The days are blurring for me now, more than ever before. April has somehow both lasted forever and flown by too quickly.

I mark time by the days I know the trash and recycling go out – and by my daughter’s days of the week underpants, but that last one isn’t always reliable, as she’s a maverick who will wear Tuesday underpants on a Saturday.

In the middle of last week, my husband broke the monotony and shook things up by being admitted to the hospital for two days with diverticulitis. He’s home now, and I promise I will never take our nightly wine-soaked Netflix binges for granted again.

For those keeping count at home, though, that makes two hospital stays for the two most important men in my life – my father and my husband – in less than a month. That would be stressful even without the whole apocalyptic pandemic backdrop, but all of that when I can’t even hug my mom or my best friends?! It could be worse – please don’t get me wrong; I know I don’t have much to complain about, compared to many others – but it still has been a low point in my life.

I’ve been trying to stay grounded and grateful, but there are days where it just grinds me down: the dishes never stop; the garbage keeps piling up (until it goes out on Tuesdays and Fridays); my kids constantly need to be fed; they have schoolwork that I am dimly aware I should be monitoring; the dog needs to be fed and walked; every day, it seems, I order another $100 in groceries; all our spoons have disappeared somehow; my dad is getting stronger but still needs semi-daily check-ins with meals made and light housekeeping done. I’m about to stash my beloved sourdough starter in the fridge because I simply cannot handle having one more damn thing to take care of!

That said, there are things I will miss about this lifestyle if and when it ever ends. I’ve never been closer to my family – literally and emotionally. My husband and I are enjoying meal-planning and cooking together. The kids have worked out their own schedules and are getting enough sleep for a change. Being able to spend so much time taking care of my dad, watching him slowly recover while also knowing his life is nearing its end, has been a truly precious gift, albeit a bittersweet one that often leaves me crying on the car ride home. I’ve been taking long walks with my older daughter (a morning person) and having cozy midnight chats with my younger daughter (a night owl). My husband and I are trying to implement a cocktail hour on our side porch now that we’ve had enough free time to clear it of the detritus that’s accumulated there since we bought the place almost six years ago. I haven’t worn real pants in weeks, and I have no regrets about any of this.

Do I wish none of this had ever happened, that it was just an ordinary late April day with nothing on the agenda besides homework and dinner and maybe squeezing in a load of laundry? Of course. While driving to the hospital to bring my husband his laptop and phone charger, I realized I was taking the same route I use to bring my kids to school, and I teared up at how much I miss the ritual of school, to say nothing of the company! But I think I’ve worked my way through the stages of grief and arrived, finally, at begrudging acceptance. This is reality for now. I can live with it, and I feel blessed to be able to say that.

We’re staying home until at least May 15, and honestly I have no idea when life will return to normal.

This is the new normal, though, and I’m learning to love it. Even if I don’t know what day it is.