Day 47 and counting . . .
I’ve been self-isolating since March 14th. That’s 47 days. 47 days of quarantine. 47 days of cooking. 47 days of togetherness. 47 times of looking for ways to fill my days. 47 days of stillness. Did I mention that there’s been 47 days of togetherness? (You do realize that’s over a month of TOGETHERNESS.)
We’re slowly navigating this new normal. 24/7 togetherness has been a challenge. I may be getting a glimpse of retirement and I’m a little apprehensive now lol! We’re lucky our daughter, Riley, is with us. She came home from Chicago to attend the St. Patrick’s day parade and has never left. Both her job and dance company are shut down. She has been lamenting that she feels like an only child. With my compromised immune system, Bob (or the germ Nazi as we lovingly call him) won’t let anyone near me who has not been quarantined. Neither boy has been able to quarantine, so when we do see them it’s outside, staying 6 feet apart. Easter was interesting. We sat outside at our table, Bob, Riley and I six feet away from Anthony and Calley. Germ Nazi wouldn’t even let Anthony or Calley serve themselves. They might contaminate the silverware when they touched it - lol!
We’re created a new normal in these 47 days. We’ve navigated grocery shopping. In an effort to stay out of the stores, I log on daily to three different stores, hoping to score an elusive time slot. I log on at different times, first thing in the morning, after midnight, trying different strategies, anything to hopefully hit the grocery store jackpot. Each time I get a time slot, it’s like I’ve won the lottery. When the groceries do arrive the degerming process begins. We prep for battle prior to the groceries arrival. Gloves donned, disinfectant wipes in hand, Bob brings all the bags to the front door, I stand in the doorway with disinfectant wipes in each hand ready to wipe down each grocery item given to me, I then hand it to Riley who puts it away. I wonder each time we do this, will this be our new normal?
In an effort to keep myself busy, I’ve tried to make a new recipe every day. Cooking has become my zen. I’ve baked bread and cookies. I’ve made homemade pasta. I’ve done my version of Chopped where I’ve opened up the cupboards and made dinner with the ingredients I’ve found. We’ve also ordered out a few times, making sure we support our local restaurants. The first few times put the germ nazi over the edge, but we’ve got the degerming process down pat so all is good.
I find myself cleaning and organizing like never before. I’ve cleaned just about all my cabinets, credenzas and closets. We’ve made a huge dent in our basement. It’s been nostalgic going through things. Memories that have shown me how wonderful my life has been. I have two piles going on - keep and give away. Though I’ve had to keep “Mr. - are you sure we won’t need that?” away to get things done. I predict donations to non-profits will be at an all time high when the quarantine is over. How great will that be?
It seems that snacking has become our national pastime. I opened up the refrigerator one morning to see a sign taped to a shelf - You’re not hungry you’re bored. My dancer daughter put it up to remind not only her but us that we’re going to gain the “Coronavirus 15” if we don’t stop snacking. (Coronavirus 15 is kind of like the Freshman 15 in college).
Since we’ve been together 24/7 for the last 36 days, you begin to notice things. Little idiosyncrasies you might think are cute if you were living a normal life but being locked up in your home day after day, those little idiosyncrasies aren’t so “Cute” anymore. I was on Tiktok (Thanks for the introduction Riley) and a woman was talking about being quarantined with her husband. She was explaining something he did that was irritating her. I was listening intently when I realized she was describing him breathing. LOL! I haven’t gotten that far but observations have been made that may have put me over the edge. Like how he never makes my side of the bed. What’s that about? I tend to get up first and when I enter the bedroom later, there is our bed perfectly made on his side only. When I asked him - his response was “You might come back to bed”. I have never gone back to bed after I get up - ever. Even after we had this discussion, he still only makes up his side! Aargh! You tend to notice eating habits when you’re quarantined 24/7, eating meals together ALL THE TIME. (Did I mention that we’ve had 47 days of togetherness?) My husband is a slurper. He slurps when he eats. Not all the time but soups and even pasta get the old slurp. How did I not notice this before? And what’s with putting the toilet paper on top of the toilet paper holder? Or when I’m in zen mode and I’m writing (like right now) and he comes in and says whatcha doing? Are you hungry? Eating lunch soon? Translation - if you’re making something I’d eat it.
With all the irritations (and I’m sure Bob has a longer list about me), this stillness has brought a cleansing, not only in my physical environment but mentally as well. This stillness has given me time from the hustle and bustle of life to be calm. To take more time for me. I meditate each day. I do self Reiki and distance Reiki to all in my circle. I participate once a week in a world Reiki healing facilitated out of Ireland. It is attended by Reiki practitioners from all over the world. Witnessing all who are participating, I see that the world wants us to heal. The world wants us to be safe.
I have found in the stillness that I appreciate nature more than I ever have. Riley took me to Cranbrook one day to walk the gardens. I sat on a bench by a pond, the sunshine in my face and just listened to the stillness. Pure bliss! I enjoy taking a walk every day, celebrating when it’s filled with sunshine. I sit on my front porch watching life go by. I see families out together walking, everyone giving friendly hellos. It's a kinship like we’ve never experienced before; we’re all in this together.
Our world has slowed down forcing us to slow down with it. In this scary, unpredictable time we’ve been given a chance to be still. Our planet is healing because of the stillness. When have we ever had an opportunity like this? We are learning to be still. (Albeit some of us are doing it kicking and screaming.) In this stillness, we are learning to appreciate life. That the little things like a hug or just being in the same room with the people you love is a precious gift. We can’t go out for entertainment, we are finding it within, with each other. We are creating a new normal that’s more soulful. If you’re looking for a silver lining, this is it. In this pandemic, we’ve been given the gift of stillness. I hope when the virus is under control, I can remember the lessons I’ve learned through this. That I will always appreciate being still. Now about that half made bed . . .