We’re living in a wilderness of unknowns, of uncertainty, where around any corner could be the moment that takes our lives. Some of us spin out in anxiety, some avoid thinking about it, and others go deep within.
I am in that last category.
So here’s what I’m learning in my 8th week of isolation and uncertainty:
Still a flower child
I love roses. They may be my new favorite flower. Ours got decimated by disease last summer. The new ones I planted in February aren’t yet plentiful but our neighborhood is replete with blooms in every imaginable color. I love them. A neighbor allows me to pick some. So grateful!
Starting and ending each day with a brisk walk does wonders for my mood. Lucky our northern California weather has been mostly spectacular. So is finding opportunities to give: to donate, to send things, to reach out with moral support, to help those in need. I highly recommend it, if you can.
Make good food
Cooking fabulous meals takes up the better part of the day. I’ve made more lasagne (our Sicilian comfort food) in the past 8 weeks than I’ve made in the past 8 years.
Boom! We Zoom!
I don’t need to be physically present with people to enjoy them. Zoom calls do it for me. We have amazing regular visits with loved ones and even some really fun parties! I am known for the parties I initiate when I visit loved ones back East and our Zoom parties are the same. We may not dance, but we laugh our asses off!
My own company is usually enough for me. I’m perfectly fine alone. Always have been, but it’s never been forced on me, as it is now. Yep, still ok with it.
That’s something that you can develop, although it’s my natural way of being. Some of those anxious to socialize in person just like to be in the presence of others. Some aren’t comfortable with their own company. No matter the reason, they all need that external stimulation of being out and about. It’s their oxygen.
Turns out, I make my own. Who knew?
Haven’t killed him yet
My husband and I are practiced at being together in the house and that has paid off with fewer disagreements than some of my friends report.
Some things never change
Patience is still not my long suit. I am inordinately frustrated with people who are ok with taking risks that put others at risk, especially those I know in quasi-medical capacities who are pushing conspiracies or minimizing our risk. I love me a good conspiracy and do not believe everything we’re told is true. But where this virus is concerned, it’s better to be safe than sorry. No one has a right to put others at risk.
Be there for others
There is value in checking in with those we love, by phone, email, snail mail or social media. Showing we care is more important now than ever. We do it a lot.
Some claim to be our very good friends, but never check in with us. At all. I see you and I notice. It might or might not change our friendship in the future. I’m not sure yet. But it might.
Every single day I think about the kids in cages separated from their families. No. I haven’t forgotten. Never. I send them love and dedicate my political action this year to them. The idea that the government has lost track of who some belong to horrifies me. I put myself in the shoes of these kids–anxiety off the charts. My heart goes out to them and so does my vote.
My true love is travel
I miss travel more than anything. The freedom to fly around the country and world is my biggest joy. I don’t foresee that being risk-free in the near future. How would it be if I were traveling in a developing nation and came down with the virus? I have already cancelled five trips this year, large and small. Many others are reluctant to postpone their own, but at our house, prudence is the byword.
What of the future?
How I spend my time going forward will change. And with whom. I can feel it. My husband and I are talking about alternative, safer ways to travel. We’re also working on ways to be closer to our loved ones. I’ll find ways down the line when it’s safe to see some friends at a bit of a distance and to meet in person some I feel a soul connection to. I may step out of activities that were routine until now. Every moment counts. Every breath.
For me this is a time of reckoning, well aware that I am in the last chapters of my life. I want them to be fun and satisfying –and I want them to count. How about you? What are you learning?