Losing endurance

I feel like a marathon runner hitting the wall when it comes to being quarantined at home with two kids, trying to work and homeschool. It’s a completely overwhelming situation. So many emotional ups and downs. It’s literally impossible to feel competent at anything right now, when being required to do so many things at once.

I guess other people are also hitting the wall, which is why my county is entering Stage 1 of reopening today.

To be clear, Stage 1 of reopening will probably not affect my life much. I will continue working from home, playgrounds will remain closed, churches will not be meeting, and of course, schools are still closed through the end of June. But it may mean that we’ll have friends over to visit in our backyard, or meet up for a walk. Even that would be nice.

Being quarantined doesn’t give me much to write about. The same thoughts and feelings have been circulating through my head since this began in March. Mostly I cycle between anger and grief that this is happening and then over to gratitude. I’m thankful that my family is currently healthy and in a financially stable situation. I’m thankful that Oregon has done an excellent job of slowing the spread of this virus. I’m angry and grieving this worldwide pandemic and economic crisis, and for me specifically — being stuck at home with my kids. It’s unsustainable…and no one really knows how long this will last. It’s just so taxing on everyone’s mental health. In further grim news, my workplace is anticipating a 17% budget cut. So I have that looming over my head as well.

So anyway…here are some fun things we’ve been doing!

  • Family Movie Nights: We used to have a lot of arguments about choosing movies. My daughter came up with the idea that we do a rotating system where everyone gets their own night to choose. So far this has been working well. Tonight is Paul’s turn…so we’ll see what his 5-year-old mind comes up with!
  • Baking. A very popular activity in our house. We even challenged ourselves with a lemon meringue pie a few weeks ago.
  • Listening to podcasts. I mentioned in a recent post that I’ve been enjoying Brené Brown’s new podcast, Unlocking Us. I also recently discovered some podcasts for kids! My kids have been enjoying NPR’s Wow in the World. I also found some others I want to try, including Radiolab for Kids.
  • Making Oobleck. Just corn starch and water. Marie gave me a good lecture on non-Newtonian fluids. The kids had a blast playing with Oobleck, although it did devolve into an Oobleck fight (which led to a double bath as well as me wiping down my whole kitchen).
  • Finishing Harry Potter. We finally finished Harry Potter 7! I am sad because we had so much fun reading the Harry Potter books over the last year. But, Paul didn’t listen to much, so maybe I can read them to Paul in a few years. We’ve started on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and both kids seem engaged with that story.
  • Walking and more walking. Walks in our neighborhood, walks in the forest, walks through the filbert orchard, walks in the oak savannah.

Have you been finding some ways to have fun and take care of yourself through this?





  1. Alice Evans said:

    Good one…I myself am beginning to feel numb. Like, I’m sometimes fully alive, such as with you and the kids. Sometimes I’m almost catatonic. This morning I washed my hair, then I wasn’t sure if I had washed it so I washed it again. I stare into space a lot, with my mouth hanging open.

  2. Samantha Breen said:

    Hi Ursula!

    You are amazing! Thank you so much for continuing to blog, I always look forward to your posts.

    This is a frustrating situation, isn’t it? There is so much unknown, and so much what could have been.

    I hear that you feel you are losing endurance. I am not a mom or a wife-two things you excel at and have much more experience than me!

    I do encourage you that you are not powerless. One way you have taken control is with your blog-it helps me feel less alone! I know you are an incredibly thoughtful person, so I know there is a lot of time and effort put into writing these posts!

    What movie did Paul choose? I love this idea! I also love the Oobleck!

    What are you doing to take time for yourself?

    I hear you that you feel like you are losing endurance. I wonder if you are gaining strength. Maybe the next snow day will seem like a breeze? You will raise super dedicated voters?

    You are one of my favorite people in the world. I am here for you.

    Take care, Sam


    My house is starting to get painted! I followed my heart and I now have the little yellow house I’ve always dreamed of.

    • ursulamarie said:

      Thank you Sam! I appreciate your friendship so much. Paul chose Kung Fu Panda, which was fun. (Though it did make him act a bit crazy afterwards).
      For me, some of the most important self-care has been running and yoga. Endorphins help a lot! And yes, gaining strength is another way to look at it. That’s a good perspective to have. I remember my yoga teacher in college talking about the pain of transformation (while making us hold painful strength-building poses).
      Yay for you having your dream house 🙂

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