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  • Writer's picture Jana

Quarantine Mom. Paperwork and Cleaning are now Preferable. Coronavirus Update - Day 98 and Counting.

So what have things come to, when one of my least favorite activities has become a relaxing and enjoyable diversion from being a Quarantine Mom? That was my newest revelation today and a bit dismaying. 

When the kids were in school, I spent a good portion of my day at my desk. I was up-to-date with everything. All my filing was caught up; I prepared for taxes weekly, never waiting until April to scramble; my bills were paid on time and filed away in neat purple file folders with perfect label maker tabs on them; my living and medical expenses were precisely detailed on spreadsheets and completely current. I was sickeningly organized and proud of it.

Then COVID-19 hit and all that went out the window. During the past three months I would get to my desk periodically, but only to take care of the essentials, such as bill-paying. Even some of the bills ended up being late, which in the past, would never have happened. For someone as organized as me, this has been a torture of sorts. 

Continuing with the camp theme this week (Mommy Plays Catch Up) today was Desk Day. I didn't get to spend the entire day there, but at least 3 hours or so. I had been dreading it. I was so behind on so many things that I didn't know where to begin. Nonetheless, I made the promise to myself that I was going to roll up my sleeves, get started, and see what I could get done.

As soon as I sat down, I felt this strange feeling come over me that I have never felt before while sitting at my desk. Next to cleaning, being at my desk is usually one of my least favorite activities. I accept that it is part of maintaining one's life as a responsible adult, but I take no joy in the tasks. That all changed today.

I had two unexpected feelings when I sat down to work today. The first was a wistful feeling of my old life. This is how I used to spend my days before everything went haywire. I can't believe I thought this was stressful? I didn't know the first things about stress until COVID-19. I let myself pretend for a few hours that we weren't in the middle of a pandemic. I had the kids stay in one room and watch a movie so that I could have quiet and uninterrupted time at my desk and work efficiently. For a few hours, I sat at my desk, in virtual silence and pretended I was in my old life, except I liked being at my desk in this version. 

The other feeling I had, which surprised me, was how relieved I was to be doing paperwork, speaking to customer service agents, responding to emails, and other tedious administrative duties as opposed to being Quarantine Mom. When paperwork is more enjoyable than anything, that's not a good sign. 

I reflected upon my feelings and realized that at least part of it was the quiet solitude of being at my desk and the sense of peace that brought me. I long for silence now so desperately, that even if getting it means doing desk work, that's fine with me. Since the quarantine started, my days are filled with so much noise and human interaction that I feel like I am on constant overload. 

To set the record straight, cleaning is still my least favorite activity. However, even that, if given the chance to do it in complete silence and solitude might beat out being Quarantine Mom.

My desk. Now a welcome sight!

Doesn't this look peaceful?

Back to the grind. Even in the backyard, on a warm summer's night, being Quarantine Mom is a challenge.

Catherine was a delight at dinner.

Garin was and Miles were at it the entire dinner. Eventually I had enough and went in the house to finish my dinner in peace and quiet. They were upset for about 2 minutes. The next thing I looked out the window and they were all riding their scooters in the backyard and giggling.

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