My sister, Peg, posted something on Facebook about using lack of time for an excuse for not cleaning her house. Now that she has the time and still has the dirty house, she said she’d have to find a new excuse — or none at all which is best for a smart woman like her. I think all of us or most of us or some of us, are experiencing the same plethora of time and not using it as productively as we thought we would.
Didn’t I say to myself two weeks ago that this would be the ideal time for me to write a regular blog or journal of my experiences with this self isolation and the stress of listening to the news, of worry about my aging family down in Trump-land and just going out and buying food especially at the Senior Hour which was so awful and something which I never want to experience again. Although, to be honest, I have always and will always find any kind of shopping stressful at any time — except for stationary products, toys and puzzles and occasional trips to the hardware store but only if it’s a small, neighbourhood one.
But with all this time I’ve had, I haven’t written a word about any of this experience. Is that normal? I’m thinking it is — at least for me. I’ve been listening to a lot of radio lately and one day on the show about books and authors, the presenter said, “I’m sure we’ll have lots of new books coming out of this time.” I’m not sure she’s right at all. (Although I do think more serious writers are writing more seriously and may be using their time producing pandemic works of art so we don”t forget this time when/if we face it again.)
There are so many other things to deal with in our every day lives. Just remembering how far is 6 feet away and calculating if that person coming towards you on your daily walk is going to veer to the left or do you have to veer into the street is enough to occupy my brain. And there’s also this kind of malaise that comes over me that allows me only to do things like work on my jigsaw puzzle, sing ABBA songs loudly and poorly six feet away from my friend Naoki, listen to Middlemarch on my phone, or watch endless episodes of endless Netflix shows which I forget I’ve already seen.
I’m not beating myself up about this missed writing opportunity just — like my sister and her dirty house — noting it and thinking about all of the things I am doing now. I’m exploring different parts of my neighbourhood — safely — making it feel more like home to me. And, today, alerting my cat owner friends and family that today is Respect Your Cat Day so they can give out some extra treats. And being thankful every day that I have so many people checking in on me and me on them. And being grateful for my wonderful balcony where I can go to see folks and wave and say hey and make them smile when they look up.
Be Safe. Be Well.
And Be Thankful.