Today starts with the customary 5 am wake-up call from Elliott, which I pretend to ignore in a futile attempt to stretch out the inevitable. I like when she and Jhona gather with me in the dark, stepping on my body like bedroom adventurers claiming their territory. We communicate in chirps, meows, and love.
Once I’m up the chores begin: open living room drapes and switch lamp on, turn on empty fish tank, switch on kitchen lamp, survey the cat dishes and determine which ones are dirty, wash dirty bowls and place soft food inside. Open cupboard where dry food is stored and place a small amount in the other bowls.
Fill their water and clean out the litter box, carefully sweeping the irritating litter bits from wherever they’ve been scattered. Turn on lamp in laundry room and then take vitamins. Take kettle from stove and add water to it before placing it back on the stove. Turn on HI and decide which coffee to have.
Place the grinds in the mini French press, along with some cinnamon, turmeric, and black pepper. Clean the cat dishes, then put water and desired essential oils in the diffuser; wait for the water to boil. Catch the kettle before it whistles and pour the steaming liquid into the press.
I then prepare my cream-laden coffee to take outside with Elliott, who is howling at the back door. As I put her harness and my garden shoes on, I peer sleepily through the porch windows. It looks damp and cold; such is way of early spring. Out we go, both happy in our routines of exploration and restoration.
Mindful of my 8am meeting, our outing is shorter than usual. She doesn’t protest too much, and I wipe her feet with an old tea towel before letting her back inside. Jhona is waiting for us on the Victorian chaise lounge chair in the laundry room and is a little skittish as we enter the house.
I lean against the counter while they hungrily slurp up the thick circles of cream next to their dishes. We all love cream here. After wiping up the floor I take my coffee upstairs and begin freshening up before the meeting. I put on a headscarf and some pearl earrings. No bra, only trackpants – this is life now.
The harried admin assistant got the invitations wrong and I’m not needed after all, which was a relief. Yet I somehow feel put out and begin an imaginary conversation with said assistant about all the things I did to be ready for 8am, for naught. We all do this, right?
The pattern of replaying my tiny sacrifices -aka delusional blaming- is usually easy to reign in, but not today. I must repeatedly pull myself back in my own lane as I wander around the house feeling aimless. There are so many things I could do, but I’m not feeling compelled one way or another.
I am under the bloom. The perfumed weight of nature’s beauty and uncertainty press into my head. What do I do during this lockdown? What can I do? Elliott’s orange tail swishes just out of Jhona’s reach and he stretches his long black body towards her. While watching them the world slows, just what I need.
I feel myself straining against the despair and deep frustration with the state of things in this, our thirteenth month of Covid-19. People don’t need sad, they need happy, or is it both? It’s all relative and not even by lockdown but by the second and between the hours.
Like yesterday when I was in a bad mood after an online yoga class. I love and desperately need yoga to free my clogged mind and keep my body tight. Why did I feel like that? Maybe I was releasing my deep tissue fears about Covid or catching the scared energy of my fellow species. All of the above probably.
I want to pick my pace and keep it slow down this next stretch of the pandemic marathon. It’s such a grueling race because the guidelines keep changing and we’re forced to create our own version of health with many hands tied behind many backs.
It’s still so surreal, isn’t it?
Lighting candles, turning on salt lamps, pulling tarot and oracle cards, eating chocolate, doing my stretches, spending time in the backyard, and absorbing the furry wisdom of my cats. These are things I can do as we continue burrowing through this viral-spiral-mess.