Coronavirus Day 8 – Hunkering Down

OK. Day 8 of hunkering down in my house.

Here’s what I’ve come up with for my silver linings (as well as a few “rusted metals” that couldn’t be ignored).

This is a time when we are seeing the very best AND the very worst of humanity. I’m so pleased to say that the bests are winning over here for me. I went out walking yesterday, enjoying the 60 degree temps that were quickly replaced today with snow, and was so struck by what I saw. Everyone I passed, and there were several given the perfect spring weather, gave me the appropriate 6 feet of distance and followed it up with eye contact, a smile and a wave. Every. Single. Person. It was comforting and made me feel so welcomed. I wasn’t the newcomer who didn’t know anyone, but rather, felt like I had become a part of the fabric of the neighborhood simply by our shared experiences. People were out on their porches listening to music or were enjoying the springtime temps while working in flower beds and gardens (all covered up by a good 6 inches of snow now). It was the boost my gloomy mood needed.

Kids are so resilient. My grandson, Arlo, is connecting with his preschool class via Zoom and is able to listen to his teacher read to the class via this program as well as see what the other kids in the class are doing in their homes. I FaceTimed later in the day and he told me he has school on the computer now because everyone has a “birus”… He seems totally fine with the new way to do school because he’s almost 3 and that’s how almost 3 year olds respond to things. Life goes on. Easy enough.

Thank goodness for Netflix. Thank goodness for my computer and the internet. Thank goodness for shelves of books. Thank goodness for yarn and needles and knitting patterns.

It may be time to start writing letters again, because why not? And because in cleaning out desk drawers, stationary seems to be something I buy frequently but use rarely.

Thank goodness for FaceTime. I feel so much more connected simply by seeing faces on my phone.

It feels good to have raised kids who are showing their love for me in their protection of me and daughter who is providing me with a wealth of knowledge on building my immune system.

My heart melts at seeing the community service for the small businesses my daughter has put into place. I woke up to a bag of goodies that she had delivered to my back door from a local shop we both enjoy. Her already huge heart has grown 2 sizes and mine has grown 3 just hearing about what she’s done.

Productivity seems to be proportionate to time. The more time I have, the less I am accomplishing. My mojo from early few days has waned. I’m working on resurrecting it, but am not sure exactly how to do that.

Cooking is more fun when you pretend you’re on a cooking show with a live studio audience (not like I’ve done that, but am just guessing…)

I weave in and out of being lonely during the day and content and seem to be on an every other day with my mood cycles. Yesterday wasn’t great and by the end of the day, the emotions of myself, my neighborhood, my town, my state, my country and my world, started to feel heavy. There’s really no way I can escape it except by distraction…. and I know there’s a world of people in the same boat. There is so much comfort in the collective energy of that! And so I write. I knit. I watch old movies and new series. I read and I dance when the mood hits and the music is right and today, I spent a lot of time simply looking out the window because regardless of how dark life feels right now, I still have a view of the Flatiron Mountains from my window, made even more beautiful by a half a foot of big, fluffy flakes of snow.

Even after 8 days, this still feels very odd…. Groundhog Day kind of odd, and even after 8 days, I still wake up and moments later think, oh, yeah… this. Again. And again. And again. So far, I’ve not rolled over and simply gone back to sleep. So far…

There is a lot of creative painting on buildings and fencing in my neighborhood that I never paid much attention to before…

I walk by this almost daily. Today I truly saw it for the first time…

The good snacks are going fast and I seem to have forgotten what a single serving is.

Thank goodness for online exercise classes from my local studio and a flight of stairs that I’m thinking of pairing with a National Geographic program in the background to simulate hiking. I may even throw on a light pack and my camelback to hydrate. Yeah, things are going just fine over here…

With a little National Geographic TV in the background, I’m seeing some serious hiking today….

This forced slow down, simply because so much of our lives have been cancelled, is showing its light on a lot of creativity. For instance, I’ve got a running thread with some girlfriends whose subject now is “Covid 19 playlist”…. you know…..”Help”, “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” “Get Back,” and so on. These are connections that are keeping me sane and laughing. And the laughing is so darn important.

In the time of social distancing, I’m seeing an increase in connections and more depth to those connections. We are all learning how to stretch through uncertainty and find comfort in the smallest of things that I may not have even noticed before and THAT is how we will all come out of this better people. I know I’m not alone when I say that I feel like a reset button has been pushed and I’ve got the time now to actually contemplate what that means for me and my place in this community.

I’m surprised by what brings me to tears these days and it’s not what I thought it would be…. seeing neighbors talking to each other in their yards while standing 6 plus feet apart, or seeing Arlo sitting in front of a lap top next to his Dad looking at his friends and his teacher on the computer screen or the photo of the man on the patio talking to his elderly father on the phone who is sitting in a chair on the other side of slider doors. These things bring tears to my eyes because they show so much heart. It’s that heart that is propping us up right now when we’re all starting to slump into postures that look like question marks.

One day at a time…or one hour if that sounds more do-able, is how I’m keeping a forward pace. There’s a lot of growth that’s silently taking place right along side the fear, the frustration, the loneliness and the worries in homes across the world right now. We are finding out just how innovative, creative and motivated we can be when we have little to work with and that is how a wheatie with a dab of peanut butter spread on it becomes a peanut butter crispen, my friends (reference previous post if this sounds like nonsense…and even then it still might….)

Oh and Andy Griffith re-runs? They still hold up in a simple, homespun, apple pie, conflict always resolved, kind of way and is a nice way to off-set some the more pulse racing and conflict-filled shows I’m also watching. Aunt Bee would have no problem whatsoever staying at home baking pies. Be like Aunt Bee.

Empty, quiet streets…. eerie and peaceful at the same time.
Spring’s eternal hope….

Onward and upward. Tomorrow’s another day. Stay healthy.

3 thoughts on “Coronavirus Day 8 – Hunkering Down”

  1. Great writing! Loved the neighborhood artwork! The staying in is a challenge. I got my workout videos/weights/bands for my chair aerobics, so I can start that. We are stocked up on food and paper products, so I can keep Mark in and protect his compromised immune system. We are thinking of having flowers delivered tomorrow — it’s our 45th anniversary and no place to go to celebrate. Guess I can fix a special meal (maybe pull the 2 lobster tails out of the freezer) and we can rent a movie. Church is cancelled, but he is set to live-stream sermons on FB. I wrote letters to my granddaughters (they live 20 min from me) and included stamped envelopes … they can practice letter writing. Like you, I’m trying to use up leftover yarn — will end up with a closet full of baby blankets and caps and no one to give them to. Life is different for sure! Hang in there!!

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