Lonely and Bored, Overwhelmed and Anxious | July 2020

This has been a hard month. 

I'm not even sure what to say here at this point and probably should remain silent, except I feel like this space deserves a place holder in time. I'm going to look back from 2021 and want to remember how we made it through. And yet, really, we're fine. Nobody ill, nobody injured, still employed, still together. 

But as Maslow made plain in the 1940's, we humans are pretty complex with lots of needs, aren't we? Summer is always hard for me [even without a pandemic] because I miss the feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment that come from a day at work. I know it is privilege for me to even work toward self-actualization and creativity and becoming the best person I can be. It's a privilege to have all our physical and safety needs met from day to day, so we can even have time to think about our loneliness and lack of freedom and social connectivity.

So, while realizing our privilege, and trying not to feel guilty about our comparatively insignificant concerns, we have really had lots of bored and lonely this summer. Honestly, this is something we struggle with even without a pandemic, but add in a tablespoon of Covid-19 and we're finding it even more tough. Social needs are a real real thing, especially for the more extroverted family members [Buzz and myself, at this point]. And unfortunately, as other parents will probably understand, giving a child a sibling doesn't mean they'll be best friends. #lovehate

We've spent SO much time together in the house this summer, as well as a bit of time in the backyard pool. My primary escape has been to grab my bike, shoot down the hill to the loop trail, ride the ten mile loop and then grind my way back home. This does bring relief and sanity, even though I'm alone. I get to see random strangers on the trail at least.  
I really miss traveling, but probably wouldn't have done much even without the virus, because of the kids. On our way home from Yellowstone, they said they don't ever want to go on a road trip again. :( I may have ruined them for life. Parenting is hard. You either do too much or you do too little. 

I have been paying attention to the news more than I usually have time for during the school year. That's been kinda "whipping me up" as some might say, because there are controversial topics like schools reopening in person and police violence and whether masks are helpful or not. I like to figure out what's true and what's right, without getting involved in any stressful, argumentative dialogue. But I'm also a verbal processor. Funny, huh? My husband probably doesn't think so. The things we didn't know about each other fifteen years ago...

Here you see these brothers getting along famously for a moment... What you won't see in a photograph or video on Instagram stories is when big brother accidentally sprays the little bro with this hose, way too close to his face, but little brother is certain he did it on purpose and is the meanest brother in the world. 

This is a very common theme -- Peter is a huge tease and is often considered to be mean and annoying. :( 
Ezra's main goal for this month was to spend more time with friends. I'm really grateful for the handful of things we got to do in July [three bike rides, I think?], but it wasn't near enough!! Being in school is really the best scenario for this kiddo, where he's got the built-in social stimulation and fun every day.

I think what some of us need is year-round school [fulfillment for me, socialization for him]. I even took a minute to see which school districts have adopted this schedule...but it's not something we would relocate for. I guess we'll keep stumbling through summers, trying to figure out something that works... And then they'll be off to college!! : /  
Just look at that sweet, freckled face. 💙 Having children is really special. 

It just complicates life quite a lot. #understatementoftheyear
I really smashed my biking goal this month!! I was hoping to reach 360 miles by riding ten doubles, but ended up biking almost every day and then almost 50 miles on July 31st to get to 500 miles!! That felt good. 

I also painted the shed red this month and it looks so much better!! 
This next month will be interesting, to say the LEAST. The boys and I will need extra measures of patience to deal with school starting this year with social distancing rules and masks. There is still so much we don't know and thus can't feel prepared for. I'm not even sure what goals to set! I'll try to figure that out...

August Goals

1) Five family mtn bike rides at Squilchuck SP