Notes from the Shelter: I am not sure I want to count the days

Topics: creativity
hank the octopus grabbing COVID-19

This week is my spring break.

Yesterday, the governor of Washington ordered us to shelter in place, meaning that I’ll only be walking my neighborhood instead of exploring the Franklin Coal Mines in Blackdiamond or going to the Billy Frank Nature Preserve or any other day hike I thought I might do. I’m fortunate to have a place full of trees and streets empty enough to allow this. But, wow.

Next week, I’ll begin helping students online as I telecommute and also work with my son to maintain our sanity in a semblance of routine that gives us structure without pinning us down or causing me to snap. As much as I once thought I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, that really is not my gift. Fortunately, I have a kid who loves me anyway and I’m pretty sure we’ll both get through.

To top it all off, I insanely gave up Facebook for Lent before all this started. How crazy is that??

So, I decided, why not try blogging for a week, posting what I’m doing with art on Instagram and blabbing on about life in my sheltered place. After all, I just paid for the website subscription again. Might as well.

Forgive me if it’s rough. I haven’t blogged regularly in a good long while.

For your own amusement, you can find here my latest COVID-19 art efforts. (The first is a little more corvid than COVID. They all keep turning out a little darker than I intend. Maybe my subconscious is in a mood.)

And here is a B.B. King song my friend Aarene shared on her blog. Watch it. Really. Especially if you are a mom at home with kids. I promise you will like it and giggle embarrassingly loud at least once.


Finally, here are a few things I’ve learned from the at-homeness.

The things I cannot have that I will better appreciate are many:
  • Coffee shops
  • My workplace
  • Talking to people in the same room as I am and not on video chat (though that is really better than just the phone)
  • My old routine
  • Not having to stay 6 feet away from everyone but my family
  • The library
  • Toilet paper on the shelves
  • Being able to look at the news with more than one dire topic that dominates
  • The sense of expectation that public events can and will happen if I want to go to them
  • Going to church and connecting physically with that community and that grounding routine where I get to sing right out loud and thinks I’m a loon (I hope)
The things I have discovered are also many:
  • We are not as far from the time of the flu that killed my great grandfather Newton Castle as I’d like
  • My son and I can keep a routine at home (mostly) without too much struggle
  • I enjoy my home and my family
  • Technology is a wonderful tool for connecting when the face to face is not possible
  • I know much and can always learn more about that technology
  • Social media is more capable of screening out false information than they have led us to believe
  • Morning walks are wonderful
  • Working from home is doable even though I find it much more exhausting
  • Mediation is life saving (I kind of knew this but it’s more apparent to me now.)

Maybe you’ve learned something, too, and wouldn’t mind sharing it with me in the comments?

It may be stretching my Facebook fast if you do, but I think the heavens might forgive me.

May we all be well in our bodies and in our souls, too-


About the author: Karrie Zylstra Myton is a blogger, essayist, and aspiring author who writes for the wild joy it brings on the best days and the hard lessons she learns about life on the worst. After crafting stories in the ridiculously early morning hours, she chases her two sons, cuddles with cats, and laughs with her husband about how crazy life can get in middle age.

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