I’ve been keeping a paper journal for a few years now with the intent of jotting down a paragraph or two on a daily basis, although in reality I usually only remember to do it a couple times a week. This summer in particular it’s felt nearly impossible to keep up with documenting anything meaningful about our lives, especially as I find myself writing things like “Went swimming at the cabin! Also the U.S. COVID-19 death count is up to 160,000.”

That’s just how things are, though. Mixed in with ever-worsening current events and political/community/school/economic upheavals: life goes on, and it feels more important than ever to hang on to the good stuff.

Summer goes by way too fast, we try to pack in as much as possible but this glorious season is always over in a blink. Soon it will be Riley’s birthday (fifteen!) and then the start of school, which is online only until December but hopefully much more robust than the “Uhhhhh…here’s a zoom link that may or may not work” vibe of Early COVID.

I am of course sad as hell for my boys that they won’t get a normal school experience in the fall and maybe not for quite a while, especially Riley who is starting high school, but I am so so so so SO very grateful that John and I both work from home and that we are very flexible. We can make it work for as long as it needs to, this schooling-from-home business, and I know how lucky we are.

Truth is, I’ve been spending much of this summer doing the mental equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears and singing lalalalalalalalaWHATpandemic? — which isn’t to say I’ve been reckless, I don’t think anyway, but it’s been easy enough to focus on going from activity to activity and all the prep/laundry/work catch-up that entails to sort of unplug from the The Shit (which is how I’ve come to vaguely categorize this entire nightmarish virus/disinformation/cultural polarization/election combo plate we have all been served).

I’ve been cutting back on my news consumption and doomscrolling, or at least trying to (how often I catch myself doing that mindless phone-stare, hypnotized by the endless stream of screaming headlines). I recognize the privilege of being able to do so but I also fail to see the good that comes from being in a state of constant anxiety and despair.

We all have to live in this mess. There can be no one-size-fits-all solution for making our way through. I’m just trying to live in gratitude and happiness as much as I can, and to soak up every bit of these fleeting days of sunshine.


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3 years ago

Beautifully written. You can always articulate your thoughts so well. The pictures are gorgeous!