Wearing a mask in Book Soup.

How I’m Coping with the Delta Variant in L.A.

This was me the other day at Book Soup picking up Mena Suvari’s amazing new memoir, The Great Peace, three of my kids in tow. (Interview coming soon on Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.)

By the way, I think every book I’ve had on my podcast was for sale there. (Except my anthology. Oh well.)

Anyway, here in L.A. where we’re “vacationing,” Covid is back. Every friend we see has a story: their sister, their in-laws, a colleague. One of my very best girlfriends out here just had to decamp to Big Bear to quarantine because her daughter caught it at sleep-away camp. Aside from the little one, everyone who is getting it had gotten vaccinated.

It feels a bit ominous, like the clouds we watch from our mountain perch rolling in suddenly and then blanketing us.

Emotionally, it had taken a lot for me to confront my anxiety and feel safe in the world again as things got back to normal, especially after what we went through losing loved ones to Covid. But just as I felt steady on my feet, boom.

Masks are the least of it. Of course wear a mask! It’s so simple and easy. Although I heard that wearing a mask outdoors here might signal an anti-vax stance?! It’s confusing and chaotic and all of it stressful.

So. As I’ve done since March 12, 2020, I’m choosing to look down at what’s on my plate today and not catastrophize into the future. Will my retreat in November get cancelled? I really hope not. Will I lose someone else to Covid? Will I get Covid again? Will my kids have to do Zoom school again? Will my entire life get disrupted? Maybe. Can I do anything about it? Not really, except for wearing a mask and trying to keep my family safe.

But this is life, isn’t it? Uncertainty. Dangers looming behind the bursts of joy.

So I’m choosing to swing my big black theater light over to the happy moments. The trampoline giggles. The tight hugs in the pool. The everyday drives with all 4 kids which I know are fleeting as life speeds on.

It’s all I can do. Head down. Spotlight refocused. Minor adjustments to increase caution. I’m going to keep my plate overflowing with rewarding work projects, family time, and way too many cookies.

Because life is short. And this is how I roll.

Masks? Hand one over.

Originally published in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write.