I’m better now.

I slept a lot today, then showered and fed my family, then Randy and Zeke and I went for a hike at Difficult Run near Great Falls. Zoe refused to go. But while we were gone she did dishes and laundry and homework, so ok.

We so needed to get outside. I have gone on more hikes in the past week than I usually do in a given season, but they are critical to our emotional and physical survival. Tomorrow we’re headed to Shenandoah. Our house is 1,584 square feet. I can only imagine how much more challenging it is for people who live in tiny apartments, or shelters, or other less than luxurious accommodations.

After my middle-of-the-night post last night I received some commiseration from other souls who share my highly sensitive status, which was reassuring. I’ve also seen quite a few Facebook posts from friends who are in the throes of struggle. It is a good reminder that we are here to talk each other down, listen well, and just affirm to each other, “yes, this is freaking hard.”

Tonight we did our first-ever Zoom call with my parents, which was unsurprisingly comical. Once we ironed out the technical difficulties, we chatted about our days and played with the settings on Zoom. Although I’ve used Zoom for a few months, I never realized you could change the background–at least for your own image–to one of their preset backgrounds or any photo you choose. During our call I was accompanied by pandas, lions, younger versions of my kids, and various landscapes. Randy was upstairs in the office maintaining the illusion that he was either levitating above or being sucked underneath a river. Zoe shared her screen so she could show everyone photos of Taylor Swift. And we did a mad lib together, engineered by my dad.

Randy started a 2000-piece puzzle of seashells that I gave him last year. Zoe beat me soundly at Kings in the Corner. I started drafting a schedule for Monday, mostly of things I need to take care of myself. On Monday I need to change things up in terms of our homeschool situation, although I’m not sure how yet. I have to motivate myself to get my tasks done, as well as motivating the kids. I keep hearing that 1) it’s important to maintain a routine and stick to a schedule and 2) I should not worry about all this so much, and feel less pressure to make sure the kids are on task. This reminds me of so many times in my life where the guidance I was being given seemed totally contradictory.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to the apple cider donuts tomorrow that we will hygienically pick up curbside from the Apple House on our way to Shenandoah. Maybe the answers will all become clear when we’re out on the trail.