This weekend marks completing our fourth week of quarantine. It continues to feel almost normal to me, interspersed with moments that feel very strange or unreal.
I’ve been thinking a lot about meticulous mindfulness, which I wrote about a lot about four years ago. DP and I have both joked that we already knew how to do social isolation, because we were doing it before it was trendy. Like many jokes, this one holds a painful truth. A significant chunk of our time in Australia was marked by experiences of profound isolation for all of us. And well before that was the watershed experience of Miss B’s premature birth and long hospitalization, the crucible in which our family unit was formed.
In those situations, our only real recourse was to focus on each other, and on the next task at hand. When looking outward or forward brought only pain and anxiety, we found it best to focus inward, on routines and rituals that brought a sense of security and comfort. Friday movie night. Sunday breakfast. Summer vacation at the beach. They’ve adjusted to fit our circumstances as we’ve moved from place to place, but they’ve provided a sense of security and continuity when everything else felt uncertain and unpredictable. These are the essence of what meticulous mindfulness has become for me.
Our established schedules have provided some much-needed structure over the past month, as DP and Miss B have adjusted to home-based life, and I’ve adjusted to having other people here all the time. We’ve made some adjustments to our shared schedules as well: DP and I have started taking a walk together most afternoons. We all forage together in the fridge for lunch, and if there’s time afterwards, we might fit in a game of dominoes. And Miss B is getting more involved in dinner prep and baking.
Food highlights this week were a combination of new and old. To help keep me from getting stale in the kitchen, I’ve re-introduced Wild Card Wednesdays, where I get free rein to make whatever I want for dinner and my two picky eaters have to at least try it before resorting to cheese and crackers or other backup sustenance. This week I tried my hand at falafel, using a Dinner with Julie recipe involving canned chickpeas and other pantry staples. Served with homemade pita bread and Greek salad, I’m happy to report that they were a hit.
And over the last two days, honoring a family tradition that’s older than all of us put together, Miss B and I made taralli and pizza chiena, in preparation for Easter. We won’t be able to host or join any celebrations this year, so we’re going to play Easter bunny and make some deliveries around our neighborhood and beyond. And I’ll feel grateful for the fact that, even in the current circumstances, I feel fortunate to be where I am, and far less isolated than I have been in other times and places.
I wish you all a peaceful, safe, and healthy weekend, however you’re spending it.