’s not a good feeling and I hate that this is even a thought that I need to have.

Day 52, Wednesday

Another exhausting grocery trip. It’s so hard to get everything for two households, I decided to take a separate trip for myself. I have regrets. Also an increased level of anxiety. Every time I go out, I wonder if this is the time I catch the virus. Yes, I’m wearing a mask (2 layers of t-shirt fabric with two layers of polypropylene as a filter. Ordered some filters today); I wash my stuff, quarantine what I don’t need right away, but there’s no guarantee and it’s scary when people are not observing social distance measures.

Day 53, Thursday

Hard to focus today. I’ve reached a state where I’ve had to accept that my writing is definitely taking a backseat for the sake of mental and physical health. My lofty plans are not so lofty anymore and an hour of work 5-6 times a week (even if it’s not a particularly productive hour) feels like a major accomplishment. My goals for the year were upended as soon as I started revising my current project, and the rewrite I planned for the manuscript I queried last year is a distant dream.

Yes, after wrestling with the thought while working on other projects, I realized a rewrite is the best thing I can do for that novel. I started it when I was deep in grad school, finding my feet in a new career, and going through major life changes. It’s a project that has grown with me and one that I come back to again and again because I believe it’s worth the effort. But the effort is still going.

Day 54, Friday

Laundry, we meet again.

The university hosted a town hall to discuss the “repopulation of campus”. The current philosophy is no faculty will be forced to return to campus as long as they can continue working from home. We do, however, have our own number of “essential workers” and I hope we can continue to keep them safe when we do reopen. Things are going to look very different this Fall, with only 40% of the on-campus student population (and that reduced to a hybrid model to limit numbers).

Day 55, Saturday

Decided to celebrate Mother’s Day a day early and ordered lasagna from Olive Garden for my mom. She’s been talking about a lasagna craving for days, but I wasn’t feeling brave enough to go buy all the supplies. Take out lasagna it is. I also got her a tiramisu and soup. She was incredibly pleased. My gran isn’t really aware of what’s happening, so her presents are of a supportive nature to assist my mom with her care.

Day 56, Sunday

Another day at home. Even South Florida is feeling the effects of the polar vortex —- it’s unusually cool for May and it’s been raining all day. Spent a few hours writing, not that I made much progress. It’s as good as it gets. Worried about day, who had a sore throat this morning. Is it his reflux or something worse? My sister lives with him and her mom and isn’t doing much to isolate. I can’t do much other than wait and hope it’s nothing. I feel so helpless. Mom and gran are doing ok, but every day brings a new worry.

Did 30 minutes of Yoga with Kassandra. I’ve been doing her morning movement series (in the evenings), but it’s been some time since I’ve done a proper session. It felt good to get a deep stretch. Needed.

 

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