I discovered Percy Jackson by reading a New York Times review of book 5 of Percy's first series, The Last Olympian, which was published in 2009. I read lots of book reviews, by professionals and regular readers. One reason why I love Goodreads so much is that it aggregates reviews from many readers and gives you the opportunity to read about a book from someone who loved it as well as someone who didn't. Some of my favorite reviews are 1 and 2 star ones. Anyway, if you like Greek mythology and good young adult fiction, I highly recommend Percy Jackson. I, myself have yet to read Rick Riordan's ten most recent books. They're on my list, I promise.
Today's interesting postcard is from my parents' trip to Greece and Turkey in the fall of 2015, when it was still fairly safe to travel there. They joined a group exploring many of the sites of early Christianity.
Mental Health Review: So Miranda and I have continued to talk to our counselor weekly. Thankfully, we have the resources to keep talking to her (and our HMO reimburses 50%) because I need someone to help me interpret Miranda and talk through alternatives when how I've been parenting her isn't working. Mostly, we are struggling with her school work because, 1) there's so much of it, and 2) I am figuring out how to adjust it to a reasonable level. It hasn't helped that we've been sick for much of the last two weeks (although, the kids are pretty much over their fever and headaches and I'm feeling better today that I have in 2 weeks, so maybe we're done with whatever it was) so I haven't had the energy to chase her down on all of the assignments and neither, honestly, has she.
Something each of us in this building is struggling with is how scary it is to be staying together here all the time and understanding that the world outside is where the virus is rampant. Seriously scary. That stress lies on top of everything we think, all the words we snap at each other and every time we get annoyed by all the boxes of Mimi's stuff still in the front room. (Half of the boxes are her current papers that we still need available to manage her estate, which won't close completely until we sell her house, and the others are things of hers we wanted to keep but don't yet have a place for. I probably really need to clean the linen closet. A clean shelf in there would help. But I digress....)
The kids can't go to school, where they are used to the routine, where they see people they like, and where they probably have better uses for their time. And where they have far better teachers than me. Marshall can't go to work in his office in Camden, with all of his co workers where it's easier to work because there are many fewer distractions and if he has a question, he can lean over the divider and ask his colleague. And he can talk about technology to people who actually care instead of his long-suffering wife (😇) who can often follow what he's saying but this latest project has her really confused. And I have to manage everyone all of the time in addition to doing all my own work. Sure, I prefer waking up about 7:30 am (my body has decided it really doesn't like sleeping longer than this, much to my dismay) instead of 5:40 am but the no peace and quiet thing except at midnight when everyone else is sleeping (which, since my body doesn't sleep in anymore, is not healthy) is wearing on me.
And this is just the tone of the house with no outside interference. Marshall and I don't read a lot of the news, but we check it several times a day. And, I've discovered, Miranda's reading it too. So, add the political squabbling and virus updates to our emotional thermometer. And while Alex doesn't follow the news himself, he picks up the household's prevailing emotional attitude and reacts to it, whatever it is.
To sum up:
We're stressed because
- No body ever leaves
- We still have to do all our own crap, but without the appropriate help.
- Everyone eats every single meal here, requiring food and dishes.
- Many of my destressing activities went up in smoke (watching tennis or Premier League futbol) or are quarantined elsewhere (parents and friends).
- Marshall and I both have more things to do than energy to do them.
- The kids are frying their brains on screens because it's hard to get them to do other things. Neither is a self motivated student.
- I'm tired and it's time for dinner.
Here's your palate cleanser (this is Alex's other favorite)