Not Now, 2020

I saw this phrase somewhere, and it seems apropos to the current moment. There is a lot of scary stuff going on in our neck of the woods.

  • Yesterday, I packed a to-go bag and planned an escape route if we need to evacuate. I donned a mask and went outside into air that isn’t very habitable for humans so I could water down our hill and get rid of anything flammable.
  • The air here is akin to the infamous London Fog, the environ in which Jack the Ripper was able to commit his crimes and disappear. The atmosphere is thick with smoke, almost impenetrable and utterly toxic.
  • Last night we were told by local officials it was possible we would be woken up by another completely atypical dry lightening storm. (We had one last week which started a number of dangerous fires, which are still burning out of control.) We were told the new lightening could set off a firestorm and send us running into the night.
  • The plan, if our neighborhood is broached by brutal flames from the sky, is to get out, and drive as close as we can to the Bay edge.
  • Luckily, the lightening did not come to pass. But I did not sleep well.

In true Stoic fashion, I am trying to live in the moment and savor what is good. And there IS a lot of be grateful for. Here’s my list:

  • My husband and I have a strong, functional marriage. He’s got my back and I have his. He’s more than an equal partner, and there’s no one I’d rather hang with. Which is lucky, since we now hang out 24/7.
  • My kids are kind, bright, funny and precocious. Parenting is hard, but they are good people.
  • My parents gave me everything I needed to thrive. I recently drove up for a visit (I can now drive to see them!), and spending a whole week at their pretty new home was restorative, enlightening and wholesome.
  • My brother and his wife are lovely, hospitable people who live one block from my parents. My nephew is super adorable and good-natured. My brother is my best friend, and his texts make my days brighter.
  • My in-laws are generous, helpful and live nearby. We have a strong rapport, and they are very kind and caring.
  • The twins’ school is an excellent institution of learning. The staff care deeply about their students, and the virtual schooling they set up in the spring was exceptional. While virtual learning isn’t ideal, the way the school structured the day with Zoom classes mimicked the pre-pandemic school day almost exactly – classes from 8-3 pm with a lunch break – and additional homework. Neither Josh nor I had to engage in any type of homeschooling, as opposed to almost every other parent I know, and I don’t think either of the kids regressed. The twins had advisers regularly checking in to make sure they got what they needed.
  • We are lucky to have the resources to BE at this school. But also, almost half of the students are low income (not the case at the local public school). I have seen how this gives our children a different outlook on the world. Their friends are children of single moms who put their whole might and being into providing the best education for their kids. It’s sobering but also inspiring.
  • The Peloton provides the kind of challenging yet inspiring workouts I need right now. Today I did the Ben Alldis “Ibiza” dance challenge, which featured awesome music and a virtual night out in Ibiza. This workout was super fun for a random Monday. Somehow during my world tour of party towns and festivals in my twenties I missed out on Ibiza. (I went through an insufferable “I can be a female version of Ernest Hemingway, but on the cheap” phase, visiting: Pamplona for the opening of the Running of the Bulls, Switzerland for the canyoning, Paris for Bastille Day, Barcelona’s Olympic Village, London during the Notting Hill Festival, Cabo San Lucas and Lake Havasu for Spring Break, as well as Ios, Amsterdam and South Beach  just because.)
  • I have a tight knit circle of female friends, and they have provided well-sourced and wise advice during these difficult times. They are supportive, but they also keep me accountable. And those are the best kind of friends I can have.
  • Sally is a Good Dog. She loves us, and we love her.


What is keeping you going right now?

Stay safe and be well.

Xoxo, Jjiraffe



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3 responses to “Not Now, 2020

  1. Love this assessment, J, and reading about your life. The fires sound terrifying. We are having fires in the mountains, too, and while we are not in imminent fire danger, the air quality has been horrible for weeks now.

    I hope you have been able to sleep better and that there is relief in your area.

    Hmmm…what’s going right for me is similar to your list. Husband-wise, extended-family-wise. Tomorrow we are celebrating a birthday, so that whole clan will be together — and masked and outdoors and 6 feet apart.

    And what a good girl Sally is! Dexter remains one of my big joys, too.

    • So great to hear from you, but sorry you’re also dealing with fires and bad air quality. 😦

      Glad Dexter and your family are bright spots. Dogs are the best. I really underestimated the joy that a dog could bring. Although, last night Sally jumped on me in the middle of the night and scared me to death! Hahaha.

  2. So scary!! 😦 I hope things are a little better now. Love the dog photo! 🙂

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