I walk a mile every morning since the gym closed for the pandemic. I have three routes. This morning I was aware it had rained during the night. I chose to journey out knowing there was likely still a drizzle. I put on my raincoat. There was a mist, so I kept my hood up. About 15 minutes into the walk, I came upon a puddle on the sidewalk. I chose not to resist. I jumped in.
A nice interruption to the ritual walk and the ongoing adulthood.
I missed seeing my friends. As a group, we had last gotten together in February. It was now May. I invited everyone over to sit apart in my backyard and drink wine. I chose to serve an appetizer that I could prepare and plate for each person so that we did not need to touch someone else’s food. Respect for sheltering-in-place. And so we talked, and so we caught up, and so we laughed. Most importantly, we saw each other in person.
This was a common complaint during the stay-at-home arrangement. First people cleaned. Then they made new recipes. Then they went through closets and drawers and discarded items. It is anticipated there will be a plethora of donations after the pandemic as no places are currently open to accept or pick up items. One woman disclosed she was awakened by what she thought was an earthquake, It was not. She then thought it might have been a dream. She asked me what it could mean to have such a dream. I suggested she let it go unless she did not know what to do with her boredom.
The gym is closed. I started walking every day. Every day, you say. That suggests I am routinized. Correct. However, I do have three different routes. And so, each day, at about 7:30 AM, I am on the road. Each route is about a mile and takes 20 minutes. I sometimes see a dog and walker. Sometimes a jogger. Sometimes a landscaper. We each respect the 6 foot separation, often meaning someone walks out into the street. I have found three library boxes. One day I brought gloves and found two books. Sometimes I call Carrie or Debbie and talk while I walk.
Because of the virus, we were still sheltered. Erik said his family wanted to come over to my house that day. I suggested they come for lunch and we would eat outside to maintain distance. He commented that on Mother’s Day I was not supposed to prepare the lunch. I responded, “But because it’s Mother’s Day, I should.”
I continue to try to guilt.
My next-door neighbor often plays music. He sometimes has his front door open and it comes from inside. Sometimes it is playing on his front porch. At times he plays the guitar on the front porch and sings. At times he is accompanied by friends. I have listened to it for eight years, late at night and early in the morning. It has not been a problem. Lately, as we are sequestered in our homes, it has been a lovely diversion.
Keep it up.
While sheltered from the coronavirus, the gym was closed. I started walking around my home. One day I was walking on Lincoln and there were two people walking toward me. They shifted and moved into the street, clearing leaving me the space on the sidewalk without us getting too close together. As we walked by each other, I said, “Thank you.” They responded, “You are welcome.”
Kindness and consideration during touch times.
There was some engagement initially as people acclimated to the pandemic: working from home, no school, avoiding people. By the second week, most had settled into a degree and were adjusting to being together at home, declaring space and responsibilities. Then the stores changed hours. Then masks were required. Gloves were advised. Now the feelings were of irritation and annoyance. Some anxiety began to surface. By the sixth week, there was apathy and lethargy. Initially, people entertained themselves at home by cleaning, watching Netflix, playing video games, and Zoom or Facetime with friends and family. Now, most things were boring.
Interested in next week?
My kids rented a house by Russian River for the whole family to spend three days. It was a birthday gift for me. They arranged the meals. They brought games and movies to watch. There was a hot tub. We went to Armstrong Woods for a picnic and walk. We talked. I had the best time. I truly like all of them. I truly love all of them. As I left to drive home, Ari said, “See you here next year.”
I only wish.
While with a client, the doorbell rang. A package had been left on the porch and the UPS delivery truck was leaving. The address was correct. The person it was sent to does not live in my home. I returned it the next day to the UPS main facility in the area. Two days later, the doorbell rang. It was a client holding a box that had just been delivered. Wrong name again. This time I caught the truck and gave the box back. I found another one on my porch one day and took it to Target, the store from which all three packages came. I asked them to research who the package was going to and find the right address.
I remain optimistic.