Your Story

The spring before I got married, I belonged to an all-female gym in San Francisco. It was tiny, cobbled out of an old Victorian, and I always wore headphones (and my Discman!) while I worked out on machines. I remember this time in my life as very internally chaotic, but I never questioned what that might mean about my future with Paul and I never told anybody about the mental disarray. I had already decided that my story’s main theme was that I would be married to Paul, and that everything would be okay after that. This is just something I concocted — the part about everything being okay. I had no reason to believe this after I had already lived in this relationship for 8 years and it had never been what I’d call okay.

I loved him though, I really did, and I wanted what other people had. So it made sense to marry him. I was 29 years old and that felt so old at the time to be unmarried. What I remember is being at the gym and being extremely anxious, trying to exercise it out of myself. I remember, too, that my eating and food issues were at an all-time high during this timeframe and into the beginning of my marriage. Again, I never considered these were symptoms of something deeper, I thought only that my anxiety and disordered eating were evidence about how defective I was and that I should be relieved that I found someone to marry me despite my obvious shortcomings. That was my story. Defective and grateful and finally married and now I didn’t have to worry about that ever again.

I bring this up because my sisters and I are reading Pema Chodron, and she talks a lot about the stories we tell ourselves and our mistake as humans to think things won’t change or to seek security above all else. We are programmed to be this way, I think, to seek security, to go in the direction that seems the least scary, to cling on to what makes us feel safe. Our brains seek to find order. But Chodron would say that this is all futile and actually doing these things pepetuates feelings of insecurity and pain in the long run. As a Buddhist, Chodron tells us to be in the moment, to experience life as it’s unfolding. I am super-summarizing here, and I don’t mean to over-simplify what Chodron is trying to teach (you should read her cause she’s awesome). But you get the gist of what I’m saying.

Chodron also suggests that we create stories about ourselves and our lives and we cling to those, too, even when they don’t actually work for us. I have learned, like most people my age, that even the best-laid plans often times do not pan out in the way we imagine, and that getting to know yourself is probably a really good idea as we weave our way toward the hope of of daily contentment. I didn’t know these things when I was 29, and I did not listen to my gut (literally) when it was telling me that maybe I should not be marrying this man. I had my entire life story already written and I was unable to budge from that creation. No one could have convinced me that maybe I was making a mistake because I couldn’t even listen to my own self.

Are your stories benefitting you? Chodron says we should work toward letting go of stories that don’t make our lives better. That when we have memories that haunt us, we need to divert our attentions elsewhere and actively work at not having those experiences define us. I am not talking about trauma that needs more extensive therapy — I do not want to minimize intrusive, uncontrollable thoughts. But I’m talking more about the self-talk we all have, some of that talk maybe we’ve been doing for years or decades. I know for a long time, I defined myself as the “loser sister,” the one who could not finish college in a respectable amount of time. The one who was moody and needed fixing. I could not see events as dots on my timeline but instead as some proof that supported my loser thesis.

I think this pandemic has brought me face to face with myself. Struggling with mental health issues AND a pandemic is not easy, and I sometimes forget that everyone doesn’t have the same struggles as I do (though I’m sure people have DIFFERENT kinds of struggles, too, that I cannot understand). There is sometimes too much quiet time in my own head, too much introspection, too much trying to make my life into a linear screenplay when it’s more like a Jackson Pollack canvas. I told my sisters yesterday that I feel like my life is a series of mistakes with periods of survival in between. Where did I get this? Why does what I perceive as bad always bubble up to the forefront? My sisters don’t see me that way, and if I knew someone with my same life experiences, I would not see them this way either.

I need the freedom to rewrite my story, or abandon the story all together. Do you hold on to old tropes that don’t serve you anymore? Do you let life unfold and remain in the present? Now seems like the perfect time to actively work on finding appreciation for today.

Random Thoughts on a Wednesday

The thing is that even when we know what is best to do, it can feel impossible to do it. I am in a quagmire of anxiety currently, and my brain (which lies to me frequently) tells me that it would be best to situate myself in the fetal position in my bed and cry for hours. This is exactly what I set out to do on Sunday, but in a last gasp for help, I texted Miles and, finding me in that position, he suggested I go take a walk with Pete. It is hard to properly emphasize how much better I felt after that jaunt through the neighborhood with my son. I am trying to remember that as I feel drawn like a magnet back to my bed.

Every cough, ache, and digestive issue now seems like a foreboding signal that I’ve come down with a potentially deadly illness. This makes my anxiety worse and sends me into a downward spiral of existential crisis. I am not generally a hypochondriac, but the stressors of these times have made me paranoid. Sleep is elusive which exacerbates any other health issue that might crop up. I’m never not tired.

Sometimes I can’t believe that I’m expected to do my job effectively right now, along with parenting and just keeping myself alive. Make no mistake – I am very grateful to be gainfully employed right now from the safety of my own home. I do not take it for granted, but my brain is full of fluff and angst and I feel some days that I’m failing at every sector of my life.

Prior to COVID, I had been reading only non-fiction for a couple of years. I have nothing against fiction, but I just really got into reading memoirs and philosophy and self-help type literature. Good fiction is sort of the ultimate escape, isn’t it? I had only to look at my own bookshelves for something good, and indeed I found something wonderful: The Sea by John Banville. My guess is that it was given to me by my stepmother, who is an avid reader and is generous in passing down books to me. This is a beautiful but melancholy read, with the most gorgeous writing. The author seamlessly takes the reader between the past and present, and I honestly don’t understand how it works so well from paragraph to paragraph sometimes. Here is a favorite excerpt, which I think perfectly encapsulates what it feeels like to have a first love, or be in love a young age:

It’s a good book.

So, yeah. Reading is helping, and I’ve actually met one of the goals I set this year which was to read more and even read daily, which I am doing most days. Another thing that helps is cooking, when I have the energy to do it. I made eggrolls last week (below is a pic mid-process, I forgot to photograph the final result) and I recalled the memory of Christy teaching me this skill back when I lived on 24th Avenue in about 1989. I also made something called a Flauta Ring and this was a big hit with everyone in the house.

About a week ago we hosted a socially distanced dinner on our deck with the Samboys. It was wonderfully normal and I wished it could never end. We had this cheese platter and BBQ. I was telling Krista how I am obsessively knitting and crocheting (another coping mechanism) and brought out a couple of my knitting books… she chose a blanket she wanted, had the yarn sent to me, and now I’m working on that! I love knitting for other people, and this is the most gorgeous yarn which is knitting up to be a very cozy, soft throw.

We have a new marketplace opening up in my town. The building that will house it has been vacant, save the Halloween store coming in each fall, for the 14 years I’ve lived here. So it’s exciting as we don’t have a lot of shopping options here. So far, the organic grocery store, a bakery, and a meat counter have opened. In my quest to do something new, I ventured to the organic grocery on Friday and was delighted to find a really decent cheese counter! It was stocked with some offerings that were familiar to me from local dairies that I love! I bought one of my favorites:

I think one reason for the anxiety that many of us is facing is due to our human need to experience novel things, to seek out what feels new and interesting. We also don’t know when the pandemic will end, and I think if we knew this, at least we could plan for future excitement. We are just stuck here, now, with nothing much to look forward to. Miles suggested that we go for a drive this weekend, find a quiet park to have a walk and a picnic. I’m going to give it a try.

Sending love and good thoughts to all. xo

Managing Anxiety

I was lucky to be able to leave the Bay Area for a week and go to Lake Tahoe. Being outside with mostly no one around was a relief, and the time away from work was a much-needed break for me. We all had a fun time, but it was hard coming home.

This week in particular has already been very trying. Our school district is asking us to sign on to send our kids back to school in about 2 months or else sign them up for a Virtual Academy. I want neither. The stress of that is making me ill. I know I’m lucky that I am working from home, my kids are safe here with me and could remain so. I have made the executive decision that I am NOT signing them up for Virtual Academy (no good electives, not what Luca wants in the long run at all) and if need be, I will homeschool Luca for a semester. My older sister is a veteran homeschooler, and although she lives far away, I know she would help me and Luca. Pete, as an adult, is not mandated to attend school. Neither of them is going anywhere until I know they are safe.

Every day feels like some new fresh pain and worry. Work is super busy after my vacation. Each day I drag myself from bed to my desk, and I can’t believe I have to do it again tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. I’m grateful for the work, but I’m also burned out and anxious. I’m back to severe insomnia. I just keep dragging myself through. How many more months can we all endure this? I feel the stress ravaging my body and my soul.

I’m just so tired.

Here is a glimpse of the happy place we have in Tahoe, at the Truckee River:

Love, Karen

Juneteenth and Remaining Optimistic

Note: I started writing this on June 19, 2020, and then my workload increased such that I could not finish. I’m glad because over the weekend, some greatly inspiring things happened.

My work day started with a delightful surprise from my company — I was asked to write a document explaining a company-matching fundraising action for Equal Justice Initiative. I have not been so excited about a work-related item for a long time. In addition, today is Juneteenth, and important American holiday that is not as well-known as it should be. I only learned about it myself several years ago when I was planning social studies curriculum. The TV show Black-ish did a great episode about it last year, which I recommend (and I recommend the whole show, it is funny and educational). Here is link with some history from PBS if you need a primer. And if you want a way to honor this day, you can stream speeches by Angela Davis right here. Let’s not stop learning. This is only the beginning for a lot of us.

In the past 10 years, I’ve heard people my age and older complain incessantly about Millenials. I think there are annoying, entitled people in every generation, but as I am personally very close friends with several Millenials, I always felt the need to defend them. My friends are not entitled or annyoing, in fact, I’ve learned a lot from Millenial women specfically about being a more empowered woman. There are also the compaints about Gen Z and their screen time and different ways of socializing than we did as young people. I feel I have even more experience with this generation because of my own kids and nieces/nephews, not to mention all my former students. I personally love this generation because as a group they are so socially conscious and caring. (see Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai) Well, Gen Zs had a major moment this weekend when it was revealed that they had reserved thousands of tickets to 45s rally in Tulsa (the rally he had originally intended to hold on Juneteenth to ensure that his white supremacist base knew he still stood with them). The action of these teens, many of them fans of K-pop (who knew there was such a strong network!?), resulted in 45 being prepared with “overflow” areas as the venue only seats 19,200. He was expecting closer to one million participants. Less than 6,200 actually attended. The place was empty, and his voice echoed as he spoke. This buoys my spirits.

It also seems that there has not been a great spike in COVID-19 cases since the protests began several weeks ago, and that is also really good news. Racism IS a public health crisis, too, and I support protesters 100%. I do hope they all wear masks and take good care of themselves, though.

We’ve also seen the toppling and removing of countless confederate and other statues of racist colonizers in the past few weeks, and I am honestly just shocked that this is even happeing. They even pulled down the Columbus in North Beach! I’m so happy about this. I hope I am not being naive but it feels like change is really happening.

I’ve been doing a lot of knitting to ease my nerves (it also gives me happiness to be creative). I love knitting with cotton yarn, but there are only so many things you can do with it. I ordered a bunch of yarn from Michael’s (they delivered it) and recently completed a couple of things while re-watching Parks and Recreation:

I’m still trying to do daily walks, mostly with Pete. Pete is the perfect companion because he loves solitude as much as I do. We chat a little, walk in silence for a long time, then chat a little. It’s really ideal. During one walk, a person passing us (at a distance!) told us to turn around to see the rainbow:

it’s small but we’ll take it.

In other good news, 2 out of 3 of my tomato plants are starting to look like they are producing fruit. Here’s the best one:

those people who make jokes about how much work it is to cultivate something you can just buy do not get it. growing your own food is awesome.

I hope some of what I’ve written today helps you to keep hope alive. I would love to hear something in comments that makes you feel hopeful, too.

Gratitude List

  1. On Saturday, Castro Valley Pride had a flag giveaway drive through. Our time there only lasted a few minutes, but it reminded me of how much my community has changed for the better since I moved here 14 years ago.
  2. My son, Luca, is deeply invested in civil rights. He is educating himself daily and is up-to-date on everything happening right now.
  3. Luca and I spent Sunday afternoon painting signs for a protest. Luca also shared some music with me by black, queer artists, that he enjoys. I feel lucky that I get to glimpse into his personal world.
  4. We attended the protest yesterday. It was uplifting and peaceful. The speakers were all high school aged and blew everyone away with their passion.
  5. I ran into a friend at the protest who shared with me stories of her own family experiencing racism. I am horrified by her stories, but grateful she trusted me with them as this helps me understand what’s happening in the world even more.

Can you find some things to be grateful for today? Please share in the comments!

Stonewall was a Riot

The title of this article is something my son, Luca, said to me several days ago, and it is also something I’ve read many times.

I’ve been trying for the past week to write something, to say something that will document what’s happening in the world, in this country. I want to be a person who helps put focus in the right place. I also don’t believe my voice is one that belongs anywhere near the front, but I cannot remain silent.

Luca also told me the police could not be trusted. He had data points to back this up, and I didn’t feel it my place to dispute this when I can’t find good reason to and just listened. We looked together yesterday at a few new stories showing some police taking a knee or participating in a moment of silence with protesters and we were hopeful. Today we learned that in at least some of those examples, the police used force and violence after playing nice. In Trump’s America, it’s really hard to know what to believe anymore anyway. My heart aches at the thought of my children growing up in this world, of carrying these memories.

When I stop, then, to consider the fear in the hearts of Black mothers, I am ashamed and humbled. Please do not tell me it’s okay, it’s not my fault, or any such things. It is not okay and I have not done enough and I will strive to do better. I am not writing to be absolved of anything.

I have decided to start by educating myself so I am armed with information. I need to be a better ally, and I hope I can do this by opening my eyes to the realities of what it means to be Black in America. I admit that I have averted my eyes to this as it’s painful for me to see and to know. This is a luxury that I need to give up.

In honor of my friends and family who are part of the LGBTQ+ community since it’s Pride month, I thought a good start for me would be to learn more about the Stonewall Riots, which were led by a Black trans woman named Marsha P. Johnson. I have only begun to scratch the surface, but I wanted to link a few articles that I found illuminating with the hopes that my readers will educate themselves about police brutality towards POC and especially Black Americans.

The Stonewall Riots began on June 24, 1969. This is the day after I was born, which is mind-blowing to me — both how much things have changed and how much they have not. Here is a highly homophobic newspaper account of those events, written back in 1969.

This article shares some biographical information on Marsha P. Johnson and her friend and fellow activist, Sylvia Rivera, who, according to several articles, will be memorialized in a monument in NYC. I can find no follow-up, however, and the articles I read are from last year at this time. I was heartened to learn of Confederate monuments being torn down recently, and I hope that the monument to these two important women will become a reality.

Lastly, I want to shine a light on the many prominent Black members of the LGBTQ+ community who are often overlooked. This new article focuses on many of these artists and activists whose names you should know. As author Ernest Jones states: “Pride wouldn’t exist without the work of black and brown LGBTQ activists who risked their lives and reputations on behalf of a community that haven’t paid their proper respects.”

One way we are celebrating Pride Month in my family is to take advantage of the generosity of Castro Valley Pride‘s giveaway of rainbow flags this Saturday. I think it’s becoming more and more important to be publicly clear on where you stand, so we will be proudly displaying this flag on our front porch. I hope you will consider joining us!

If you would like to share in comments other Black activitsts related to the LGBTQ+ movement whose names we should know, that would be awesome!

Over the Rainbow

This was last Sunday in Castro Valley

It’s been a week that feels so uneventful I hardly know how to decribe it. School is winding down. Work has been just the right amount of busy and I’m grateful for that. Everyone I know, including the people I live with, feel very blah. The many states and municipalities opening up now have me fretting, and I am not ready to ease my own social distancing and family protection plan. But I am also suffering greatly from not having any solid time around other women.

Last week, my futon cover arrived and I was so excited to have a clean, comfortable place to sit outside. Of course it rained one day later on my new futon cover, and the whole thing’s been leaned up againt the wall for the past week now.

I think maybe the current thing that is bumming me out the most is that my very best friend, Krista, is about to have her 50th birthday. I am sure I have not NOT celebrated a birthday with Krista for 25+ years, and I wanted this one to be perfect. Krista is not a normal person or a normal friend. She is one of the best people I have ever known, and I feel honored that she chose me as her best friend. I have learned how to give generously and freely from Krista, as well as how to be a good parent and how to appreciate the every day blessings of life. Krista was present at the births of both of my boys and I would trust her to look after them should something happen to me. This is not a person who should have a less than stellar 50th birthday party. I realize we will have a proper celebration sometime in the future, but I am still so unhappy that I can’t even hug my best friend on this monumental occasion.

So I taught myself to crochet. My sisters and I sort of challenged ourselves and each other to push past our comfort zones and try something new. I’d been wanting to try crocheting, but it seemed to hard and I’m so comfortable with knitting, though I admit I only knit easy things, too. I decided that I should learn to crochet and then perhaps learn to knit in the round. I’d like to crochet produce bags, the kind you’d carry if you were at the farmer’s market in Paris. So if anybody has a pattern, bring it on.

My tomato plants are coming along nicely, with all three plants showing small flowers now which means tomatoes are soon to follow. Looks like the squash plant is also expanding, though I have no experience in growing squash so I’m not sure what I’m looking for besides growth. I hurt my ankle on Wednesday night, but I have no idea what I did. It just started hurting while I was sitting on the couch, and then it swelled up and was super painful for about 24 hours. I skipped the walk yesterday and elevated it, iced it, etc. It feels better today.

Miles bought me this exquisite olive wood cutting/cheese board for Mother’s Day. It arrived late because it was from the “motherland” – Italy. We have not used it yet because we’re waiting for the mineral oil we will need to use to keep the wood healthy. Isn’t it gorgeous? I’m going to have a huge cheese party when this thing is over.

We are thinking that we will take a trip to Tahoe around the beginning of July. We are really lucky that as homeowners there, we can go to our house without breaking any of the “no visitors” protocols. We would not frequent any tourist locations or anyplace busy. Our plan would be to stay in our neighborhood and take walks and enjoy the sunshine there. The Truckee River is nearby and there is usually nobody there but us anyway. So this is something to look forward to.

Today is my brother-in-law Tim’s birthday — so Happy Birthday, Tim! It’s also Paul’s birthday, and if were here, he would turn 53 today. Pete woke up talking about it, and has actually been preparing for it mentally all week. He said he’d like to look at pictures of his dad with me today, so I’m gearing up mentally for that. I realized while texting with Stacey last night that so much of who I am today is at least in part in reaction to what Paul did to us. He pushed me down so much that I had to recreate myself after I left him. In some twisted way, I’m grateful for that, because I learned through that experience what I’m worth and what I do not have to stand for as a woman. There is also this tiny part of me that misses him; not the Paul I knew for the last 15 years of his life, but the other one, the one I first met whom I loved. Or the potential of that person that never ceased to be. So that tiny part of my heart wishes him a happy birthday, too.

Love and good health to all xoxo

Things are Hard

On Monday I drove Luca to school to drop off textbooks and clean out his lockers. It was the first time Luca’s even left our immediate neighborhood or ridden in a car since the pandemic began. It was weird. I felt like crying as we approached the school on near-empty streets, and had visions of how it looked when bustling with highschoolers. Luca happily ran into his PE teacher while on campus and stopped to chat even though technically he wasn’t supposed to. He was masked, as was everyone on campus. Luca was also able to pick up his art work, and that made us both happy. On the way home, I stopped at Al’s Market to hopefully score my favorite hot sauce, Pepper Plant, but they didn’t have any. One young woman who worked at Al’s was unmasked, and I was becoming unglued just looking at her. I left quickly. Here is one of Luca’s art pieces:

The entire thing is made up of words, or really one word: Helden, which is German for Heroes, inspired by the Bowie song. It looks even more amazing from further back.

I feel like my inner circle of friends are starting to crumble a bit, and I do not blame them. Their distress hurts me, and I wish there was more I could do to make things better. The monotony and the fact that we don’t know when it’s going to end is soul-crushing. Today is my nephew’s birthday — 16! — and it will be celebrated from afar. I’m working on staying grateful, even texting my gratitude to my sisters so I’m accountable, but some days it’s really a stretch. Miles and I said yesterday we have to find ways to stay hopeful as this spring rounds to summer and we’re still in the same place. We don’t know how to do it, but we are going to try.

Mother’s Day has come and gone and I mostly felt numb/empty all day. I miss my mom, but I couldn’t even conjure up any emotion. People who love me tried to make it a nice day, and I’m thankful. Krista gave me blue cheese stuffed olives and this:

It’s a set of three magnets, depicting my favorite monument

And Nicole dropped off a homemade bagel (!) and a small vase with a rose bud.

It made a fabulous lunch.

My sisters and I had talked the previous day at our “book club” about trying new things and allowing ourselves to be uncomfortable in not being good at things. We all said different things we were going to try. So I decied to try to teach myself to crochet and/or knit something that’s not a rectangle. So I spent most of Mother’s Day watching Superstore and trying to crochet. Here is one of my practice swatches:

Not bad, but I think I’m inadvertently decreasing.

At some point, I went out to find small succulents for Luca’s teachers. I knew we’d be at the school on Monday, and I have no real way of thanking them. So that was my idea… to get them a small plant that would GROW. It felt important to me. I went to Rite Aid, where I was aghast at the patrons with no masks on everywhere. Also, they did not have succulents. I thought about giving up because being out and about makes me so anxious, but not getting the teachers anything made me MORE anxious so I went to Pete’s Hardware, where I KNEW they had what I wanted and I KNEW they were doing great at keeping people safe and they did not let me down.

Miles made me “dinner” which was really just a cheese and olive platter, which was fine by me.

Those green olives are the ones that Krista gave me

It’s Wednesday. I feel completely blah. The weather is overcast, both of my children are still in bed at 9:34 AM. Work is slow (obv or I wouldn’t be writing this) which is good and bad; good because my focus is crap, bad because if I can get myself involved, time goes by faster.

How do you stay hopeful? Has anything worked really well at keeping you feeling mentally healthy during the quarantine? PLEASE SHARE.

Staying Present

The uncondtional love of these dogs helps every member of my household

This week has been hard. More than feeling depressed or even anxious, I have felt empty, nothing. Just the biggest case of the BLAHS you can imagine. I’ve heard similar complaints from my inner circle. Some mornings I can’t believe I have to get up and do it again, and by “it” I mean essentially the same exact thing as the previous day. It’s exhausting. And the dreams! Goodness. When I do sleep, the dreams I have are ridiculous.

My kids are doing okay. I don’t want to share too much about their struggles here as it seems wrong to expose them, but I will say that Kaiser set us up with a new counselor who seems pretty great and he’s meeting with us via video so that’s perfect. Grateful for that. Pete has been having a Zoom call daily; M-Th with his current class, and on Fridays with his classmates who are still in high school. I know those calls mean a lot to him and I can hear the joy in his voice most days.

It’s been hot this week and it’s supposed to be 85 degrees today. I bought a new cover for the outside futon and Luca is going to stain the wood frame so we have a place to sit on the deck. I mourn all the fun we were supposed to have this summer. I hope that we are able to travel to Tahoe, even if we just buy lots of groceries and stay in our immediate neighborhood, complete with trips to the Truckee River. I don’t need the lake itself to enjoy a visit there.

I barely slept last night and woke up to find a post on Facebook from my adult nephew Jon Michael. He is a musician and a kind and sensitive soul. Second-born like me, I feel like we are on the same wavelength in many ways. He posted this article about Alan Watts and Zen which I really enjoyed so much. I recommed you take a peek if you want to be reminded of the fact that there are different ways to look at things, and as hard as it is for our brains to admit this, all we have is the present. Now. That’s it. The article reminded me, too, that I want to read Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. I have jotted it down on my ever-growing reading list (I have time to read now, which is wonderful). If you are reading, THANK YOU Jon Michael, I love you.

It’s Mother’s Day this weekend, which I freely admit is not a day I love. It’s hard to enjoy it without my mom. But I try to appreciate that I know lots of other good moms: my friends, my sisters. So I will try to celebrate them.

Here’s some pics from the last week or so:

That’s all for now. Please update how you are doing, especially if you’d like to share how you fight the blahs. Happy Mother’s day to the moms, and hugs and empathy if you are celebrating this holiday without your mom, like me. xoxo

Quarantine Update

Hi! I thought I’d check in and update how things are going in my world.

It’s been a weird week. I think I had my worst day ever during this crisis (Wednesday) and one of the best (yesterday). I should have known that yesterday was going to be good when I got this resume for a Cloud Ops Engineer job:

As you can see, this person claims to currently work for Dunder Mifflin, the fictional paper company from the show The Office. This made me laugh all day 🙂

I just felt good yesterday. I don’t know why, but I did. Some good things did happen, but I felt an internal sense of calm before the things happened (or before Dwight Shrute tried to get a job at my company, lol). I say you just go with it and don’t question it. Other good things that happened are that I registered Pete for another college class in the fall and we had a nice phone meeting with his teacher from the transition program. I also had a walk with Pete that was sunny and quiet. I have serious Zoom fatigue but the Zoom+drinks with my friends was also a high point.

As for the bad day, I don’t know. I went to Grocery Outlet on that day, and it didn’t even really stress me out like shopping’s been doing. Everyone was wearing face masks as it’s now mandated in my county. It was pretty chill, and I kind of enjoyed just being out of the house. My angst was internal, as I felt a sense of doom and just a numbness. Not fun. I am grateful that the forboding has passed, for now anyway.

I had a social distancing lunch with Krista this week, but I can’t even tell you what day that was as it all blends together. It was awesome to see her. I also saw Mike in person just yesterday as he delivered an office chair to me and then we caught up about work and stuff. That just helps make me feel normal, you know?

Here are some foods consumed this past week:

In my many neighborhood walks, I have become familiar with the houses and now I have chosen my favorite. I don’t know why I love it so much, it’s nothing special really, but I am drawn to it. It is also on a street called Heidi, which is my childhood dog’s name so there’s that.

Tonight is take-out night and we’re having sushi. We are all pretty excited about that simple pleasure. I feel pretty calm again today and I’m hoping that feeling stays for the weekend. Here is a pic of my comfort animal, Freddie for you to enjoy before I sign off. Hope you all have a good Friday and a peaceful weekend.

I love his tiny eyelashes