My Last Day of Isolation. (The seeming joy of a breakthrough infection.)

When I woke up last Sunday with my chest completely tight after a night where my joints were on fire and I tossed and turned in absolute discomfort which was after having dinner with my husband and feeling like I had been on a Florida shore with no sunblock all day, the first thing on my mind was getting a COVID test.

There was only one other time I thought about getting a COVID test. It was summer of 2020 and we were packing up the house in Bellingham to move the kids, cats, furniture and new husband to Saint Louis. I remember feeling really nervous about getting a test and screwing up our logistics. I had a few days to see about myself, never broke a fever, ended up feeling fine and we kept our plans.

Now, here in the fall of 2021, I was fully vaccinated and definitely sick. One pink and blue stripe later, we were masking in the house, I was isolated to the master bedroom and bathroom and the psychology of being sick with mild symptoms, fine but not fine, and overall figuring out how to handle being excluded when “baby, but you’re in isolation – you have to be excluded” (to use David’s words) was playing out.

I wasn’t sick enough to be nursed, cooked for and cleaned for. I wasn’t well enough to cook and clean without feeling absolutely frustrated (both of those things are really less fun in a mask). I had enough energy to start walking the dogs, but would get out of breath and want to lay down. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t know what to expect others to do for me. But I knew the answer to both of those conundrums was somewhere between “nothing” and “whatever”.

By Friday, I had convinced myself to treat isolation as a little sacred time. I had used the week to finish my book, Words that Rhyme and Lullabies, and get a file out to the printer for art samples, editor for editing, designer for tweaks. Having that pdf off and running gave me a mental break “holy smokes my book is done” moment and I realized I had the rest of my time alone to dwell.

I started working through some organization.. gathering the material for book #2 – a devotional guide to emotions. I pulled fall and winter clothes up and washed and worked out my wardrobe for fall / winter. I lit candles and ate ice cream sandwiches and let my energy pool back into my body until Saturday night rolled around and I felt up for a glass of wine outside with David.

I spent Sunday pulling and potting my favorite plants to give them a shot indoors. I cleaned out my front bed and harvested my lavender into bundles that are now drying above the piano. My favorite moments from isolation were when David was off of work and we sat out in our backyard with the dogs and a fire and took our masks off. We had coffee on FaceTime and watched a movie synchronously but it was that outside time that really filled my tank.

And now it is Monday, day 9 of my 10 day quarantine. I will gather feedback on my book this week and start forging into the business side of getting the word out there and gathering orders for the first edition paperback of my first ever book. WOW. I will also start the real work of “writing writing” which requires a daily reading practice, a daily writing warm up, and some mining of spiritual thoughts and content. So today – my last day of quarantine, is like a little morph into new work, a new week.

Anyway. I hope you are staying safe out there. If you are feeling sorry for yourself today – trust me – from my little red hen complex to yours, it really helps to remember everything you have in front of you is a gift of some sort.

Even the hard stuff. That’s where the growth is. Name the belief you have that is causing the shit to feel real and see if that belief is worthy of keeping around.

I’m thankful for my breakthrough COVID infection for reminding me just how in control of my own mental health I am by tracing my emotional vomit back to my beliefs and what I am or am not allowing myself … :) I am thankful I was not needing medical care as I waited this out. I am mindful of those who are super sick and alone.

I am glad I allowed myself the space to surround myself with notebooks and hot tea and candles and use my quarantine to reboot and transition.

Yeah. Somehow we made it work. OK….

Until next time… erin

Lavender bundles
crossing my fingers for these geraniums to live through winter indoors!

About the Oneness of Mankind

Full moon be damned, here I am planning and building on active visions… while I fold laundry, have coffee and train the pups at my feet to feel free to go, but welcome to stay.

In my last published post, I mentioned being in the market for a digital camera after tossing my iphone in the wash w/ the towels. Coincidentally, I am writing this post on my laptop on top of a stack of folded hoodies on top of the washing machine in which the towels are ready to move on in their cycle to the dryer. Pleased to say I do not believe any electronics will come up in the wash.

The room is warm, it is raining outside and I have chosen this moment to baseline myself in Frozen Spaghetti.

sidenote: If you search Frozen Spaghetti, do you get a page or two of recipes, questions about freezing spaghetti, etc?

The idea of being a human in this world, as I understand it, is to be recognized as a specific gift because you have the ability to be spiritual, have a consciousness. The more I have worked at this idea, I realize the grass is greener. I look at the spirituality of waves and or consciousness of trees and roots and I get a little smile… that sure does look nice.

At the present moment, I am planning a little open house for my sister’s birthday which is this Thursday. The home feels good, been doing about 20 – 30 minutes of wipe down, dishes, touch ups as I move through it. The whiteboards are clean and updated. There is a fresh batch of lentil chowder in the fridge and ingredients for hummus in the cabinet… soon to be on the counter…

My experience of being home and my experience of being “a Martha” (to be Christian about it) really brings out my deep motivation to belong and to please / welcome / create to invite others to belong. My core wants you to be safe and comfortable near me so that I can be by you.

And, that is where my life comes together. I retired from corporate life because I was no longer safe where I was. I did not like my humor, my ego’s active protective self. I did not like how I was becoming critical, suspicious, etc of others. I was somewhere, for a long time, and I had not grown in 4 years.. almost 5… no real markers of my creativity in flight, making the world a better place. The reason I stayed for all that time was the platform: that company was access to make the world a better place for hundreds… thousands… millions of people. The suppliers, the riders, the drivers, the people – the world around me was changing and requiring new things with COVID and I was absolutely ready to go.

Let’s make the world better.

And – trust me – I was shocked when the cruise ship of my life actually called my purpose forward. A 7th grader failing science… a 15 year old learning to drive… three new child souls in the household… two new cats… one husband, my marriage. Me.

In the change I have undergone in the past year, I am so confident. Not only in that it is never really necessary to try and explain these things.

Not only in my creativity, ability to listen, and my genuine ideas for humanity.

But in my present moments… as they come… because my actions are lining up to my intentions… my awareness of myself is making my each choice OK with me. I am trusting myself more, these days – even in the things I thought were failures, mistakes or shameful parts of myself in the past.

Maybe this will come out in a Netflix series, my sitcom, or my screenplay. My fiction may tell this story or my children’s rhymes.

But – no matter what – it will come out because it has to as living true to my self and all there forementioned is in fact a purpose. A simple one to follow, at minimum. Anything else requires more answers to questions that don’t matter to my laundry.. to my coffee.. to my dogs.

And to these here towels…

these are the days of my life. :)

<cue Imagine by John Lennon>

happy tuesday, ya’ll. erin

Fly in the Mouth @ The Intersection of Relaxation and You Gotta Be Kidding Me – Webster

Hold on – I need to brush my teeth with Listerine and fire…

k, back..

I finally did a last round through the ole inboxes: making sure I knew my work calendar (blocking myself with tentative forewarning from 8a – 9a “I’ll accept your meeting but may be troubleshooting zoom”) and making sure I knew just what a 2nd grader should be doing during “independent work”.

I truly can’t imagine being a teacher. I had a nice, healthy – helpful response from Maddox’s teacher and I just felt like “man”. She taught these kids all day and is responding to me, on behalf of my kid, in depth. I am just absolutely amazed by their stamina.

I yelled at the girls last night. First time laying into the quad of teens – a signature mom move “I don’t care who, I don’t care when, I don’t want to hear why, I don’t need to know what – all I need is to tell each of you this one time and one time only: go. to. bed.”

Period.

Thing is – I don’t do well on little sleep. Any spat David and I have can for sure be assumed to have some degree of “Erin needs to go to bed” at play. My mind gets overwhelmed, I can’t spit words out, I just need people to understand and all I want to do is close my eyes.

So, naturally, when back to school hits and your job as parent becomes: Tech Support, Task Manager, Snack Guardian, Waitress, Secretary, and Accountability Partner (all which are going on my LinkedIn) on top of Cook, Household Operations Manager, General Keeper Upper of Things and Loving Devoted Wife *on top of* a 40 hr week full time job supporting four priority efforts on a team that is new and requiring massive change management communication and your teenagers wake you up at midnight laughing about the internet? Yeah. You take them to task.

If I were a teacher, I think it’s possible I would yell at my students if I was tired.

The one thing I am being careful about is not feeling sorry for myself. I can feel the tendency and I can even, sometimes, feel David’s expectation that maybe I’m in a funk. But even when I am doing something that is not, technically, “my task” – I am doing it not to be proud but because it’s when I need the task done, so I will do it, reminding myself that I am choosing to do it.

I also feel that it is an honor to be trusted with people. Kind of a slap in the face to be be trusted with 3 cats but 6 people? That’s kind of amazing.

And that isn’t me being sunshine and rainbows. I like them feeling both guided towards expectations (really with the Ritz cracker crumbs on the floor? You didn’t see that and clean up after yourself?) as well as cared for and allowed to focus on the things they need to. I care about these things as much as I value a well run house, finished laundry and stocked toilet paper.

I love the feeling of accomplishment, certainty and seeming control that fresh towels in all the bathrooms provides; especially during a global pandemic. During a time where so much is just, well, chaotic; a perfectly folded stack of towels and reliable source of washcloths – inclusive for everybody – is a really meaningful thing to be able to provide.

In a time where I am not “doing my best” only “doing”, towels cleaned and available is my bar.

Ok, my friends. It’s 7:15 and the taste of the fly that drowned in my strawberry, lemon & basil seltzer is finally out of my mouth. The weird “is that taco or is that a fly” sensation still looms a little on my tongue, but it is nothing a four click user path to get to a zoom call link and passcode can’t top as the worst thing ever.

To all the parents out their distant learning, I hope you don’t also have flies in your house.

Honestly? Where did they come from…