I live pretty far away from things, it’s a good hour plus drive to a Costco and while my little town has a grocery store it’s one of those pay three times as much as you would anywhere else because of fuel charges kind of store. Once a week, every week, I used to (in my pre-quarantine days) go down the hill (that’s what we call leaving the mountain) with my kids so we could all visit with my mom for a few hours and have lunch, then the kids and I would go grocery shopping and run any other errands that can only be accomplished down the hill.
I haven’t been down the hill in two weeks. I was supposed to go tomorrow because Costco Instacart delivery won’t deliver up here but they will deliver to my mom. She was able to get us some things we haven’t been able to get since all this panic began, things like baby wipes. For our baby. Who poops in a diaper and then we have to wipe it. With baby wipes. Which have 0% alcohol in them. And yet…people are hoarding baby wipes that don’t kill the Coronavirus and for what? But I digress, I was supposed to go down the hill tomorrow to pick up the order of stuff she was able to get delivered to her house for us.
The plan was that everything would be out by the garage. I could arrive, load up my car, wave through the living room window at her, maybe call her cell and talk to her on the phone as we stared at each other through the window. You know, first world tragic stuff. And then afterwards I’d go to the grocery store and see if there was any fresh produce I could purchase since we haven’t eaten anything fresh in a week. But sadly plans got changed around and now it looks like I won’t be going down until Monday.
This sucks, y’all. I was equal parts dreading this trip, because of the grocery store part, and needing this escape from my home and immediate family. And I could say that it makes me a horrible person to say that, and maybe it does, but the truth of the matter is: there is no one I would rather be in isolation with than my husband and kids and also I desperately need to get away from my husband and kids. I need roughly twenty minutes, but two hours would be heaven, of silence. I need to be in my own head while also physically busy doing something (driving would be perfect) so that I can concentrate on my thoughts without concentrating on them.
Did that make any sense at all?
I will admit that for a moment I considered not telling my husband the plans had changed to Monday. I considered saying nothing and leaving tomorrow and getting my time to myself and then coming home and shrugging, oh man, plans changed but I was already down the hill, sorry it took me so long to turn around and get back…. But that would be shitty. Just like when I consider staying in the shower longer than I technically need to.
Because the truth is, if I told my husband, I desperately need two hours to myself he would shrug and say, “go! Do it!” He would have absolutely no problem with it whatsoever. And as I type this out and realize the truth I’ve known but not admitted to myself I wonder why the hell I still haven’t turned to him and said “I desperately need two hours to myself!”
I think part of it is just recognizing that I could have this time to myself if I asked for it, allows me to breathe a little deeper and not be quite so desperate for it. I think part of it is that I desperately want that time to myself and I also can’t stand to be apart from my family for one minute, and especially right now. Seeing them and hearing them and being with them reassures me that they are okay, that I am okay, that we are alive and surviving. So even though I need my space, I also can’t bring myself to take it.
I think the answer is a family hike. We all need to get out and move. We all need some fresh air and some outside time. We can all be together but also be in our heads. Writing that out feels right. Writing that out feels like, “ah, yes, that is the answer.” And so I have just therapized myself through writing. Huzzah!
It’s fascinating to me how often I can be spinning out inside my mind, spiraling into anger or frustration (same thing), not able to figure out why, and then just sitting and writing for a moment allows me the space to work through it. Like earlier at the dinner table, my leg was jumping up and down, up and down, up and down, and my husband asks “nervous?” And I was like “yes, I’m anxious, which really means I’m afraid but I don’t know what I’m afraid of.” And that’s when I had to stop and breathe and realize that I was afraid not of going to the store so much as the store not having what we need.
While the store being out of what we need is a legit fear it’s also ridiculous for us. We live so far away that we are always pretty well backstocked on stuff. And sure, I was supposed to restock our TP supply right as the pandemic hit and thus we are actually running quite low on TP and those baby wipes I was wha-whaing about earlier. But the thing is, we are okay. We are extremely lucky. We have stuff in the freezer and stuff on our shelves. We can go at least one more week just making up random meals based on what we scrounge through and those random meals will be decent.
The bigger fear really is that I fear this will go on much longer than anticipated.
I told a girlfriend on text last night that I expect it will be August before things will slow down. It shocked me when I sent it because I hadn’t realized I believed that until I saw it in writing. But I do. She was shocked. And I texted that they originally predicted it would peak in May but that I think that’s too optimistic. I’m not usually this pessimistic. And then I saw posts about schools remaining closed until Fall and realized, I’m not being a pessimist, I’m being a realist.
Or maybe I just really need to get outside for a hike.
~~~That’s one hour~~~