Showing posts with label Covid-19. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Covid-19. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Bad Days and Good Days in the Year of the Coronavirus

So...which do you want first?  

The good days or the bad days?

Well, since it's my blog, I get to decide, and I always think it's best to get the bad news, er, bad days out of the way first because, then the good news, or in this case, the good days seem even better, right?

Looking back on my early blog posts that I wrote when we were first sheltering in place ("What I Have Learned While Sheltering in Place...Parts 1, 2 and 3"), I was all full of hope and going on and on about gratitude, having a sense of humor, telling you what to do if you were having a bad day and yada-yada-yada. But what I didn't do was actually talk about those bad days.  Now almost three months later, I am really pissed off.  

I've had it with reminding myself what a good life I have had, with masks and Zoom, with feeling like I need to be productive since I have all of this time on my hands (yesterday I defrosted the freezer and cleaned out the refrigerator - not fun), eating at home and bingewatching TV.  Yes, folks, even I can get overdosed on the telly.  And it doesn't help that in the midst of it all, there are those really... 

Bad Days

  • It's a bad day when I wake up with a sense of dread because of the state of the world.  It doesn't help that along with a worldwide pandemic and overt racism, I just found out there is an asteroid the size of a football field headed toward earth, and to make matters even worse, the gardener from hell is outside my bedroom window with his weed wacker or leaf blower (same thing) before 9 am. That's the beginning of a bad day. Okay, judgy, so I like to sleep in.  Shoot me.

  • And when I do get up, this doesn't help. I get on the scale...

  • Next, I get in the shower after realizing I haven't bathed in days only to discover there is no water pressure.  Oh, that's what those guys from the water company were doing out there.  Trying to ruin my life on this already very, very bad day.

  • Then, I look in my closets (I have three of them) and realize I will never wear all of those clothes in my lifetime, because I haven't been out of my pajamas in weeks! Now it's not only a bad day, I'm disgusted with myself!

  • And then, if I want to go out, I have to wear a mask - not a particularly good look.  I didn't let my ass get big to save my face only to have to cover my face up! (and if you don't get the reference about saving your face versus your ass, here it is). Having to wear a mask when I go out makes for a bad day. But I can add a positive spin.  I now have masks in a variety of prints and colors to match all of those clothes I will never wear!

  • When "The View" is on hiatus, I am bummed.  I need those ladies to get me started. Bad day when they are not around.

  • And then I get an invitation to Zoom.  I'm sorry, folks, but for me, Zoom overdose has set in. Yes, it's wonderful to keep in touch with friends and see them face-to-face, and I am grateful that anyone gives a crap about keeping in touch with me, but don't you find that hanging with people on Zoom for hours at a time can be exhausting? Sitting attentively and everyone getting a chance to share is one thing, but there is always someone who can't stop talking.  At least when we used to meet in restaurants and bars, when that happened we could excuse ourselves.  On Zoom?  Awk-ward.
  • But finally, after an already bad day, I settle down in the living room, only to discover that there is nothing on the television that I actually want to watch.  That's a very bad day.
  • And then, the next day, I wake up to find that yet another black person was killed by the police or white vigilantes. The worst day.

So those are the bad days. 

But what makes a good day?

  • I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I can walk to practically everything. When I do that, it's usually a good day! However, I have to get myself off my butt and out the door, which is a bit difficult wearing pajamas.  But I can sometimes do that.

  • The family comes to visit. That's a good day!

  • And when I wake up to find a new email from my nine-year-old and seven-year-old grandsons, that's a good day!

  • Likewise, when an old friend calls out of the blue to tell me how much our friendship has meant to her. That's a good day!

  • And as things start to open up, we can go to a restaurant for some outdoor dining and pretend that things are sort of normal. That's a good day!

  • And then, these guys. Humans can learn from the unconditional love and purity of heart demonstrated by dogs. Looking into those little faces always turns a bad day into a better day.

  • It's also a good day when we find a way to hang out with friends outside. I like seeing my friends in person! 
  • Helping other people takes my mind off of myself, so when I am able to do things that help others, that, in turn, helps me, lifts my spirits, and makes for a good day. (In general, I have always tried to not just live my life for myself but for others too.  I don't have much patience with people who only live for themselves. When I encounter those people, that's a bad day).

  • Young and old coming out all over the world to protest racism gives me hope. Yes, it's scary considering the pandemic, but I have a good day when I see that my fellow humans care about this, that white people understand white privilege and that the hope for real change is in the air. When we are all anti-racists, it will be the best day ever!  

Here is a start...

So there you have it. While this whole Covid-19 pandemic really, really sucks and the world seems to be going to hell, there are those bright spots.  I have to cling to those until life improves for all of us. 

Until then, I will try to follow the sage advice of Elizabeth Taylor:


So how are you doing?  Bad days or good days?

Thanks for Reading!

And I Hope to See you Soon... 

Here and on my Rosy the Reviewer Facebook Page!

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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...

(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) 


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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