Day 1: My husband Brendan is now working from home, like me. We’re both a bit nervous about all the changes and we don’t know what’s going to happen.
Day 2: I suffer from depression, and I am trying to stay vigilant. So far, it hasn’t reared its ugly head, but I’m on the lookout for the signs of its arrival.
Brendan has very quickly settled in and has a workstation set up. We look through my medications and make sure I have a surplus in case getting refills becomes difficult later.
Our dog, Lila, is overjoyed that Brendan is home every day. I’m enjoying it, too :)
Day 3: We’re both introverts. Brendan finds that being separated from people has given him more energy for projects at home. I am also enjoying the isolation from others, which makes me feel kind of guilty.
Day 4: It becomes clear that the social distancing measures are going to be much longer than we realized. I make a bunch of phone calls and cancel all of our appointments for the next month. I’ll probably have to move it out even further, but for now, I’ll just cancel everything in April.
Day 5: Brendan and I play Jackbox games with our friends online. It’s nice to hear their voices and be able to play games together!
Day 7?: All the days are kind of blending together. Brendan and I do a game jam and make a dice roller called PIXELDICE for free on itch.io. It’s super fun.
Day 9? 10?: I’m starting to feel the frayed edges of depression. I think I can head it off if I exercise and use the therapy lamp. I start to worry about it, which (contrary to popular belief) isn’t helpful. I worry about a lot of things.
My dad is a doctor, and he sees sick patients almost every day. I’m worried about him most of all.
Day ??: For some reason, I’m craving ice cream. All of our groceries are curbside pickup now, and we’re supposed to wait two hours (I think) before handling them, but that’s not going to work well for ice cream. Hmmm…….
Day ??: Brendan and I learn to play a new game. We have so many board games, some of which we’ve never played. This is as good a time as any to jump in!
Day ??: We had already decided to do the 10x10 challenge—which is just playing 10 boardgames 10 times each—before the COVID-19 crisis. Now we’re playing boardgames almost every day and picking out which ones we want to use for the challenge.
Day 100?: I realize that I’m now doing yoga about every other day instead of every day. I try to decide if I can commit to it as a daily practice again. I think I can, but I don’t know if I will.
I look at the last few sentences and cringe at the amount of words I’ve italicized.
Day 500: I’m doing art. FINALLY. That’s one of the things I told myself I would do now that I’ve got more time on my hands. It feels good.
Day 501: Brendan tells me a secret he was planning to save for my birthday. He’s been secretly learning how to make video games using a new program that is much less janky than Unity, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time, now. We start planning the game together and I work on assets while he starts programming.
I cry because I have the greatest husband ever, and I remind myself that it’s okay—I deserve to be happy. The sense of unworthiness that’s always there still tries to chime in with its particular brand of self-torture, but I have learned some coping mechanisms for how to deal with it. I start listing all the things I do to support Brendan and remind myself that we are a team. We both deserve respect, support, and love.
I resist the urge to look to Brendan for positive reinforcement; I need to do this myself.
Day ???: I make one of our favorite meals: an awesome lentil salad from My New Roots. Yum!
I enjoy cooking, although Brendan is really the cook of the family. He loves doing it, and he’s awesome at it.
Day 1000: Since I can’t take Lila to the dog groomer, I need to clip her nails myself. I’m terrified of accidentally hurting her, but I have the clippers and decide to do it today before I chicken out. Lila does really well with it, and I’m able to get it done quickly and painlessly. Yay!
Day 1 million: I’ve admitted to my ice cream craving, and Brendan adds some to our pickup order. He’s very careful about touched surfaces and handwashing and makes sure it gets into the freezer right away.
See what I mean? Best husband ever.
After dinner, we have ice cream <3
Day 10 million: I’m worried about gaining weight. Brendan keeps making yummy things.
Almost immediately, I decide I don’t give a shit about my weight and I want to eat a piece of that spice cake baking in the oven. It’ll go great with our ice cream.
Day whatever: I feel deeply, deeply grateful that I live with someone who is so easy to be with. We get along so well. I can’t imagine what this time is like for folks who live with abuse, or even just with contentious individuals. I’m so lucky.
Day (idk; nobody knows anymore): We’ve been working on our game every day, 5–7 hours per day. It feels good to have work.
Today: We spend the day outside getting the sprinklers turned on, pulling weeds, turning compost, and hoping our tree is still alive. Lila is ecstatic and she runs around like a puppy.
Today: We’ve decided to keep better track of the days so they don’t keep running all together. Saturdays will be yard work days. This is starting to feel normal.
A sense of dread I’ve been ignoring is getting harder to push down. I know what it is—I’m dreading the time when Brendan has to go back to work. I worry it’ll mean our game doesn’t get finished. I feel guilty again for feeling this way.
For the millionth time, I wish I knew when things were going to go back to “normal.” Is it weird that some days I wish it were over, and other days I fear the same?
Today: We hear a bunch of cars honking outside. I open the door and see my neighbors across the street wearing party hats. A line of cars is driving by slowly, honking their horns and yelling, “Happy birthday!” to the little boy sitting in a lawn chair in his front yard.
I look at Brendan with an expression of pure joy. I know he’s too shy to do it, but I’m not! I run to the end of my driveway and wave frantically, yelling, “Happy birthday!!!” The neighbors with the little party hat cones on their heads look at me in surprise. We’ve spoken maybe two times in the decade I’ve lived here. After a beat, they smile and wave back. I’m happy that the little boy has so many people that love him.
Today: The most incredible thing happened tonight. DrewBoy Creative put on a virtual art show called Something Hopeful, Please. There were musicians, poets, and artists all sharing their work and communing together over Zoom and Facebook Live.
I had a piece in the show, too. It felt so good to see so many faces and to know that I was being seen, as well. I cried a lot. I think this whole experience is making me a more emotional person.
Today: Today is Saturday. Yardwork day, again. I’m looking forward to having a reason to be outside. As soon as it becomes available, Brendan is going to buy more wood to make new planter boxes. We’re growing food this year. Hopefully we can join the efforts of Common Ground Neighborhood Networks to get food to our neighbors in need.
Today: My sister nonchalantly tells me the multitude of ways in which she’s putting herself and her family at risk by not following social distancing guidelines. I’m furious. I’m also terrified, which mixes with my frustration and makes me feel tired and nauseated.
I’m trying to keep up with the news without letting myself go too far down the rabbit hole. It’s a balancing act I’m not very good at.
Today: The weather is lovely today. Tumbleweird is getting closer to our Patreon goal, and I’m going to work on editing the May issue.
Tonight I’ll watch @SomeGoodNews on YouTube, have a bowl of ice cream, and tell my family I love them.