Pandemic Life II

Here we are in the midst of change again as some states in the U.S. decide to try and reopen its business and resume life. I am still trying to get used to wearing a mask while I am out. I do not have a problem wearing it but man this thing is hot and itchy. I mostly stay home. I have gone to the grocery store and to a local farm to get supplies. NO! I have not stock piled on toilet paper. I did have to pick up more paper towels though. I do not have a ton of disinfectant wipes or cans of Lysol. I have what I normally have. I am still using the masks we bought last Fall for our outdoor work and allergies. I clean my house the same way I did before. The only difference is that now I have more time to clean and it is time to Spring clean! I will sorely miss going to buy my plants for the planters but will still work in the yard and see just how creative I can be. I am going to call some church family and friends and ask if they would like to thin out some of their Black-eyed Susans and Bee Balm. I will divide hostas for some areas and finally plant my hydrangea that I got for Valentines Day.

I do not like tuning in to see so many deaths and people without food. It really makes my heart sad. I still do not understand the depleted store shelves and panic that I witness over social media. It is bad and may get worse. Take precaution, stay still and reach out to others. Get to know your neighbors; to which you can do and still respect social distancing. We cannot police everybody. Some people you see will not wear masks or gloves and we cannot control them. We can only protect ourselves as many believe that the protective measures are out of proportion. What I do know is that I will take the precautions given and stay home as much as possible without complaining. And yes, I am unemployed like millions of others. I chose to cancel my Hulu, Netflix and magazine subscriptions but decided to keep my Apple Music and Audible for now. I even washed my own car, did my own hair and prepare foods from scratch in many cases. Leftovers are put in containers and packaged as meals that are labeled, dated and placed in the freezer. This is in an effort to stop wasting food. We were throwing out way too much food!

Do not let my contentment fool you into thinking that I do not miss some aspects of life before. I sorely miss camping and traveling and entertaining in my backyard. So everyday I make sure I sit outside and listen to and watch the birds. I go for a walk and trying to increase the distance and time so that I will be able to resume hiking when it is due time. I choose to be content. When this is over, I plan to be the best me possible to face whatever the journey that is ahead.

Two questions that I get asked almost everyday now are: What are you doing now that you are not working and why are you not making masks? To the former question I remind folks of who I am. I am a goal-setter and certain routines are my friends. They help to keep me on target and remind me why I set the goal in the first place. I took my three most urgent goals and set a morning and evening routine that would support them. The hours in between will allow me to do other things. This way I keep first things first. To the latter question of mask making, I refer the answer of the first question. It is not a part of my initial goals. To accommodate that would be to let something that is a higher priority go. There are a lot of people making masks and commoners like me can use many household things to make masks. I checked to ensure that my family and friends had masks and we ordered some if necessary. I appreciate the fact that before others would buy masks from someone else, they would check with me to see if I was selling them. If I was, I would probably give them away or charge a very nominal price to cover supplies.

When you choose to be pleasant and positive in the way you treat others, you have also chosen, in most cases, how you are going to be treated by others

Zig Ziglar

It’s A Spider Affair

On any given work day morning will have to go to my car for either my stainless steel travel mug or to put something in the car. On this particular morning, I cannot remember why I was headed to my car (I hear that this comes with age). As I bend down to get into the car something moving quick catches my eye. As I see it the second time I realize that it is a juicy spider!! Surmising that I walked in to the spiders web I do what any graceful woman would do; I flail my arms in wildness trying to get that spider off the front of my shirt. This spider proves to be resilient to frantic flails of the wild woman and this little sucker hangs on for the ride. Just as I am attempting to strip my shirt off, I briefly think … this spider may get caught in my hair and then … I will die! The scene worsens … something is now crawling on my neck. Sheer panic has set in, my ears are hot, my skin is prickly as I reach for my neck hoping this is not another spider. I put my hand under my hair and begin to swipe at the suspect and … all goes still. My heart begins leap for joy as a slow realization come to light. I have my headphones draped across my neck with the buds hanging down. No spider! Just Earphones!! Pure delight and pure laughter. It is wonderful when you can laugh at yourself. The more I realized that there was no spider, the more I was able to see my erratic behavior.

But this is a true reflection of my life. I am walking confidently, minding my own business. Things look right and feel right until someone, something shines the light of truth onto the situation or circumstance. Then I can see clearly. I can see what is the truth of the matter. Now , I get to operate in a whole new reality. I get to make choices out of the shed light instead of the darkness. Have you ever been in a situation only to find that you were wrong about something? It was not until the light was shone upon the situation that you were able to see things differently. My reaction to this shed light of earphones was laughter but, sometimes things are just not funny. It does not feel good to be wrong sometimes. But there is NO room for self-hate or negativity. There should only be room for remorse, gratitude, reflection and growth.

I need a moment …ok?

After a long and taxing day. It was finally time to head home and relax. Per my planner, I had just enough time to grab dinner and my Mentee and be home by 6:15pm to work on the new quilt project. Getting into the car I received a text …’don’t want Chinese. Think I want those sausages in the freezer. My response text was … ok. Cool. Then text two came from person two … I think I will eat those burgers in the freezer. My response … great!
As i am getting into the groove of my ‘The History Hour BBC podcast on Nike and Sweatshops’ (exciting! I know!) and while sitting at a red light for the third cycle, in comes text three … can you bring hotdog and hamburger buns home? My response …nothing -because I am seething! They are home … I am still trying to get there. Couldn’t one of them have easily gone 1 block to the store? And then I thought, well I am out and will pass by a few stores so I can stop. Plus I was going to stop and bring Chinese anyway. So I finally text back …sure.
Still in traffic, seething (yep, I am back to where I started), tired, hungry, hot (a/c works when it feels like it) and just want to rant (let me see, which of the three gf’s will it be😊). I knew I needed a time out because an adult temper tantrum can seriously ruin a day! I wanted to pull into a parking lot and take a few minutes to get myself under control but I was still hungry, hot and tired; plus there were people waiting on buns, a Mentee to pick up, dishes to clean, laundry to wash and a project to worked on. Annndddd … I sat through another light cycle at a different light. Finally drained and had nothing else to give, I aimed for the next restaurant. Dragging into the restaurant like a zombie, I take a seat by a window and say a prayer of thanksgiving. I was truly grateful to be in a cool, bright place with someone else cooking my dinner and bringing it to me and the ability to pay for it. I still felt guilty that there were two people waiting on those buns.
As I sat there, listening to my podcast and enjoying my meal, I actually began to unwind and feel refreshed. I dared myself to look at my watch. I smiled at a few people and played with a baby that was overjoyed with life and … ordered a milkshake! Leaving the restaurant, I stopped at the next grocery store I came to and … yes, you guessed it; there were long lines and I had a pack of hotdog buns. A miracle happened -a cashier open a line just for me! No, no, not just for me. He was a manager who walked out and saw two long lines and said, ‘I can take guests on three’! Several of us made a mad dash to his lane as if Saint Peter was closing the gates to heaven and never to be opened again. I left the store and made it to pick up my Mentee by 6:15pm and was home by 6:25pm. Yes! Triumphant! And I’m feeling good! My Mentee and I walk inside and hand over the buns and head upstairs to start or quilt project. A voice stops us … ‘did you get only hot dog buns? You didn’t get hamburger buns? And, without a word, I grabbed my Mentee’ hand, turned around, walked down the stairs and out the door to the store that is one block from our house.
I didn’t say I had a perfect life but I do have a life that is worth living. So glad that in spite of my plans, the Lord orders my steps and gives rest, even when I do not think it is ok to take a rest. Oh! And that gourmet meal with impeccable service and friendly babies … guess.