The Days Are Long . . .

All rights reserved by Julia Munroe Martin

It’s been over a year since I last posted. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d ever post again.

That was before. (We all know before what.)

I had the idea to start blogging again right after I got back from a trip to Tucson to see a close friend.  (Is blogging still even a thing?) That was a little over two weeks ago . . . or was it two months? (I know old joke by this point.)

Still . . . the days are long but the years are short.

Or . . . is it the years are short but the days are long.

The minutes go on forever.

I could go on forever. Time has lost most of its usual meaning. The day before yesterday I realized I wasn’t sure what day it was, only remembering when I reminded myself it was an upper body workout day.

Remember when we went to the gym to do that?

Every possible routine has changed. MEH (My Engineer Husband) has now joined me in working from home. And I am struggling to work . . . to write . . . period. Again. I digress. Our routine of picking up our daughter’s dog Milo every morning so she could go to work and we could dog sit doesn’t happen anymore (she works at home). MEH’s routine of running with Milo every morning doesn’t happen anymore (Milo is with our daughter, social distancing). I now run with MEH (and he is much slowed down).

Every morning I hear the Carolina wren, singing her heart out. This is one routine that hasn’t changed.  I can hear her more clearly than I used to in fact, no traffic and all. I cling to that. She is the connection I feel to my son and his wife in the south. (We had to cancel a trip to see them.) I also cling to going upstairs to lift weights, something that I’m so very glad I’ve been doing regularly now for eight months. Another routine. I cling to my online friends, and I’m glad I have that community even more than ever. Actually (almost) all my friends are now online. Except close neighbors. I cling to seeing Arlene, my 80-something neighbor, from afar. I love seeing her lights in her house before it’s light outside. A connection.

Yesterday I wrote a piece of nonfiction (the first paid work I’ve done in a very long time) unrelated to anything I’ve ever written about, and it felt good to write. I’ve been very lax in any kind of schedule for a while now, and I realized how much I’m craving it. Not just feeling the ability to concentrate and write, but the reality that life is going on.

It reminds me that regular life is still there, humming under the surface of my fears and anxiety and uncertainty. And that’s something to cling to.

How are you doing?



  1. Ann says:

    Hello! So nice to see you on the blog again. I understand – things are different. Some days are very long, but I’ve discovered life is so very short….and each day is worth embracing.

    • So nice to see you again, too, Ann! Wow, that was a very long time ago we blogged together, friend. Yes, life feels very very short, agreed. Each day is so precious. Love you, friend.

  2. Micky Wolf says:

    Inspiring post, Julia. So good to hear from you. Your words reflect what a lot of us are thinking, the normalcy we long for, the sense of routine we may have come to take for granted a bit before all of this began.

    It is comforting to have online community for encouragement. I find myself rationing my read/view time of any and all media. Enough to stay informed, but not so much I’m drawn into the darkest places of fear and concern.

    Thanks again for sharing. ALWAYS a joy to see your posts in my inbox. 🙂

    • Thank you, Micky. I agree the online community is encouraging and comforting, but like you I’m carefully trying to make sure I limit myself enough to not go to the darkest places. Thanks for reading. Sending love, J

  3. Being at home with the hubs is a bigger adjustment than marriage is itself. Mine retired from the military in 2012 and my blogging dropped off considerably after that. Then I became more of a partner in “his” photography business and I’m always scrambling like striking a match against my brain for it to give me something. The Instagram project has helped some so maybe it’s something you can try or just come here everyday and say something 😉

    • I love your Instagram project!! Thank you for providing some continuity during this time — you’re a wonderful writer — that’s one of the things I think I’m missing a lot is that sense of regular routine. Here’s to developing new routines and to striking that match!!

  4. Jamie Miles says:

    Greetings from Georgia! This had been challenging indeed. But thank God my husband’s business is adjusting to life with Zoom. I’m set to do a big rewrite on my NaNoWriMo 2019 draft. Since my to- dos are nil — other than a high schooler and college student at home calling for something to eat. And thankfully spring is here. Just in the last few days the dogwoods and azaleas have begun to bloom. Lovely and just what we need. I too have a sweet mockingbird that sings every morning just before sun up. I hear him outside my window. It also gives me a shot of hope. Hugs.

    • SO good to see you, Jamie! Glad to hear you’re doing well, and it’s awesome that it’s a time you can do a rewrite. (I’m having trouble focusing in that regard, but I hope to be able to do the same…) The dogwoods and azaleas sound amazing, as does your Mockingbird. Here’s to those signs of hope… Hugs, J

  5. Nina says:

    I love “hearing” your voice here.

    • Thank you, Nina — I couldn’t have imagined all those years ago when I started blogging that this would be an actual lifeline, but it is. Right back at you, friend!