It’s Groundhog Day (All Over Again)

The Micro Farm

Time has lost meaning (I know, it’s cliche at this point). But, it’s true and it’s universal. Frequently I hear (read on social media) that people wake up unsure if it’s a week day or weekend. Also, we seemingly have all the time in the world . . . yet not enough..

When I worked at HP as a technical writer what really was years ago, my boss Nick used to say, “I’m having déjà vu all over again.” We all laughed. I mean what a redundant statement.*

Until it’s not.

I truly feel like every day is the restart of the previous. I do the same things now I used to do (since I’ve worked at home for years), but it’s different some how. Although I start with exercise, like I always have, I no longer go to the gym–now, it’s some combination of running/walking, indoor bike, weights. And sometimes the time stretches to a later time (one day I finished at 8 p.m.). Then I sit down to write.

But sometimes I don’t, because I don’t have time.

Because now:

I feed the sourdough starter (this is labor intensive especially since I turned one starter into two).

Water the microfarm of microgreens

Bake bread. Yesterday a loaf of whole wheat bread, frozen for the week’s use. Today the Challah recipe my daughter-in-law sent me. BUT that will use the final packet of yeast, hence the sourdough starter. There’s a national yeast shortage as well as shortages of other things, hence my next activity…

Procure food. This is perhaps the oddest new thing I do. Peruse the web for increasingly rarer and more basic ingredients. For example, no longer bread, now yeast and flour. No longer one pound bags, now twenty-five pounds. Flour, beans, cheese, rice (which is the toughest to find, I’ve found). Things will be shipped directly to our home. I am now watching preppers and homesteaders on Youtube, and asking myself, “Who am I?”

Then, I write. When I can. About anything I can focus on. (Which isn’t much these days outside of the above.)

Repeat.

All of this takes place in the very small radius of home, of course, yet interspersed throughout the day, during the breaks in my new routine, I take “trips” to the outside: I reach out to beloved too-far-away-family and friends far and near because you are who anchor me and remind me what is most important in life.

I observed to my daughter that life right now feels a lot like the movie Groundhog Day. Everyday is a day to perfect/work on what we have not gotten right for the day(s) before. Every day is a do-over.

As Nick would say (and believe me, he’d be incredibly smug to hear me say it), “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

What are you working on during this Groundhog time? Also, if you have an inside line on where to order (bulk or otherwise) brown rice, let me know!

* I know Yogi Berra first (and famously) said this phrase. But when Nick said it, it was the first time I’d heard it.

 

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?