For a month where nothing was possible to do outside the home, I find I’m struggling to summarize April 2020 in my preferred manner of short and concise. How can I have so many words to describe so few actions?
Let’s start with the obvious : In April, Lockdown against the COVID-19 virus got serious. I needn’t describe our collective – truly world-wide collective – house arrest; we all experienced it in various similar forms. Here’s my experience this past month.
I started to journal my days. It soon became clear I have a pattern, with predictable activities that fill the time. Personal hygiene. Food preparation. Exercise. Outdoors. Writing. Socializing. Partner. The partner : I’m sharing this lockdown with my husband, and most of our daily interaction hasn’t changed or suffered – we still have our share of household chores (he does laundry, I do vacuuming, things like that) – and our evenings of TV and early bedtime haven’t changed, except we are binge-watching series on the free upgraded cable channels, so this part of life is actually better right now.
But let’s examine other aspects of daily life in lockdown.
I haven’t shaved my legs since, hmm? Who cares, right? I still shower everyday, but have cut back on how often I wash my hair and wear deodorant. I did an experiment with nail polish – I applied a double coat of heavy dark grey the beginning of April, then let it chip off without using remover. It’s all gone now, but the interesting part was the order in which fingers lasted – the thumbs and ring fingers retained traces the longest. I wonder why, and I wonder why I care?
Exercise. In free life, I use our condo gym a couple of times a week for the weights and elliptical machine. I curl in 2 or 3 leagues a week (which also satisfies social life, see later), and I swim once a week. I also walk to the nearby grocery stores almost daily. Well, under lockdown, that routine has become longer daily walks with no destination. I now recognize and nod at fellow walkers. I don’t have a dog, but is this what it feels like? The urban fauna must wonder at us. The crows do talk. There are more new squirrels running around; I hope they learn how to better cross the roads when the cars come back. Actually, although traffic is reduced, I’ve noticed increased local speeding, but maybe, like more squirrels than usual, that’s just my imagination? I did have some excitement one day – I found someone’s bank card, not expired even, on the sidewalk. That precipitated lots of fantasizing on my way to the nearby branch to hand it in. Fly away and live it up on a stolen credit card, whoopee! Of course, not even possible now, and I know I wouldn’t have done that anyway. Back to reality, and back to exercise : for the missing cardio I crave, I found an online fitness video site that has become something to look forward to do while listening to iHeart radio stations I have time to explore. In fact, I like this daily interlude a lot and will try to fit it in again after we’ve all been sprung. But, will I?
Going outdoors has been evolving this month. At first, just the walks. Quiet. Still wintry weather, snow loathe to leave us. Soon though, it was drives to the river to watch the ice breakup, and now, by month’s end, with high warmer sun, it’s even picnics down there with sandwiches from Subway – an exotic “dinner out”, just the husband and I. But daily, as spring strengthens, others are venturing out more and more in little family groups. I can’t imagine this lockdown without the outdoors time; I can’t imagine how it’s going for those with children at home.
I admit I’ve experienced some down-time in my mood this month. Writing, my retirement vocation, has been reduced to Facebook posts and daily journaling. People ask why I haven’t used this lockdown to write more, maybe a new book, and I see online that other fellow writers are doing so, but me? I have no motivation, and am reminded that I perform best under the stress of deadlines. With “all the time in the world”, I just can’t get to it. I am still reading, though. A constant of my life, thank goodness!
This leads me to the Socializing part of my days. Instead of drinks with fellow curlers at the club, or restaurant meetups with family or friends and casino time, I have phone calls. Video chats with my son and baby grandson. Random chats with strangers waiting in grocery store lines. Wow, who knew how much I missed random conversation? Even talking to myself in daily journaling has become tedious and predictable. I’m boring by myself!
But I do see light at the end of the tunnel – politicians are announcing day-pass type permissions, with appropriate rules and Big Brother interventions for non-compliance (I won’t go there in this post.) Soon, we may meet in backyards for barbeques, get to hold our grandbabies, go for hikes in the parks. Maybe even shop in person for summer clothes, like shorts and dresses. I guess I’d better get to shaving my legs. 😉
Time for reading? Check out my books to order from Amazon: Books