Well, hey, y’all. It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? How are you faring during the lockdown/social distancing/quarantining situation we find ourselves in? Oof. It’s a lot, isn’t it?
I’ve thought about getting rid of this blog, but since my wish of returning to New Zealand to live is still VERY MUCH alive and well, I decided to keep it for when that time comes. I also realized there could come a time I want to write – but not something for the mom blog – and I’ll need a place to put those thoughts and feelings.
LIKE MAYBE WHEN THERE’S A GLOBAL PANDEMIC.
And aren’t there so many thoughts and feelings? Are you having so many feelings? I sure am! So. Many. Feelings. And thoughts. It’s a lot. Because there is a LOT happening right now. How are you doing with it?
I have to admit, as an introvert, I think this could be a lot worse.
Yes, I know a lot of you don’t believe that I’m an introvert, but even though I’m super sweary and very loud, I don’t like crowds – they don’t energize me – they exhaust me. I hate meeting new people and small-talking. I hate networking. I don’t, as a general rule, like people very much. I prefer to be alone in the silence. Which, solidly into our 5th week of home-bound learning/quarantining/sheltering-in-place, is not really happening a lot lately. It’s a lot. But I think I said that already?
As an introvert, there is a lot to love about a situation like this. Having a reason to stay home. HELPING PEOPLE by staying home. Drastically decreasing the number of unnecessary interactions with people. Spending time with only my favorite people. Leisurely coffee in the morning. Pajama pants for most of the day. OK – I don’t think those last two things track with introverted tendencies, but I bet if you ask most introverts, they would give those things two big thumbs up.
Our lives had been hectic recently. The Professor had been traveling a lot – and usually over the weekends, which made each trip seem twice as long. He’d been playing a lot of tennis. There were work dinners. Gracie had been playing club volleyball (much to my dismay), so there were practices twice a week at a place nowhere near our house, tournaments on the weekends, a lot of schoolwork. Tate’s track season had just started (much to her dismay), so there was getting her to practices at the high school and home again, mid-week meets, schoolwork. We hardly ever saw each other and it felt like when we did, it wasn’t organic and natural. It was me shrieking, “TONIGHT IS THE ONLY NIGHT OF THE WEEK WE WILL ALL BE TOGETHER. WE WILL HAVE DINNER TOGETHER AND IT WILL BE HAPPY, DAMN IT.” Or something along those lines…
So now that we’re all home all the time, we can have more relaxed time together. We started playing family tennis together.
The Professor put up a volleyball/badminton net in the backyard and there have been those shenanigans as well. Walks together. Coffee together. Meals on a more impromptu basis. It doesn’t mean we’re all eating every dinner together, because most of us like our space, so sometimes someone will opt to eat alone in the dining room, and we’re OK with that.
In a way, this situation reminds me of our time in New Zealand. It wasn’t our real life, and we got to spend more time together. Our life was slower there and I loved it. I feel like this time together is a gift – albeit one precipitated by a tragic situation. Gracie starts high school in the fall, Tate starts at Gracie’s school, and we’ll just keep running on the hamster wheel that annoys me so much. I feel like this is the second time we’re able to reevaluate our lives, figure out what we want to keep, what we want to get rid of. Really prioritize what’s important to us and make it happen. Haha – let’s see if we actually make it happen…
But all in all, I think the Fergutodds are doing well with the current situation. Mark’s not teaching this semester, but he is still department chair, so he’s managing his people and doing his research. Because one of his expertise areas is Supply Chain, he’s getting some internet love. He was interviewed for The Afterword Podcast and this article led to Vox interviewing him as well. Look for that in the coming days. The Professor’s internet famous! Too bad there’s not a TikTok dance to go along with it – the girls would be SO impressed.
Gracie’s school has kept their schedule, so every day, during each class time, she virtually reports to that class. Checks in online, participates virtually, turns in classwork, takes tests and quizzes, turns in her homework. I think the consistency of the structure of her days has helped her a lot. And she’s pretty stoked about going to school in her room in her pajama pants! Tate doesn’t have quite as much online interaction but has a fair amount. She has a Zoom Pre-Algebra class every day, English a couple times a week, and the other classes at least once a week as well. She gets assignments online and I *think* is doing them. I don’t know – I’ve never been a super hands-on parent and that has NOT changed during a global pandemic! My thought is they have to figure things out on their own eventually, so we may as well start it now. Baptism by fire! Fingers crossed!
But it’s weird now. Wore a mask to the grosch for the first time last week. I cried when I put it on but then ventured forth. It’s the right thing to do but is SO STRANGE. I didn’t like it. But one thing that was kind of fun… when we left Auckland 2.5 years ago, our friends Clive and Helen came to the airport to see us off. They gave us a parting gift – a Pukeko key holder. I’d written about Pukekos while we were there – they’re these crazy, bright blue, black, and red birds that are native to New Zealand. I love them even though I’m afraid of birds. So we’ve had this keyholder hanging near our garage door, but that’s not where we actually keep our keys, so it’s been empty. Until the pandemic hit. Now it’s where we keep our masks:
A funny, silver lining in all of this, huh?!?
The girls’ Spring Break is this week so we decided to sneak off to Mom and Dad’s place at Hilton Head. It has been so great to be away from our usual four walls and have a different path to walk (and I mean this very literally – we’ve all been taking lots of long walks around the neighborhood at home). The view hasn’t been bad, either. I think we’ve all appreciated a different space to move around in, and the sound of the ocean always calms my people. We were here for Easter, so that morning we woke up for the sunrise and it was spectacular.
All in all, we’re doing OK. Hope you all are, too. These are such strange times. We’re working hard to find what keeps us sane and civil with the rest of us. My amazing gym, Base 10 Fitness, has been giving its members online workouts and been working to keep the community they’ve built alive. It’s not the same thing as working out together in the gym, but it’s pretty great given these circumstances. I’ve lifted all sorts of weird household items in an effort to keep up my strength, and it’s been as fun as it could be, I suppose. Gathering my workout items takes up a fair amount of my morning as I scavenge through the house, looking for things to add up to 30 pounds or whatever I need. It’s silly and it’s fun and it’s saving my life right now. So are Zoom and FaceTime calls with friends, both near and far. I don’t know why we haven’t done this before – and I hope this is something we take with us into the future when the world opens back up.
In the meantime, please stay safe – stay home, wash your hands and hang in there.