Coronavirus Day 19 – The day I lost my mojo.

Change of perception.

Now I know. 19 days seems to be my limit. But it’s not time to come out yet. Not time to hug my kids, my grandkids, my family or my friends. Not time to go places, have plans, take classes, eat at restaurants or book travel. It’s simply not time yet. And so I’ll keep on going, like everyone else, and will dig deeply into my reserves for inspiration, motivation, distraction and a whole lot of other stuff that ends in a “tion.”

So here are my thoughts and ramblings for today. I’m not long on the silver linings, but know they will return soon…

I’m tired but my Fitbit keeps insisting that I’m getting the best sleep I’ve ever had since I started wearing the contraption. And that makes sense as I am sleeping long and hard and am dreaming with an intensity that I’ve never experienced before. I suppose it is during my nighttime hours that I’m dealing with the emotional aspect of all of this. Who knew I would need such a crisis to get such a good night’s sleep? That, right there, is my biggest silver lining today. And the one I appreciate greatly right now.

Seeing the creativity of social connectedness during this time of distancing courtesy of Zoom and FaceTime is nothing but amazing. Meetings, exercise class, connecting with family and friends and one of my favorites yet, symphonies playing separate, yet together. It is just one more thing that has brought me to tears, which seem to fall at the drop of a hat these days. So creative. So touching. So necessary. We are using what we have and have gone above and beyond with making the best of it.

There are no “wrongs” when it comes to self care. If I need to lay on the couch and watch 2 hours of bad TV while finishing off a half a loaf of banana bread, then that’s what I’m going to do (2 days ago). Thankfully, I don’t seem to be able to wallow in that spot long and the next day, I walked 2 hours and even impressed myself with the meals I made. Self care for me is about listening to what I need and doing a prompt follow through, whatever that may be. With the exception of a few bad days, I’m staying on the healthy side, both physically and emotionally.

I got notification that my screen time was up 98%. Given that it is my “lifeline” right now, and 99% of my communication, I’m surprised the number wasn’t a lot higher. I can’t begin to count the many times I’ve given thanks for the internet and a decent signal.

Today when I was out walking, I held a sneeze for as long as I could to insure I had enough distance between myself and the man I had just passed. I’m not worried whatsoever that I have the virus, but was more worried that my sneeze would either scare him or show an incredible amount of disrespect. I have no idea who the man was but have no doubt, he would have done the same for me. We all continue are finding our footing around our new self-imposed rules of respect. Not at all bad.

I have a correction on the peanut butter crispen appetizer that I’ve referred to in earlier coronavirus posts. I did some investigative research yesterday and was able to find the episode of “That Girl” where the appetizer, that I’ve referred to for decades, originated. They were actually a little more exotic than I remembered… “stuffed” peanut butter crispens… made from corn flakes, not the wheaties as previously mentioned. I feel it’s important to not put incorrect information out there. Oh, and by the way, watching “That Girl,” some 5 decades later did not disappoint. Then again, I have to consider how low my TV viewing bar may be at this point. Chances are very good that I’ll be tripping over it by the end of the week…

While out on my “explore Boulder” walk today, the thought occurred to me of how interesting it would be if we could actually SEE the coronavirus. For instance, when walking up and down the aisles of the grocery store, you’d be able to spot where the virus had landed. In my version, not unlike the photos we’re seeing, the virus is red. A small yet visible touch of red on several of the cans of soup that were picked up then returned with a change of mind, a smear of red on the loaf of bread that sits in the vulnerable spot on the edge of the shelf and the solid red glow around the edge of the deli counter, the credit card swipers, and the door handle. Obviously, if we could see the virus, we wouldn’t be in the predicament we are now given that its invisibility is our greatest challenge. Long walks during stressful times bring on some interesting thoughts that I’d normally just let slide but am now letting percolate a bit because why not?

Just like everyone else, including my friends who live outside of the US borders, I’m afraid, I’m anxious and I have moments of feeling so overwhelmed that I simply have to stop and do what I know to take care of myself, whether that is walking, meditating, writing, painting or stacking and sorting all of the stuff I own. The good news is these low spots only last a day and are followed by days that I’m inspired and even motivated. The emotional pendulum swings from melancholy to merry with a whole lot of anticipation in the middle, but thankfully, I’m familiar with the patterns now and can anticipate those low moments are prepare accordingly. I also have an incredibly strong support system with my family. There was a time several years ago, when I was living in a suburb of Kansas City and both of my sisters lived out of state. In an odd set of circumstances, I found myself with both parents in the hospital, unfortunately, different hospitals and even more unfortunate, hospitals that were an hour apart. When my sisters asked what they could do to help me, I said,

“Answer the phone when I call.”

And they did. Every. Single. Time. And now it’s FaceTime that I’ve asked them to answer and they have. Every. Single. Time. I need the connection, even more than ever now.

And speaking of connection…given that I don’t have many here in Boulder outside of my family…. yet….there is an odd sense of comfort knowing that most of my town is now doing the same thing that I’m doing, and have done for a while – staying home with no plans. I’ve chatted more with neighbors these past few weeks (from afar, of course) than the 7 months since my move in August and we’ve all talked about getting together when this is over. Go figure. I’m connecting in my isolation. I would not have predicted that. Chalk up another point in the silver lining column.

Given the quarantine situation and the closing of salons, I can’t help but be reminded of my decision to stop dying my hair 5 or 6 yeas ago, or my roots more specifically. My hair grows very fast and by now, I’d be sporting a 1/2 inch white stripe down my part had I not made that decision. 10 years ago, during my dye days, I spent 6 weeks in Perú. I was so worried (and vain) about my roots that I brought ONE box of hair dye with me and carefully chose the exact time to use it as I only had one chance. I locked myself in the tiny bathroom that was shared by many others, while I sat on the toilet with dye on my hair, staring at my watch and wishing for the 15 minutes to pass faster. I’m sure no one thought that much of it as so many of us were getting sick and I’m sure they just assumed I had also succumbed to a bit of the “Peruvian flu” myself. Did I really think no one was going to notice the missing white stripe on the top of my head the next day? And why didn’t I just say I’m going to go dye my hair so if you need the facilities now would be a good time? Vanity does strange things to you. Now, if I was still doing that, I’d likely ask for some assistance for the hard to reach areas in the back. At any rate, with the many funny memes of bad haircuts and failed home dye jobs, I’m glad to have one less thing to worry about on that front. We will all emerge, whenever that may be, as our TRUE selves when this is over, some of us more anxious than others, and will wait our turn in line for hair cuts, root cover ups, manicures, pedicures and the like. I’d like to say that I’ll continue in the manner I’ve become accustomed to these past almost 3 weeks, but who am I kidding? You’ll find me in the massage and facial lines but only after the haircut line.

I’ve grown a lot since this began and remember FaceTiming my sister on day 2 in tears wondering how in the world I was ever going to be able to do this alone. Now, what seems like 147 days later, I can see how far I’ve moved from my starting point during those early days. I have tremendous pride and gratitude for where I am emotionally right now and that continues to grow. The time will come, at some point, when we will talk about this time with “remember when we couldn’t leave the house for ______ of days and we FaceTimed or zoomed multiple times a day?” My biggest thought now is that I hope that’s not followed by “I wish we were still doing _____ or ______.” I’m trying to make note of the positive changes that the isolation has made with the hopes that there is a carry over long after we’ve come out of our houses and have hugged those that we love and heck maybe some random strangers too, because we’ve all missed hugging so much. Or at least I have…

“Sometimes love doesn’t look like what you had in mind.” Anne Lamott.

So very true.

Keep the distance and the positives…

The optical illusion of this wall fascinate me…
More painted buildings…the front…
and the side.
And my grocery store…
Everything is cancelled. I walked around the CU campus today and didn’t see another soul. Such an eerie opportunity to have the place to myself!
Eerily empty campus and stadium.
She seemed nice, but didn’t respect the 6 feet of physical distancing…
More empty.

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