There were squabbles about dishes, “tone of voice”, how long ten minutes actually is, who Sophie likes best in the afternoon, when stores should open, the Cuomo’s, and a heated conversation about Zoom versus FaceTime.

At the end of it all, I don’t anything any of us remembered anything that was said.

What my family did this weekend was argue, over anything, and then retreat to our rooms, the woods, the shower, or gaze for an extended period of time into the refrigerator, and sulk.

It’s Sunday night. Katy and I worked things out with conversation, and a plan for the week ahead to help us communicate better.

Colin came downstairs and offered me some cold French fries and kissed me on the cheek. He then asked if I could feed them to the birds. I explained to him the birds are sleeping and gave him an icy look. He put the leftover potatoes away, and said “Good night, mom, I’m turning the tv down now.” For some reason, I believed him, though his behavior on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, would indicate this will be a challenge.

Sheldon is downstairs flipping through every tv channel because he is still working on understanding the concept of TV OnDemand. He offered to come upstairs and help me carry my water class, and eyeglasses to our room. He is lonely, and would like assistance with the remote.

This is a time for chocolate, technology, yin yoga, helping your neighbor, coloring the sidewalk in rainbow pastels, planting a garden, and spending time with the people and animals we love.
We have a lot of time with these people, so sometimes we might get a little, or a lot, irritated with them.
But this is not the time to hold a grudge.
Life’s too short, and sleep is hard to find.
Sweet dreams, my friends.
Love,
Jules

For a little over a month, I’ve been doing daily posts about life under quarantine. My intention was to keep a record of how my family dealt with this weird, hard, situation.

I’m going to keep posting, but I won’t title my posts with the number of days we’ve been home.

Each day going forward is not a number, or a marker of time until this is over.

Each day is a challenge, a nightmare, a blessing, and an opportunity to figure out who I am, how to leave the world a better place, what I can do to help those I love navigate through a world for which a map does not exist.

This was not the best of days. I didn’t get a full hour of exercise so I’m surly. I took a nap in the afternoon, ate too much of Katy’s lovely lemon bars, recipe gifted from my mom, told my son to pack his stuff and move out because he didn’t put a dish in the dishwasher, and got lost in a tiny patch of woods off of Rte 138.

I also had a zoom call with my family, apologized like I meant it, and, when I click post, am going to take a dance cardio class in the living room, bluetooth speaker connected, which will probably irritate the hell out of everyone.

I know jumping around on the carpet won’t leave the world a better place, and irritating the people I just apologized to is kind of hypocritical, but, this what me taking care of myself looks like.

Take care of yourself.
Love,
julie

For a little over a month, I’ve been doing daily posts about life under quarantine. My intention was to keep a record of how my family dealt with this weird, hard, situation.

I’m going to keep posting, but I won’t title my posts with the number of days we’ve been home.

Each day going forward is not a number, or a marker of time until this is over.

Each day is a challenge, a nightmare, a blessing, and an opportunity to figure out who I am, how to leave the world a better place, what I can do to help those I love navigate through a world for which a map does not exist.

This was not the best of days. I didn’t get a full hour of exercise so I’m surly. I took a nap in the afternoon, ate too much of Katy’s lovely lemon bars, recipe gifted from my mom, told my son to pack his stuff and move out because he didn’t put a dish in the dishwasher, and got lost in a tiny patch of woods off of Rte 138.

I also had a zoom call with my family, apologized like I meant it, and, when I click post, am going to take a dance cardio class in the living room, bluetooth speaker connected, which will probably irritate the hell out of everyone.

I know jumping around on the carpet won’t leave the world a better place, and irritating the people I just apologized to is kind of hypocritical, but, this what me taking care of myself looks like.

Take care of yourself.
Love,
julie

 

Today, I was part of a conversation with some amazing women who do amazing things. My mom even said, when I told her about them, “you’re lucky they have chosen you to be part of their lives.”

I am blessed to know so many amazing people, and that these amazing people return my calls, laugh at my jokes, include me to their zoom meetings, and will invite me into their homes, for holidays, dinners, games, and just because. They have good wine, better snacks, and we get each other, in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.

But, sometimes, it’s hard to know where I fit in.

Last week, I was laid off from my job. I’m unsure what my next steps are going to be, and don’t know where I want them to take me. I defined myself, in my own head and to others, as someone who worked with students, built relationships with non-profit organizations, developed and led campus tours, and helped people returning to school navigate challenges.

These days, I bring to the table funny stories about life with Colin, and heartwarming anecdotes about Katy still letting me into her room, even flop on her bed, and sometimes, talk to me, (this morning, she told me I needed a shower. I’d just hiked the Blue Hills.) I have good table manners, excellent taste in music, a sometimes irritating and occasionally helpful cheerful demeanor, muted first thing in the morning for most of my friends, and I’m willing to be the one who decides which restaurant and what time- not critical skills at the moment.

I know it’s not good to compare yourself to others, the doors that have closed will open to amazing opportunities, I have a house, a husband, beautiful kids and the very best dog.

I know all of us have been pretty close to where I am now, at one point or another.
I know this, in my head.

But in my heart, I feel like I”m running the Boston Marathon and, somehow, find myself alone, lost in Cleveland. Everyone’s talking about Boston, and I’m wandering around Cleveland hoping to get home for the afterparty.

I have the sense of direction of a ninety year old drunk from Medford, waking up alone in Los Angeles, who lost his glasses on the flight.

But I am determined as hell, so I’ll get there.

And if I don’t, I’ll jump on Katy’s bed until she makes me laugh or figures out how to throw me off.

Love,
Jules

Day Forty
There is nothing like the moment in the kitchen after the dishes are done, when I’ve left a zoom call with friends, and I’m waiting on my daughter to come downstairs to watch tv.
I wonder why Colin’s so quiet? I
I wonder why Katy’s taking so long?
Is the dishwasher making a weird noise?
Does Sophie look more tired than usual?
These moments are when I think, I really need to do yoga or consider drinking more wine.
We’re on Day Forty, my friends. I”m still looking at Facebook, waiting on Kate, which is what I was doing quite a bit of the time before all of this.
I should go see what Colin’s up to.
He’s probably making masks out of surgical tape and medical gauze or cleaning the linen closet.
I’m going to check, anyway.

Today, I was part of a conversation with some amazing women who do amazing things. My mom even said, when I told her about them, “you’re lucky they have chosen you to be part of their lives.”

I am blessed to know so many amazing people, and that these amazing people return my calls, laugh at my jokes, include me to their zoom meetings, and will invite me into their homes, for holidays, dinners, games, and just because. They have good wine, better snacks, and we get each other, in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.

But, sometimes, it’s hard to know where I fit in.
I’m currently not working at Quincy College, currently unsure what my next steps are going to be, or where I want them to take me.

I bring to the table funny stories about life with Colin, and heartwarming anecdotes about Katy still letting me into her room, even flop on her bed, and sometimes, talk to me, (this morning, she told me I needed a shower. I’d just hiked the Blue Hills.) I bring to the table good table manners, excellent taste in music, a sometimes irritating and occasionally helpful cheerful demeanor, muted first thing in the morning for most of my friends, and I’m willing to be the one who decides which restaurant and what time- Not critical skills at the moment.

I know it’s not good to compare yourself to others, the doors that have closed will open to amazing opportunities, I have a house, a husband, beautiful kids and the very best dog.

I know all of us have been pretty close to where I am now, at one point or another.
I know this, in my head.

But in my heart, I feel like I”m running the Boston Marathon and, somehow, find myself alone, lost in Cleveland. Everyone’s talking about Boston, and I’m wandering around Cleveland hoping to get home for the

byForty-One Days- and not the best of them.
(The flute recital, not mentioned, which should have been mentioned, was amazing.)

Today, I was part of a conversation with some amazing women who do amazing things. My mom even said, when I told her about them, “you’re lucky they have chosen you to be part of their lives.”

I am blessed to know so many amazing people, and that these amazing people return my calls, laugh at my jokes, include me to their zoom meetings, and will invite me into their homes, for holidays, dinners, games, and just because. They have good wine, better snacks, and we get each other, in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.

But, sometimes, it’s hard to know where I fit in.
I’m currently not working at Quincy College, currently unsure what my next steps are going to be, or where I want them to take me.

I bring to the table funny stories about life with Colin, and heartwarming anecdotes about Katy still letting me into her room, even flop on her bed, and sometimes, talk to me, (this morning, she told me I needed a shower. I’d just hiked the Blue Hills.) I bring to the table good table manners, excellent taste in music, a sometimes irritating and occasionally helpful cheerful demeanor, muted first thing in the morning for most of my friends, and I’m willing to be the one who decides which restaurant and what time- Not critical skills at the moment.

I know it’s not good to compare yourself to others, the doors that have closed will open to amazing opportunities, I have a house, a husband, beautiful kids and the very best dog.

I know all of us have been pretty close to where I am now, at one point or another.
I know this, in my head.

But in my heart, I feel like I”m running the Boston Marathon and, somehow, find myself alone, lost in Cleveland. Everyone’s talking about Boston, and I’m wandering around Cleveland hoping to get home for the afterparty.

I have the sense of direction of a ninety year old drunk from Medford, waking up alone in Los Angeles, who lost his glasses on the flight.

But I am determined as hell, so I’ll get there.

And if I don’t, I’ll jump on Katy’s bed until she makes me laugh or figures out how to throw me off.

Love,
Jules

At the end of an online barre class, the instructor played a song by FINNEAS, my favorite new musician.
Most people I’ve asked, (this means my friends and my kids friends,) don’t know who in the hell FINNEAS is.
I was thrilled.
Hearing a pop song, played during an online exercise class, that I have listened to a million times already, was the high point of my day.
Thank you #BostonPia.

(He’s also Billie Eilish’s brother and producer, but I didn’t want to mention that except in parenthesis because I don’t want to diminish his work as an independent artist.
I also don’t know why he spells his name in all capital letters)

I’m including my link to his video for my favorite song below. He spends the whole song staring moodily into the the distance, except for the one bit where he pulls his shirt over his head. It is a beautiful, so maybe just listen the first time so the clip doesn’t ruin it for you.

Stay strong, and amazing.
Jules

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjmBLCbTgDo

I spent thirty minutes trying to center the drapes on the curtain rods.
An hour was consumed when I dusted and wiped.
I cleaned out my closet, and put away my high heels in a box I tucked deep in my closet.
Katy came over to me in the midst of one my rants-
“Why am I always doing all of this alone? You are on Snapchat and I”m-”
And she said-
“Mom, the house will still be here tomorrow, the mess will be here tomorrow, and so will we. And I’ll help.”
She folded me into her arms and hugged me until I didn’t want to strangle her.
Then I spotted a stack of papers, an empty cat food can, a dirty napkin, and some cheerios under the kitchen table. (I spend the majority of my time oblivious and it serves me well, until it doesn’t.)
I started again, but I’m not going to repeat the language I used, but she reached around my shoulders, and let me lean in on her shoulder.
I know she just didn’t feel like helping me clean the damn house, but I admire her tactics.
With love passed on from Katy to me to you,
Julie

I spent thirty minutes trying to center the drapes on the curtain rods.
An hour was consumed when I dusted and wiped.
I cleaned out my closet, and put away my high heels in a box I tucked deep in my closet.
Katy came over to me in the midst of one my rants-
“Why am I always doing all of this alone? You are on Snapchat and I”m-”
And she said-
“Mom, the house will still be here tomorrow, the mess will be here tomorrow, and so will we. And I’ll help.”
She folded me into her arms and hugged me until I didn’t want to strangle her.
Then I spotted a stack of papers, an empty cat food can, a dirty napkin, and some cheerios under the kitchen table. (I spend the majority of my time oblivious and it serves me well, until it doesn’t.)
I started again, but I’m not going to repeat the language I used, but she reached around my shoulders, and let me lean in on her shoulder.
I know she just didn’t feel like helping me clean the damn house, but I admire her tactics.
With love passed on from Katy to me to you,
Julie

 

I’m at home, fussing about having to cook and opening a laptop, and you are kissing your kids goodbye and heading out to take care of the rest of us.

I’m sitting down with my family and you are eating takeout, gulping coffee, sliding some dollars into a vending machine, or looking for an open place that serves takeout and will let you use the bathroom.

I’m at home, trying to decide between sweat pants and yoga pants, and you are donning face masks you might have warn the day before, and gloves. You might have to wear that face mask for ten hours straight, on the job. You are probably worried the masks, the gloves, the sanitizer might run out.

I’m at home, dancing with my daughter.

You can’t kiss your children when you come home, until you’ve stripped off your clothes, and showered. After all that, you might not even be able to creep into their rooms to watch them sleep. You might be stranded at work, because there is just too much to do, not enough of you and too many of us.

There are so many of us, and you are on the frontlines of an impossible battle with an invisible enemy. You are working to keep us healthy and home.

Some of you are working to send some us back home from the hospital, and have witnessed what most of could never imagine. I would not last five minutes in your shoes, and yet, you go back, and do what you do.

I will never really know what it’s like for any of you, or how you do it, especially now. I know that this is a debt I can never repay.

I will do my best to make choices each day that support the work you are doing.

I am home, and hope that soon, you’ll be home, too.

Thank you.

Julie

Day Thirty Six

April 19, 2020

 
Tonight, I am grateful the kitchen is clean, and there are leftovers in the fridge, tucked inside Tupperware. The dishwasher works and is working, and I’m done with food for the day. Deciding what to eat, looking for basil, or finding the hidden parmesan, taking into account what everyone else wants to eat, cooking, plating, remembering to put Frank’s Hot Sauce by Katy’s plate, and eating.
 
I’m exhausted.
 
Tonight, I am grateful that Sophie is waiting by the door. Katy is upstairs putting on pants. The snow has melted, and the night air felt good on my skin when I stepped outside.
 
Tonight, I will walk around the block a few times, with my girls. We will talk about tomorrow, Chem homework, and what I was like at sixteen.
 
Or we might not talk at all.
 
Tonight, I am grateful to spend the rest of the evening in the company of my daughter, who is fine when the world is quiet.
She doesn’t feel conversation is as necessary as coffee. I do.
But tonight, I’m grateful I’m breathing, and that Katy still holds my hard, from time to time.