April 2020 in Review

Gah it’s been a tough month. April is nearly always a tough month for me because this is when the weather starts to transition into “summer” (aka “torture”) and we start hitting temps in the 90s and above. This year was particularly difficult, though, because of quarantine and the five of us stuck in one house 24/7 and worrisome illnesses flying around etc etc. I look back on the month and see that it was an exercise in waiting around, sitting here twiddling thumbs…

Reading and Watching
I’ve still been unable to get into anything to read. It’s the worst book slump I’ve had in years. Nothing sounds appealing. I’ve tried books from all over the spectrum in terms of genre and age group, and I just can’t get into anything. Eventually, I went back and chose one of my favorite books to re-listen to, and was drawn into that, but when I went to listen to the sequel, I couldn’t get into it, either. It’s been a weird time for me in books. As for TV and movies, Jason and I watched Dark Waters on Easter, which was a fabulous movie and made me quite paranoid about the use of teflon and other related products in our home! Otherwise, Jason’s been catching up on old episodes of the Great British Baking Show, and those have been fun to see again.

Nearly all my goals are on hold because of COVID19 right now. I did manage to get through a few more weeks of Couch to 5K this month, and am up to 25 mins running. It’s broken some personal records – first time running that long in both time and distance since 2014 – and I feel good about that. I also broke my current one-mile PR this month! Additionally, Jason and I took our stimulus check and immediately put most of it toward our consolidation loan. It’s a four-year loan that began in the fall, and that one extra payment alone took four months off the end of it.

Ha. Ha. Ha. I’ve got one kid struggling with school, one kid aggressively claiming that because he’s an “adult” he should be able to go out and risk his life (and ours) however he wishes, and a husband that has had multiple major illnesses this month. I’ve been mostly trapped not just in my house but sequestered to my bedroom because the rest of the house is being used for school/work. My only contact with other people is via technology, and San Antonio has now transitioned from “summer anywhere else” weather to “welcome to the gates of hell” weather. We’ve had days when it’s nearly hit 100 degrees this month. I’ve spent a lot of time doing crap jigsaw puzzles on my phone, watching SVU reruns, trying to nap because my insomnia <– has been terrible, and generally not doing particularly well in terms of anything. I barely worked out 14 days this month, only ate well on the rare days I managed decent sleep, and didn’t bother to keep up with my schedules or bullet journal. I feel like I’m swimming in an infinite sea of nothingness, and I know I have another 3.5 months of this to go. At least. So…yeah. Not the best month in health.

I am going to try to turn things around in May. I’ve joined an accountability group that my hiking friends have started. From May 2nd to 31st, we have a 30 day challenge to exercise 30-60 mins five days per week. We have to specify in advance our plans, and then post each day to check in. This is definitely what I need right now. I’d built a good routine around exercising outside or in my living room, and I haven’t yet transitioned into the smaller area of my bedroom for exercise. Hopefully this challenge will help with that, as the heat is only going to get worse.

Things that worried me
This is a new section to my monthly wrap-up, but there have been so many fears and worries going on right now that I didn’t want to stuff them into the month summary above. Particularly because as things go, my family is very fortunate in the current situation in terms of housing, finances, etc. But there have been worries and concerns and fears, and I felt that I needed a place to address them. Feel free to skip past to the highlights if you need/want to.

  • Jason got sick on the 4th and had all the signs of COVID, though after four days his test came back negative and he felt pretty much healed up after a week
  • Ash’s condition is not improving. The steroid pill we force him to take daily is probably the only reason he continues to have energy and appetite, and I’m starting to worry that we’re needlessly extending a life of pain for him, as difficult as it is to say that. He remains at 10 lbs (should be 12 lbs) and the shaved areas from January have hardly grown any hair back (very unusual after so much time).
  • Furthermore, whenever Ash does leave his quarantined room, Jojo attacks him quite violently. Ash was previously alpha of our little pack and strong enough to force all the other cats into line. Jojo has taken over that role, and either he’s trying to protect the others from what he considers a foreign presence (Ash has been in quarantine for four months now, rarely leaving), or he’s showing Ash that he’s boss now
  • Ambrose has missed the award ceremony for summa graduates and the senior award ceremony. He’s going to miss prom, where he was likely going to be on prom court (and wearing a cloak, because he’s Ambrose), and graduation is going to be virtual. Of all my kids, Ambrose is the one who cares the least about these things, which is one blessing. At the same time, this is his last year of high school, and he isn’t going to see any of his friends to say goodbye. His last day of in-person school was the day before spring break. None of the kids ever went back. He tells me this is all fine, but I also remember my fifth-grade Ambrose who cried –> all the way through the graduation ceremony because he was going to miss his teacher and friends.
  • My grandmother had multiple strokes and multiple ER/hospital visits. She’s now exhausted and putting her affairs in order, and has finally admitted that my grandpa has not really been himself since his long hospitalization last year. Neither are likely to make it much longer.
  • the Texas governor has opened up too many businesses too quickly, which will result in a major increase in cases/deaths and probably longer lockdown
  • additionally, too many folks are ranting about stuff they clearly don’t understand like herd immunity and fake news and the death rate “only” being 2-3%
  • major insomnia, which has a major negative effect on my health and immune system
  • the crash of the postal system, which the idiot-in-chief refuses to help
  • Jason getting shingles
  • coral snakes coming out in the park where I run !!!
  • Ambrose is starting to fail his classes. He’s never been very good at distance education and this was his experience back in Wisconsin when he tried for one year to attend school online. Before this transition to home, he was a summa student, but now I’m receiving calls from teachers about him not turning in any assignments and missing so much work that he’s going to fail. Ambrose doesn’t show depression or struggles in a tradition way, and this is a strong sign that he’s not doing well. And since the teachers are no longer using the school portal that Jason and I can monitor for grades, we have no way of determining how either Ambrose or Laurence are doing right now on assignments. This whole situation has been a mess.
  • Morrigan arguing that since the governor is opening up businesses, he should be able to go out whenever with whoever, to hell with the consequences for the rest of us
  • Furthermore, he’s decided not to attend any of his online classes because they’re “optional” and is spending nearly all his time playing video games. This doesn’t bode well for his future…

Highlights of April
In contrast to my worries, these are the things that have kept me afloat in this month of personal and worldwide crisis:

  • virtual game night with friends (thanks Jackbox and Zoom!)
  • reaching several personal milestones and goals on completion of C25K W5D3, and then further milestones during later days of Couch to 5K training
  • friends who help out in a time of need
  • honeysuckle –>
  • shoutouts/nods from RLGS Podcast and the artist Red Yong Hi
  • finishing the deconstruction of the top of our back deck, and making plans for the xeriscaping in the front yard
  • helping Morrigan to dye his hair for the first time
  • virtual group birthday party with hiking friends
  • recasting Clue with Laurence – best school assignment any of the boys have ever come home with!
  • photos and videos of my sister’s foster-kittens (and their mom) – they’re so cute and she brought them home when they were only two days old!
  • accidentally meeting up with a hiker friend
  • GGS Body Image Improvement project and some personal revelations
  • Zooming with a bunch of fans of RLGS, plus the podcasters themselves
  • Lush products! Including the henna dye that gave my hair a rich, auburn color
  • Ambrose giving blood for the first time

Coming up in May
I imagine we’ll have a major spike in illnesses here and have to go back into full quarantine, since we can’t be sensible enough to STAY HOME at least until the peak has passed. Otherwise, I’ve joined that exercise accountability group that my hiking friends are hosting, to hopefully get myself back on track this month. Beyond that, I would LOVE to read a book that isn’t a reread…

About Amanda

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