9 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Today’s the day. Abby and Chandler’s college graduation in the stadium in Honolulu.

The cheering and being the Too Loud Mommy one more time as they walk across the stage.

The chaos of trying to find them afterward and lei them with the flowers I sent Greg to buy in Chinatown this morning.

The big party on the lanai in Abby’s building with all their friends, thrown with Audrey’s family — Abby’s bestie from kindergarten through their senior year of college — seventeen years in a row of school together, seeing each other through triumph and trauma. ...  read more

8 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Summer arrived in Oregon yesterday with clear skies, summer winds blowing immature cherry stems off the trees, and temps creeping steadily upward into the high 80s. It’s swimsuit weather. Play outside weather. Linger in the sunshine weather. Spring will be back with a vengeance on Monday, though, if the weather reports are to be believed. It’ll be rainy day followed by rainy day followed by rainy day and repeat. Oregon’s never really been one for adhering to dates on a calendar for determining what season it is. Sometimes we rip through winter, spring and summer in a single day. But for now, and through Sunday, Diary, you can find me outside, which is my Happiest Place.  ...  read more

30 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

In sixteen days, our adult college students/newlyweds, Abby and Chandler, are moving home. To OUR home. To start their marriage during a pandemic. While living with her parents. And that sounds fraught with danger, and also I’M SO EXCITED, and also-also, I hope I don’t mess this up.

On the bright side, we all really love each other and enjoy spending time together — they are, quite literally, two of my favorite people in the world — so HOORAY! ...  read more

28 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

2020 was going to be a big year for my kids. A high school graduation. Two college graduations. A wedding. 

Turns out, 2020 is a big year for my kids. And also for all the kids worldwide. Just not for the reasons we planned or expected.

Yesterday, my oldest kids (because they’re both my kids now) made the tough decision to postpone their June wedding to some unknown time in the future. ...  read more

27 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I was the fastest girl in the third grade at Ladera Elementary School in Thousand Oaks, California. Or, at least, I won the 50 yard dash once, and I was competitive in the other sprints on that Field Day in 1981 which was, to me, the same thing as being the fastest girl in the third grade. For a kid who otherwise considered herself uncoordinated and the opposite of athletic, it was a surprise. “I’m fast,” I thought. “I can sprint. Who knew?” Sometime around then, plus or minus three years in the way that time is murky and ethereal when we’re children, I won a swimming race, as well. Two lengths of the pool. I overheard another mom tell mine that I was fast, that she should sign me up for swim team, and, while swim team didn’t materialize — I don’t recall wanting to join or even really knowing what a swim team was — that comment on my speed was so astounding that I can sit here, nearly four decades later, at my aqua desk with its peeling paint on a soggy spring day in Oregon and recall it with the clarity of any of my most formative memories.  ...  read more

25 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I spent hours yesterday trying to write to you before giving up at 3pm, turning on Netflix, and finishing Season 2 of You. (Sidenote: OMG! 😳) The problem was, I wasn’t well, and I also forgot about my vow to take care of myself. Instead, I spent the first many hours of the day chastising myself for failing to be more productive. Failing to keep the kitchen cleaner. Failing to write in my Diary. Failing to write for Other Purposes. Failing to shower. Fail, fail, fail. ...  read more

23 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Am I staying sane, though, in this time that’s not? I mean, I guess I ask myself that question even when we’re not in the middle (at the beginning?) of a global pandemic. That’s part of the fun of monitoring clinical depression.  It comes in disguise at the best of times. And by “part of the fun,” Diary, I mean decidedly not fun at all. Because depression affects the brain and processing and discernment — because depression lies and says “you’re just like this,” “this isn’t depression; it’s who you are,” and “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” — the Depressed Human is often not aware she’s depressed at all. So I spend a lot of time wondering, trying to stay on top of it, trying to learn the symptoms, even though the symptoms are always changing.  ...  read more