I had some stinky dried fish, carefully wrapped in two layers of Ziploc baggies. Perhaps this is not the greatest way to begin any blog, but it’s the truth.
Unlike a “regular” time, prior to the pandemic stay at home orders, I could have eaten this cured dry, salty fish, a favorite snack of mine, when the kids weren’t at home. Even then, the fact that it’s a smelly endeavor was something to consider. Now, with most of us at home, most of the time, and someone other than me home at all times, it is impossible not to offend. That’s why, when I had to drop off some things at my parents’ house, I thought it was brilliant that I brought that stinky fish along, and ate it in the car. True, I could not enjoy it with beer, as it is intended to be consumed, but I did have a soda with it, and had no regrets. Sure, I had to brush my teeth when I got home and wash my hands for, like, 45 seconds (not for fear of the virus — just for the smell), but it was worth it.
That is not to say that my eating habits have deteriorated during the quarantine. If anything, I now eat more healthy food at home, since we “slow cook” more at home. However, due to my rather erratic sleeping schedule (there are times when I sleep just fine, but they are far and few between. Most nights, I have trouble falling asleep, and when I have trouble falling asleep, I have trouble waking up at a reasonable hour). I now tend to eat my breakfast around noon. That, unfortunately, may be one of the reasons I am having more migraines — my head hates it when I go too long between meals.
I want to keep thinking about a positive future, but my mind won’t go past 24 hours. All my attempts feel as if I am looking at a frosted glass pane. Looking toward the future, I can sorta, kinda see some shapes, but it all looks vague and unrecognizable. I always prided myself on my imagination (and curiosity), but now find myself eating crow in that department. I simply fail glimpsing into a brighter, less anxiety-ridden future. Yet like probing an aching tooth with my tongue, I keep trying to do it anyway. And my mind keeps refusing to cooperate on this anyway.
Naturally, as a confirmed coward, I would much prefer to hide under my bed, get into a fetal position and suck my thumb until all of this COVID stuff goes away. But the reality is that I am a mother and a partner, and I do not have the luxury of hiding from this or any other unsavory reality. I still have to do the laundry. I still have to cook meals, talk to my children as if I am holding it together. What’s more, I still want — need — to write my blogs for Medium. Unfortunately, what’s on my mind is the same thing that is on everyone’s mind: the plague we’re living through. Inescapable at day time, inescapable at night time, I find it ridiculously difficult to try to think of other things, other topics.
I am going to make a promise, here and now, to try harder. The next three blog posts from me will have nothing to do with the international trauma that is happening in the world at the present moment. My next posts will be about things that are uplifting, funny, or special — even if they include things like savoring a few minutes alone with my precious smelly, salty, dried fish.