Wednesday, May 6, 2020

What I Have Learned While Sheltering in Place During the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Part 4: Ten Things I Am Going To Do When I Get Outta Here!

As I work my way through week seven of sheltering in place, I can't help but wonder what my life will be like when things loosen up a bit.  

I am worried that things will never be the same again. Just as 9/11 changed how we travel, there will no doubt be lifelong changes to our society even when the pandemic is no longer a threat.  Will we ever shake hands again?  Will we hug? Will we shun our fellow humans and become more isolated because we fear we will catch something from them? Will society as we know it fall apart?  Much to wonder about.

But I also can't help but wonder what I will do when and if I can leave the house again and do what I want, so....

I've been keeping a list and here it is!


l.  I am going to go to every restaurant and bar on the Monterey Peninsula.

You think I'm kidding.  I'm not. One of the all-time favorite things that Hubby and I like to do is dine out and, uh, drink, or I mean frequent cool bars and have a cocktail.  We have really missed not being able to go out and do that. 

So going to all of the  bars and restaurants on the Monterey Peninsula is my new project. And I am good at projects. Once I give myself a project, I see it to the end.  

I mean, you know I have been working on the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.  When I started, I needed to watch over 600 films.  Now, seven years later, I have only 35 to go.


And when I moved to Seattle 15 years ago, I became very interested in the foodie scene there, so I made a list of all of the restaurants from A-Z and we worked our way through it.  We made it through "F" before I realized new restaurants were opening and some of them had names that started with the letters A-E so I needed a new strategy.  I changed to listing all of the restaurants by neighborhood so when we would go for a walk on the weekend in a neighborhood, I was ready.  I have to say that by the time we moved, we had been to practically every restaurant in Seattle.

At the same time, I found this book on the stair walks of Seattle so I decided we would do all of those.



A year and a half and 25 stair walks later...














Soooo...I am no stranger to long projects, and like I said, my number one project when I get outta here is to go to every bar and restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula.  If I can visit most of the restaurants and bars in Seattle, I certainly should be able to do the Monterey Peninsula and hopefully they will all still be here so -  see you there!


2.  Move in with my son's family!

Okay, I'm kidding with this one, but I am certainly planning on spending more time with my son, my daughter-in-law and my grandkids. Missing my family and not being able to spend time with them has been the most difficult part.



3.  Go on a mother-daughter trip with my daughter!

Like I said, I have really missed my family.  Everyone on both sides of our families have passed, so it's just us and our kids and our grandkids.  Since my daughter lives all the way across the country, I don't get to see her much in the best of times, but this has made it so much harder.  She and I had a great trip to New Orleans planned in mid-April.  Well, you know how that went and I was going to fly first class! But hopefully my daughter and I can have a do-over.  

Looking forward to it because of the great time we had when we explored New Mexico together and I am hoping there are more times like that to come.











4.  Go to the mall.

I know, I know...I pinky swear I won't buy anything.  I just want to feel normal again.  I like to wander around malls (and shop and buy stuff)! 


5.  Go to the library.

There is a saying, "Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries," so it's particularly frustrating that this "time of no money" is a contagious time that forced libraries to be closed during a crucial period in our history, when so many people have lost their incomes and can use some free books and DVDs more than ever. I hope others have missed their libraries too and will support them even more in the future.


6.  Go to the gym.




I never thought I would ever say that I missed going to the gym but I do. It provides an outlet for exercise but it also got me out of the house and provided a place to read and listen to music which I am prone to do while on the elliptical. I need incentive to get on that old elliptical! And where else can you feel perfectly fine in head-to-toe animal print!



7.  Go to the movies.



Now this is a controversial one.  Will the whole "going to the movies thing" ever recover?  Will we actually go to the movies again and sit next to strangers?  And if so, what will that look like?  But as a lifelong movie lover, I can't imagine I will never sit in a theatre again and there is no better way to see James Bond than in a big theatre so going back to the movies is on my list.



8. Listen to live music.



Hubby is in a band - and it's not just any band. It's The Eldorados, named this year's Best Local Band by a poll taken by the Monterey County Weekly, so sheltering in place has been very frustrating for him as well.  He wants to play music!  And I want to hear them play it. 

I also want to hear some of my other favorite local bands or go to a concert.  It seems that live music venues which encourage people to gather and dance or sit in close quarters could be the last places to open but when they do I'm there!



9.  Take a road trip.

There are rumors the cops are looking for cars from outside their counties because we have all been ordered to stay home, so we have been pretty good about not venturing out.  And what fun is it to go on a road trip, anyway, if you can't stop for lunch and a drinky-winky?  So looking forward to getting in the car and doing some local exploring.



10.  Better yet, go back to Europe!



Many happy memories...




Venice.  
(No, that is not a crack pipe!)




Helping out the town crier in Chester, England





My sister relaxing on our narrowboat after we traversed the Oxford Canal 
(Oxford, England)

(Hubby drove - best vacation ever)!




The house where my Swedish grandmother was born in Ras, Sweden. 
(Glad we were able to spend time there as it has since burned down).



 

The Ice Bar, Stockholm, Sweden





The Blue Lagoon, Iceland







The Friet Museum, Bruges, Belgium
(Yes, it's a museum devoted to french fries, er, Belgian fries. Don't get them started about those damn French fries. It's Belgian fries!) 





Waiting for my crepe in the Marais, Paris






Highclere Castle (AKA Downton Abbey)
(It just happened to be open at a special time while we were there.  A friend alerted us and we had it all to ourselves!  I touched every curtain and piece of furniture in that place)!





Sorrento, Italy






Positano, Italy 
(with our frequent travel companions, my Swedish cousin, Jane and her husband, Lars) 






Rome




My "graduation" from the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland
 (after our "private" tasting where we were all taught how to pull a pint).




My favorite City! - London!



So many happy memories. Thanks for indulging me. Looking back on all of that helped take me out of my lockdown funk. I just hope I can get myself on a plane again.



So that's my to-do list for when the lockdown is over.


But ultimately, I am going to take what I have learned from this unexpected "time out (see Part 2)," and live a better life.

I am doing much reflecting on my life and wondering what my life will look like after this is over. Will I get on a plane again?  Will I see another movie in a movie theatre?  Will I hug my friends? Will I figure out how to drink wine in a bar with a mask on?  I have been good about staying home and keeping my distance, so I hope I will live to find all of that out. 

But whether I do all of that, what is most important is how I want to live my life.  

I want my life to be about mindfulness, thoughtfulness, gratitude and love and that was something I was trying to do before this ever happened. However, a catastophe like this brings those goals into a sharper focus. Those are the most important things and I intend to keep doing them no matter what. 

Okay, now I am so ready for this to be over!


What are you looking forward to doing when it's safe to go out again?





Thanks for Reading!








And I Hope to See you Soon... 









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