One good thing about the Stay at Home order is, I now know I’m not ready to retire…at least not while living in an apartment. If I owned the place, I’d be knocking myself out fixing things. Instead, I keep reminding myself to work on my own projects, so I can leave here one day and buy a home of my own.
I did buy myself a bistro set so I can have someone over outside and maintain my six feet of distance. But sitting there made me realize I had to rake all the leaves disturbing my view, and now I’m looking at the greenery thinking I need some flowering plants.
No wonder hardware stores everywhere are booming, people have been staring at their homes for two months. It’s like Groundhog Day, daily. (If you haven’t seen the movie – its premise is that the same day is repeated over and over again until Bill Murray’s character learns from it.)
Living like this is challenging when it’s you and the same two or four people in your house. You get extra points if you have school age kids and are trying to teach and work from home. It’s particularly hard when it’s just you and your nonverbal, geriatric dog. Not wartime hard, but challenging in a suck-the-life-out-of-you way. Topper looks how I feel some days.
I never realized how much I’d miss the people I work with. I actually like 95 percent of them. I miss the inside jokes. I miss Chris across from me who decorates his cubicle elaborately for every holiday. I miss Ann yelling out, “OH MY LIVER!” I miss the way account execs and talent come running when they need copy right away. I miss the way we sit and figure out just the right mix of words for commercials. I miss the laughter and the gallows humor. I miss feeling needed and most of all, I miss the hugs.
And I miss not being able to go visit family back east. I feel like I can’t even make plans yet. We’re all so wired to be social that being alone seems to nip a tiny bit of your soul away every day and you start to lose your direction.
Even cooking, which normally thrills me isn’t nearly as much fun when there’s no one to share it with. I miss all those young people around my table. (Although, I did enjoy some yummy toasted bread, with melted Havarti cheese, and some supposedly more flavorful, darker tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, salt, and fresh basil. It made a delicious breakfast.)
Thank God my former neighbors texted to invite me over to pick blackberries at their house today. So, I have blackberry jam making to look forward to AND an actual human interaction. Woo Hoo! Yesterday, I put make up on, just to go to a hardware store.
And my Duolingo Italian is coming along nicely. I can now say, Loro mangiano i biscotti, which means, They eat the cookies. I’ll just have to remember to hang out at bakeries if I ever get to travel to Italy, or anywhere again. Plus, I jumped on a word puzzle I found in the LA Times last week for a diversion and am relieved that my daily glass of wine has not killed all my remaining gray matter.
I’m seeing little bits of hope in the neighborhood, like this banner one family put up. And I’m getting to chat with family and friends, which is the only reason I’m still mostly sane. I had a great chat with my friend Ann last week, who made me laugh with this quote. “One good person in a sea of jerks can give you hope.” In times like this, that works for me.