10 Things I’ve Learned in Lockdown

Reality hasn’t felt quite real since 2016 when a reality TV buffoon went from national joke to international menace president. No sooner did he remove CDC experts then a global pandemic landed in the US. We’ve reached the apocalyptic segment of this dystopian novel we’re living. And it feels like I’ve read this one before.

I am hugely privileged. My husband can work from home easily and happily, my toddler has adapted astoundingly well, and my days aren’t all that different except they’re all at home. The worst of it is not being able to take my two year old to visit her grandparents. In our third week of lockdown, I might even be starting to find something like balance. At least, I feel like I’m starting to be more productive than anytime since becoming a parent.

So with that in mind, here are some things I’ve learned in the last few weeks:

  1. Crises make it easy to pick out the assholes, and damn, are the xenophobes showing themselves. Fuckers.
  2. Don’t procrastinate on that haircut. In stressful times, fabulous hair counts for a lot.
  3. Hats, scarves, or headbands can fix almost anything. Hair-wise, at least.
  4. Yes, it is possible to regret not stockpiling more random crafting materials. Stress over possibly running out is keeping me from doing projects I might otherwise try, but a lack of traditional materials can lead to fabulous creativity. If I can just get past the paranoia.
  5. People really are awesome and band together to create fabulous communities and resources. (Though beware those who will call for funding cuts because arts and nonprofits are providing services for free in this crisis.)
  6. Kids are resilient. Seriously. They adapt. The rest of us can, too.
  7. Quarantine can be a hothouse for creativity and innovation. The stuff I’m seeing out there is amazing!
  8. But don’t beat yourself up over being human and burned out and/or traumatized from sustained crisis mode.
  9. Making lists calms me. I already knew this but apparently needed the reminder. Quarantine and post-quarantine bucket lists, to-bake lists, to-craft lists, things-I-have-learned lists…
  10. Fuck all those other shits who choose to ignore the fact that nothing happens in a vacuum and refuse to take responsibility for their actions. They’ve long perpetuated systemic harm, injustice, and inequality. Which kills people. Right now, the fact that their choices can directly lead to other people dying is clearer than ever.

So take care of yourself. Don’t be an asshole. And if you have reserves left over after that, make some art. (Let it be bad! Let the act of creating be more important than the result.)

We will make a new normal. And we will get through this.

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