March 2020 in Review

Um, well…this month fell off a cliff, yeah? We (both the collective “we” and my family specifically) didn’t really expect to spend the second half of March under quarantine. But there you go. The Gignacery is all together again, all five of us, getting on each others’ nerves all cooped up in the house and frustrated with the really crappy internet service we’re subject to. And personally, I’d like to just pretend that the second half of March didn’t happen at all. Sigh.

Reading and Watching
I don’t know why I just haven’t felt like reading since early February. Both books I read this month were boredom, force-myself-to-read books and I didn’t enjoy either of them. I also tried and rejected multiple others. Apparently I just have no reading mojo right now. I’ve been listening to the same audiobook off and on since the 3rd, and I’m still less than halfway through – even though it’s only seven hours long. At least the lovely Real Life Ghost Stories Podcast is keeping my audio-brain happy!

So you’d think I’d be watching all the TV/movies I can, if I’m not reading…but I’m not doing that either! I can’t seem to get into anything specific, though I did manage to finally watch the new Aladdin (Laurence’s choice) and The Aeronauts this month. Both were pretty good. Otherwise, I’ve mostly been watching reruns of Unsolved Mysteries on Prime…

If the month is going to fall off a cliff, likely goals will as well. As far as it goes, I was unable to volunteer at the now-closed library, do any writing with my family home full time, make any financial progress with sudden expenses like driving to Kansas to pick up Morrigan, meet up with old friends, start a book club, get a tattoo, cross books off my 2020 list (because no reading right now…), do any social fitness, lose any weight, etc etc. Basically, I’m on stand-by. Plus I went backwards on one goal because our planned vacation was canceled. I did try to get out and do my running practice this month, though even that is a bit shorted because of restrictions and rising heat. And sadly, for the first time, I didn’t reach my 20-20 mini goals this month. I reached most of them, but I was so stressed out and anxious that I had my phone on too many nights past 9pm, reading Corona-news. Sigh.

I have a few small pieces of good news to report from early in the month. First, my abdominal ultrasound came back normal, so I can stop worrying about that. Second, my running fitness (legs, heart, and lungs) are definitely improving as I practice. Third, I’ve officially transitioned my anxiety coping habits from drinking wine to drinking iced coffee. While it’s definitely not healthy to drink as much coffee as I drink these days, it’s far better than wine, especially given that anxiety is at major high levels right now.

Other than that, my health went to ground this month. Agoraphobia took over thanks to social lockdown, so there was my mental health blown, at least for a short time (see next paragraph). Stress and anxiety meant that I stopped tracking my food and probably overate too often. (Plus I got a LOT more cream in my TONS more iced coffee.) Social lockdown and agoraphobia meant a lot less getting out to exercise, and my family home full time meant a lot less indoor exercise. (So, less exercise generally – less than 13 hours when I generally do about 17-18ish) And on top of all that, it’s oak allergy season here – the time of year I start coughing and getting sick often and become much more susceptible to lung disorders like bronchitis. So imagine what the reality and my anxiety are doing with that now that a respiratory illness is rampaging all around us. Unfortunately, I am ending the month sick, though it’s mild (so far) and I have no idea if it’s covid or something else. I’ll keep this updated in my weekly quarantine diary posts.

(photo credit: Lindsay)

My only saving grace – mental health-wise – has been technology. At first, with just texts and occasional Zoom meetups –> , this didn’t make a dent in my agoraphobia. But through my hiking group, I discovered Marco Polo, a video-text chat platform that has allowed me to feel REALLY connected with my friends and family. Suddenly I have multiple support groups available at all times of day, and it feels far less like I’m isolated. This has been a godsend for me in so many ways and definitely ranks as the highlight of the quarantine half of March!

But generally, it was a decent month for health in the first two weeks – lots of good hikes, running, eating, and hey, I even reached a yearly low in weight! – followed by a few weeks of less exercise, scarce produce, hypersensitivity to health symptoms, stress-eating, panic attacks, and generally all the things that might caught you to lose any ground you’ve made in terms of health. Thankfully, with the recent discoveries that help my mental health, I plan to enter April with a determination to do better on my physical health as well. Provided I get past this weird illness that is currently terrifying me.

Highlights of March
There was obviously a lot of crap this month. Virus, quarantine, the boys all having to school-from-home, having my apple accounts hacked, the whole bizarre solar panel issue, agoraphobia, vacation canceled, getting sick in these last few days. Which means I really, really need to be able to look back at this in future months and say that March may have been the month that the apocalypse came upon my family, but there were also some really great times:

  • all of my birthday celebrations, as well as celebrations for the seven other March birthdays in the family, including a surprise virtual party for my sis-in-law
  • walking the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K with Jason and Stephanie
  • hiking at Government Canyon for the first time, and having brunch at a new-to-me amazing restaurant afterwards
  • feeling an actual compulsive desire to run for the first time in years!
  • my group hiking shirt arrived and I love it so much
  • the Real Life Ghost Stories podcast, which kept me entertained under quarantine
  • Unsolved Mysteries, best show ever!
  • amazing new running/hiking shoes and gear (shoes, hat, special socks, hiking poles…)
  • I won an awesome free pair of leggings from my LuLaRoe dealer!
  • my awesome new cat-print dress from Torrid
  • receiving a great new tarot deck (Modern Witch)
  • Zoom, Marco Polo, FaceTime, and every other platform that’s helping me stay in contact with friends and family!
  • finishing weeks 3 and 4 for Couch to 5K despite everything –>
  • Jason able to work from home and us having financial security during this time
  • San Antonio’s mayor being very proactive to hopefully help us flatten the curve
  • having plenty of toilet paper before this happened!
  • the amazing workers and officials at HEB, our local grocery store, who already had an emergency plan and who put it in place immediately
  • getting a virtual book chat room together on Marco Polo (Book Ladies!)
  • all the women of my hiking group – I cannot believe just how lucky I am to have found such a wonderful set of people!!

Coming up in April
Um…alien invasion?

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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