Sparkling Isolation – Days 144 through 150

What day is it?

Last week, I posted my first ‘weekly’ version of this series. I realized that I was repeating myself too often and felt that it was time to move to a less frequent approach to the chronicle of my quarantine experiences. Today focuses on Sparkling Isolation Days 144 – 150.

This week was not the first time that I had several moments where I quite honestly could not remember the day of the week, and absolutely had no clue what day of the month it was. The days are starting to blur together again worse than they did early on when all of this was “new” and we did not think it would last this long.

Monday we had an unusual and violent line of thunderstorms blow through northern Illinois. I have lived in my apartment here for nearly 13 years and I can count on one hand the number of times our electricity has gone out for more than a few minutes at a time. Monday was one of those times. The tornado sirens went off and my phone starting blowing up with warnings. I gathered my wallet, passport, and car keys and headed down to the basement just as the electricity went out.

The storms passed fairly quickly with no damage to my apartment building, but we did lose electricity. The ComEd app was no help. All it told me was that my power was out. Duh. I worried about the food in my refrigerator and freezer, but realized that there was little in the refrigerator, and the freezer would likely be fine for at least 24 hours before things started to thaw.

Skipping ahead, the electricity did come on almost precisely 24 hours after it went out. The intervening time was stressful for a number of reasons. First, the app finally said that they expected restoration of power on Saturday – four full days later. Second, I realized in the morning that my only digital connection to the outside world was my phone, and it was down to 12% power. The only way I had to charge it was in my car.

My first thought was, “Oh, crap!  I am cut off. I have no internet, soon will have no phone, and I have no easy way to charge the phone back up.” After a few minutes of panic I had a total reversal of energy. I though to myself, “Hooray! I have the best of all excuses to be unreachable right now. That means nobody from my job can bother me and I don’t have to deal with all the stupid, stressful crap going on there right now.”

After power restoration, I found myself pondering my reactions. I fully realize that I am lucky to have a job that continues to pay me a full salary with excellent benefits, even while working from home and having no performances at my theater until January. I get that. Still, there are elements of the job that are metaphorically draining my spirit dry – rather like energetic vampirism.

The big takeaway for me this week was the fact that I actually felt guilty for being cut off from communication, even when it was not my fault and I had no way to fix it. Those thoughts make me angry. It reminds me that I have given too much of my personal power away to other people – many of whom couldn’t care less about me personally. 

This quarantine has truly forced me to go inward and to do some serious soul-searching. I don’t know what the solution is. At the moment I feel trapped at the mercy of others, but my quest now is to find a way out of this maze.

Quarantine has ups and downs and today I am struggling to focus on ‘up’ not just in my current circumstances, but ‘up’ and ‘away’ as soon as can find a way out.

It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.