Ah, April with its showers, fog, snow and stay-at-home order. It was like no April I’ve ever experienced. What a surreal time?! Coronavirus? COVID-19? Shelter-in-Place? These are all words I didn’t know 3 months ago. The present is like a futuristic movie. When I toasted 2020, I welcomed a new decade of adventure. I didn’t sign on for a pandemic. I miss my freedom. I didn’t realize how great I had it until I didn’t have it. I miss a lot of things…
- Walking outside my door without a mask
- Walking anywhere spontaneously
- Walking anywhere spontaneously without a mask
- Talking to someone in person
- Talking in a conversation where you can’t be muted
- Talking on the phone without any visual
- Going to plays, parties, dinners
- Traveling out of the country, out of the city, out of my neighborhood
- Making plans to do something… anything
Today marks Day 50 of my quarantine during this pandemic. Despite being under a new shelter-in-place order for the entire month of May, I’m in a pretty good mood. The sun is shining. And my boss gave everyone a wellness 1/2 day to use for self care. I chose this afternoon. In pre-pandemic days, my time off revolved around exciting plans. In present time, I’m happy to give myself a break from my computers and emails. Today on my afternoon off, I’m going to do a little writing, walk to Walgreen’s for double AA batteries, read outside for a bit, call my mom, make some dinner and crack open a new puzzle. I find comfort and joy in all those little activities.
‘New normal’?! I’m kind of done with that phrase. Is this the best Friday afternoon ever? Nope! Is it the worst? Nope! Let’s just say ‘it is what it is for now.’ I’m surviving and in some ways thriving in this weird moment in history. I’m learning about myself during this catastrophe. Who am I in solitary confinement?
*I’m a survivalist: All this ‘me time’ is forcing me to become more self-sufficient. I ordered a mini trampoline. When I opened it up, it had two springs disconnected. The directions indicated that it required TWO people to close the trampoline safely to reconnect any springs. Since I’m in isolation alone, I googled how to repair it. A youtube video showed me exactly how to easily fix it. When it was squeaking at an annoying level, a youtube video showed me how to resolve it by ‘greasing the tramp.’ I’ve never considered myself handy… ever. Last month, I even put together a laundry cart. I am a survivalist.
*I don’t have to w(h)ine all the time: Seven weeks ago, I had a wine stash. It didn’t last. I was drinking like it was a pandemic. And in my defense, it was and it is. Still, between the calories and the cost, I couldn’t keep up all that w(h)ing. I now reserve wine for the weekend. It’s a treat to sip on while puzzling or binging “Cougar Time” (wine drinking is a must for that show). If I want a drink during the week, I have A cocktail… dirty martini or a manhattan.
*I can stick to an exercise routine: Although I have worked out with Josh regularly twice a week for six years, my yoga and fitbit steps have been less consistent. I’m now practicing yoga 2-3 times a week with the virtual classes. I enjoy the ‘no commute’ and pajama attire. I also started walking on a trampoline to get my 10K steps in. What I have found is I can also get in 30-40 minutes of cardio by jogging on the tramp thru out the day. I am proud to announce that I hit 10K steps for 24 of the 30 days of April. Wahoo!
*When I cook, I eat healthier: I already knew this one. Yet, every meal at home reinforces it. I used to eat/cook like a European. Many times, I’d stop at the store on the way home from work and pick something up that sounded good. My limited shopping now requires more meal planning and less craving-inspired spontaneity. Although I’m ordering delivery at least once a week from a local restaurant, most of my eating is well-balanced from decisions I made earlier.
April was hard to imagine but then it happened pretty quickly. And now, it’s over. Days may be long but the weeks go fast. Everything blurs together and it’s already May. As I face 30 more days in confinement, I’m trying to challenge myself to figure out what I can do to learn, laugh, live even with the restrictions. This is what I’ve got so far…
*I started a natural deodorant. My niece Abby has recommended it for years as an alternative to putting aluminum in your body. It takes 30 days (of smelling) for your body to adjust. No better time to smell than when I’m by myself.
*I’m doing a thorough cleaning and purging of my place. I want to wipe down every nook and cranny as a physical and symbolic way to rid myself of this plague. I also want to donate clothes and stuff I don’t wear or need anymore.
*I’m growing my hair. My next appointment is June 2nd (if businesses open). I feel like I should have two inches of gray hair by that time. I’m going to cut off the color and match my hair and under-ams in my new a la natural style.
*I’ve got two virtual wine tastings. And I’m going to look into other ways to celebrate friends and family together but apart.
*I’m finishing up Sally Field’s memoir “In Pieces” (Highly recommend. Sally is an excellent storyteller). And Michelle Obama’s documentary based on her “Becoming” autobiography (another amazing story of a strong woman) is on Netflix in May. I’ve got to explore other opportunities to learn and be inspired.
*I’ve got four more puzzles that should get me thru the May weekends.
*I’m regularly chatting, texting, virtually hanging with friends and family.
Yep, May is happening. It won’t look like last year but next year won’t look like this year. Right now is going to be different than ever before but I can do this. You can do this! These are scary times but we’ve already done what we never thought we could. We’ve cut ourselves off from each other to save lives. It’s working! Keep it up, everybody!
Stay home. Stay safe. Be kind. This is an adventure! Enjoy the journey for what it is!