Category Archives: pandemic

#sol21 March 6: Hate

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.
I don't believe in hate

she said hate is like this coffee cup
you keep staring at the coffee cup 
saying "wow that's some terrible shit." 
just put the coffee cup away

and since I don't believe in hate
that should be easy

she said to push away hate
with nuggets of gold
fill yourself with nuggets of joy that feel light and joyful
and there won't be any room for hate

and since I have a video series all about joy
that should be easy

I'm just wondering if maybe
I might be allowed to 
smash the coffee cup 
to 
the 
ground first
watch it 
break into a million pieces
before I vacuum it away and look for those nuggets

#sol21 March 3: An announcement

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.

L wanted to get out of the house.

“Shopping with you is my favorite!” is what she said to entice me to go to TJ Maxx.

Later it was “I love you mama. Do you think you can help me buy just a few of these things?” to entice me to buy her a few things.

I don’t love shopping during a pandemic, but we have masks, and don’t stay long.

I don’t love going out at night ever because, well… night time? That’s supposed to be pajama time. But, I do like spending time with my almost-leaving-me-for-college daughter. Also I noticed a sign that it was the right thing for me to do.

Like literally. A sign. Get it?

TJ Maxx is a fun place to be. And I do enjoy looking at the notebooks, and wandering around telling myself that I can enjoy looking at the inspirational signs, but I don’t have any space for them. Even if they seem perfect.

I kinda wanted to stand there and make TJ Maxx decorative sign poetry … like book spine poetry… Could be fun, no?

As I wandered around the store, a young man’s voice came over the loud speaker. He was thanking us for shopping and telling us about some deals. He sounded so happy about these announcements, and it brought be back to my store announcement days: The summer after my freshman year of college when I worked in the lingerie department of Boscov’s.

Man did I love when I was supposed to make those storewide announcements. It was the best part of my job.

I wish I were one of those people with really specific memories to share – because as I walked around TJ Maxx, I thought about how I’d love to tell you how I made those announcements decades ago. But, I don’t even remember if I picked up a phone to do it, or if there was some weird microphone. Did I have a quota of announcements I was allowed to make? Was there a time where someone told me not to make so many or such long announcements? Did I look at that week’s flyer to help me say what I needed to say? Did I make the announcements only about lingerie? These questions will never be answered.

I can however tell you that I loved making those announcements. It was almost a dream come true, almost as good as it would have felt to have gotten to work a grocery store cash register, or be allowed to click the library cards into the library card punch when I worked at a library. Those are a couple of my biggest never-realized dreams: the cash register and the library punch card. But making an announcement at Boscov’s? That’s on the dream list. Almost.

I wanted to find the TJ Maxx announcer and tell him he should write down this experience for later. But, then a candle caught my eye, and also the soft soft shirts, and more notebooks. . .

#sol21 March 1: Old Witch Hands

Slice of LIfe

Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.

Old Witch Hands

I can't stop thinking about the way that old witch hands look in fairy tales
fingers wrinkled (not just skin)
gnarled,
warted

my acupuncturist says that the cysts I have on my pinky fingers are on my heart meridian
because my heart is broken (not just bent)
gnarled, 
warted - I guess

so I tell her that I can't stop thinking about old witch hands in fairy tales now
"You mean they are just broken-hearted?" 
I sob at this thought 
I empathize even more than normal with the witches - 
with
the
witches

(because that's what I need now - more empathy
for witches) sarcasm intended

"There are lots of reasons not just heartbreak, Ona," my acupuncturist tells me

I tell her that it's not fair
it's 
not
fair 
2020-2021 is hard enough without my fingers 
erupting with heartbreak

she tells me to 
thank 
my 
body
"Would you rather have a heart attack or a cyst on your finger, Ona?" she asks me. 

she's right, but I can't stop thinking about the witches in fairy tales.

What will you do with it?

Slice of LIfe

Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teacher

For some reason I’m thinking about wine tonight…

A few weeks ago I was at Wegmans at the end of the day and I threw some of their $6 wine into my cart before getting into line. I only do this when the “alcohol permitted” lines aren’t long, but the week is.

A woman approached me and scootched her mask down below her chin. She had an accent, heavy and thick. She spoke in a loud, friendly, slightly halting voice.

“Did you take — this?” She said as she held up a bottle of wine. Her friend stood a few feet behind her.

I must admit, I was taken aback. I wondered if she was asking me if I took it out of her cart. I have this mild, irrational fear that I will accidentally take someone else’s cart, or put my stuff into someone else’s cart. And even though I’ve never worried that I’ll take something out of someone’s cart, it seemed plausible because of her tone.

“Did you take this? This? From there?” She pointed at the wine display. Her friend walked over to the display.

“Oh. Yes. I did.” I was still confused, but didn’t feel like I was in trouble anymore.

“What will you do with it?” She asked me, leaning in. Her friend looked at me, intrigued.

“What will I do with it?”

“Yes, what will you do with it?”

This is when I wondered if I might be on some sort of “teacher caught buying wine on a week night” candid camera show.

I thought for a moment, about my week, my day, my remote coaching job, my remote learning kids, the world, the coming election. I thought about the $6 wine in my cart. I looked at the woman and her friend and raised my eyebrows, still trying to figure out what this was all about.

“I’m going to drink it!” I said with a big, not too-sarcastic smile. I think I might have taken an imaginary swig from the bottle.

“You will drink it?!” She said, as she turned the bottle around to show me the list of foods on the back. “But. All of this. Here.”

Finally, I understood. She just didn’t know if the wine was a drink or an ingredient!

“Ahhhh!” I said, with that feeling of relief you get when you finally understand. “I think those are the pairings… the things you might eat with the wine!”

I would like to note that I did not add that I actually prefer my wine with a bowl of chips or popcorn.

Now every time I get a bottle of wine, her voice comes back to me.

“What will you do with it?”

Blank Page Published: A Slice of writing

Slice of LIfe

Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

Blank page, typed and then deleted.
Type, delete, type delete.
I’ve done this before.

A few things I almost wrote about, but then erased…

I deserve an adulting award for ordering mulch today
I’m failing as a mother, #screentime
Sitting in the sun begs the question, is it summer yet?
I miss a lot of people and things right now.
I think I have a cold. It better be just a cold.
Filled out my mail-in ballot today. Hope I followed all the rules. There were a lot of rules. I will send it when my stamps come. It’s so odd to order stamps to be mailed.
Voting makes me feel like I need to pay more attention to the news.
The news makes me feel like I need to go back to bed. Under the covers.
This Groundhog’s Day life is devoid of usable slices. Boring, but also too raw.
Man it’s hard to have a friend dying during a pandemic.

I told myself to write on Tuesdays, though.
Keep up the habit, build it up
Remember that I love to write.

Remember that I love to write.
Remember that I love to write.
Remember that I love to write.

I still don’t know if I’ll hit select all – Delete, or
“Publish.”

#FindTheJoy

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

 

I’m not saying that it’s quite as easy to find the joy each day, remotely.

Even before pandemic times
Before The Quarantine,
There were days.

Days when
meetings overtook
people were mean
things got canceled
I didn’t see a child,
(other than my own and they were grumpy that day, for sure)

There’s a reason I have a wine glass that says
#coachingainteasy

On those days,
Before pandemic times
Before Quarantine
I sometimes had to look for joy

And maybe I learned that looking for joy
is how you find it

Now it’s pandemic times
The Quarantine

Now I have to look for joy
It doesn’t pop up on its own and wave its hands in the air as often as normal
(“normal?”)

But it’s still important.
Because I’ve learned that looking for joy
is how you find it

Even if you are looking into your computer screen at little boxes
reading emails instead of faces
walking down your steps instead of around a school

Some people have reminded me that I don’t have to keep finding joy
posting videos, sharing every day
“It’s a pandemic!”
“Cut yourself some slack!”
“You don’t owe videos to anyone!”

But I do.
I owe it to myself
I owe it to myself to keep looking for joy

#findthejoy

(Check out my #findthejoy videos on Twitter and Facebook @OnaFeinberg … and join in! See what happens when you look for joy!)

a sticky note slice

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

 

My desktop sticky notes urge me to write
even though I’m a little
too edgy to write

Pen on the page.
Reflect
What you focus on grows

I went to a mindfulness zoom a week or two ago
(Mindfulness. Zoom. Seems ironic, but maybe for 2020 it’s just iconic)
I guess a half-hour session wasn’t sufficient
to make me mindful enough

Good mindfulness reminders though.
He told us,
“You are being held.”
“Anxiety is anticipatory fear.”
“You have thousands of thoughts a day… and that’s no problem.”
So I wrote myself more sticky notes for my desktop

Pen on the page.

Reflect
What you focus on grows
You are being held
Anxiety is anticipatory fear
No problem

There’s another sticky too
I wrote it down when my
acupuncturist told me to get out of my head
She said,
“You are not more powerful than God.”

Pen on the page.
Reflect
What you focus on grows
You are being held
Anxiety is anticipatory fear
No problem
You are not more powerful than God

 

#sol20 March 31 A Slice, The Last Slice

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.

 

I don’t know what to write about.
Which means I should probably try a 6-word slice:

Writing brought happiness, and also frustration 

My mind is maybe too tired to write today.
Which means I should probably try a haiku:

zoom zoom zoom zoom zoom
butt, ears, eyes, and elbows hurt
zoom zoom zoom zoom zoom

Slicing is hard.
Which means I should probably try a little rhyme:

Writerly life
during pandemic strife
means my first-hand account
is paramount 

Pandemic life
as coach, mother, wife
means busy days full of stress
my brain – full of a mess

Sit every day to write
before sinking into bed at night
means choosing my chair again
staring at the screen with disdain

But living the slicer life
during the pandemic strife
means a writing and sharing opportunity
a connection, a community

It’s the last Slice of Life this March.
Which means I should probably make this short and sweet:

See you next Tuesday, I hope! 

 

 

#sol20 March 30 A Slice of Siblings

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.

 

The teenagers have started a 30 Day health challenge. They woke up early, on their own. Well, the 13-year old did, and then he woke up his sister. She doesn’t like alarm clocks, so for once she actually asked him to wake her up.

When I walked down to get my coffee, the yoga mat was already set up, the hand weights were out, and the oatmeal was started on the stove.

There was even cut fruit on the counter.

 

H grabbed an apple.

“Did you wash that apple?” I asked and I handed him the fruit and veggie wash. He had washed it, but he washed it again.

He was chopping up the apple when his sister walked in the kitchen, eyes wide at all the preparation.

“Wow!” She said as her brother started chopping the apple.

IMG_8462

“I can’t promise I’m going to do all of this every day,” H said.

L started to nod, taking in all of the prep work, “I know.”

“I mean,” he continued, “these are the last of the strawberries.”

#sol20 March 28 A Slice of Saturday During the Pandemic

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.

 

Saturday during the pandemic
Slept in until 8
Had just one zoom, with friends though
Took the dog on a walk
Tried to read a bit
Talked to my Mom on the phone
We had popcorn and veggies for dinner
Watched Harry Potter Six
Shared and finished a box of Thin Mints
Gave the kids elderberry gummies
Saturday, during the pandemic