Muddling Through

I have not had many days, since the quarantine started, that I’ve gotten in the bed and felt a warm since of accomplishment melt over me for a productive day.

We’ve managed to do quite a lot each day: Mr. ThreeYear and I work our full-time jobs. I homeschool Little ThreeYear (Junior ThreeYear is self-sufficient at schoolwork for the most part). I feed the family three meals per day. We clean up and put away the dishes (this part feels like it takes hours of our day, every day). We tidy the house. We exercise many of those days. We buy groceries.

Still, the house is never really clean. It’s always fairly straightened for the most part with one or two really messy spots. Laundry is in some state of neglect, constantly.

I do my job each day, but I’m not following my curriculum very well. I can’t. I’m trying to get 17 eighth graders to keep their videos on and answer my questions en espaƱol on our Google Meet Up. They have tuned out after fifteen minutes. I can see it in their faces (the seventh and sixth graders are much more into Spanish these days. The seniors–let’s not even go there).

We haven’t managed to spend very much less than normal, mainly because we have been buying new furniture for our house, since we’ve been in it for eight weeks and realized that we need some new pieces. I have gotten us a full month ahead in our budget, which is sweet, but it’s been a slow, long haul to try and build up our sinking funds to the level needed. I still feel like I’m constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul, like we can never save as much as I’d like us to.

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The Circular Economy

A few days ago, Mr. ThreeYear and I were walking out of the grocery store with our masks on, avoiding other shoppers who were walking in, and I was struck: “This is so weird. I cannot believe the world changed this much in just a couple of weeks.”

Life itself is constantly giving us reminders that our earth is ever-changing, ever-evolving. We are reminded of that by the rise and fall of the sun each day, by the changing seasons. By children who grow so quickly that pants you bought them in October no longer fit them in February.

Yet I, at least, find myself trying to keep things the same.

Most of the quarantine has been an exercise in the small ways I try to exercise control over an uncontrollable situation. I’ve set up a schedule for the family, made sure everyone has tasks and jobs, made sure we all have a space to work in and stay in that space. Of course, my life now is one giant interruption, with Little ThreeYear popping his head in my “office” (the guest room) every three minutes when he has a question about school.

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Make It Do

Earlier this school year, my cell phone was stolen.

I’ve never really been sure what happened, and the police have never figured it out, but here’s what I do know.

When I left my garage for school, I had my cell phone in the car with me. Sometime between the time I arrived at school and 10:30, when I realized I didn’t have my phone, my phone was stolen. We (meaning the police, the school administration, and I) believe I left my car unlocked and someone came into the parking lot and stole my phone. I looked up the phone on Find My Phone when I got home that night, and it took a joy ride down to the airport before going dark, forever.

Obviously, I was bummed. Not only did I lose my Iphone 7, which I’d bought the previous summer, and all the pictures in it, but I also had to get a new phone. I did not want to spend another $350 (which is what I’d spent to get the refurbished Iphone 7).

But I needed a phone. Even during my experimentation with Digital Minimalism, it was obvious that I needed a phone.

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