Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Living in Yoga Pants

A friend asked me whether I thought we'd be less selfish, less capitalistic, more concerned with the missing US safety net when we come out of the Coronavirus crisis. So many good things came out of American hard moments (Social Security, WPA, Medicare/Medicaid, unemployment insurance, SNAP, Pell Grants...) Could we do it again? Come out of this hard moment kinder?

My answer: I hope so. That's all I've got right now - but let me tell you how I got there, from "nothing else to do" observations and pondering how the personal is political.

First, I've realized that no one has EVER cared what I looked like, now that I've been  cutting my own hair and doing my own nails for months. The "nails" part is clipping when they looked like claws or get snagged in my socks; the hair is holding it away from my head and hacking with kitchen shears. No one noticed, no one cared. Granted I don't see many people, but with summer, I am now making an effort to meet friends outside while the weather is lovely. If you're not making great effort to do this, start. You'll be sorry you missed your chance later, in the cold and dark seasons of Covid, AND when you finally share a walk or glass of wine, you  realize your friends care about you, not how much money you spend on your grooming. Maybe post-pandemic, we'll be less primp-centered and spend our spare time contemplating how we let an incompetent administration kill so many of us, sicken so many of us, trap so many of us for so long?

More evidence that we care about you, not your primping:

  • I do shower before meeting up with people, but on isolation days? The whole day slips past and no moment was the right one. People didn't use to bathe every day. So, I'm time traveling with Covid back to simpler times and it seems to be working out. 
  • Attire: yoga pants and a floppy shirt. I just can't pay a lot of attention to my clothes right now. Sitting outside with friends or walking in the park is a rather informal affair, so - informal garb. On non-visitation days, it's hit or miss. Whatever I tossed on that morning is the same "style" I now use to dash into the grocery store or PetSmart. I do dress up for my doctors' appointments. I'll have to ponder why I want to impress them, but even then, it's not what I wore to work back in the day. Those professional clothes sit in the back of the closet. 
  • I have a few Zoom shirts ready for business-style meetings. (I'm not a hooligan!) And I even make it a point not to stand up and let them see my dog-hair yoga pants. 
  • My mom used to say "We'd worry less what people thought of us if we realized how seldom they do."  It used to hurt my feelings as she always said it when I was taking too long primping or asking for brand name clothes. I understand her point more deeply now that I see people less. It's a bit liberating. 
Thanks for reading about my new grooming habits, and how they've made me easier and less self-centered. I hope that equates with a bigger heart and better use of time.  Like mom told me, I'm not going to worry what you think of them (or me). It's just me, pandemic posting, and you'll forget you read this very soon. 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Pre-Covid Moments

I've been noting (maybe obsessing on) the low level anxiety, sadness and loss that accompanies this pandemic and how it's changing my personality and those of loved ones. You note it also in the tense vibrations of the person near you (6 feet!) in the grocery store or in the car ahead of you, honking their horn or forgetting to turn.

Me: I'm slower, sadder, quite a bit dumber/scatter-brained, and lethargic to react. BUT in the last week, summer burst onto Tacoma. Yes, we start summer late here in the PNW, and never expect sunshine till the 4th of July. I always hope for downpour that day, so people blow less fireworks and Max and I spend less time huddling in bed or the closet.

Today, oh it's gorgeous. We walked in the park, then I had coffee and read the news on my rooftop deck. Later, we're headed for a walk on the waterfront. (Click on lovely pic from @RaviPatel above, more at https://photosbyravi.com/).  Outside, well-distanced from other humans, I keep beyond the 6 foot barrier and pull my mask down and just breathe. Max and I wander - sniffing green, sea, summer air, and living things. He has little understanding of Covid, although he's become even more skittish - most likely reading my stressors.

Ignoring this undercurrent, I can't help but note how summer makes it easy to forget: that I'm lonely, high risk, might die, might live but suffer. In summer moments, with the sun on my face and Mount Ranier letting me know all is right with the world in this moment -THIS moment - my sadness and anxieties drop away and life is glorious. THIS moment. Hold onto that wherever you are and create your one perfect moment. Make a cup of tea and breathe. We're in for a long haul.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Covid Brain

Moving through the pandemic is happening in slow motion here in my home, my circle, my small and infrequent experiences as I shelter away from the madness. With only small bits of work, few interactions, little responsibility I find myself trudging through each day. Today, I told my god-daughter that I did nothing yesterday and it took me all day. AND it left me exhausted.

Lists of things to do which would have numbered 5-10 on a normal Saturday now have 3 at most on whatever day it is that I just can't recall. Tuesday, Friday, Someday in July? And of the 3 things on the list (yelled to Alexa, as it's too much work to find paper and pen), I cross off 1 or 2 and move the others over to Someday/Whatever Day+1.

This can't go on this way, can it? I feel as if I'm in fog, on water, far from shore. Rather than a paddle, I pick up my phone and read the news, browse FaceBook, read another novel on my Kindle. Sometimes I watch Netflix, sometimes I go to bed. Or I don't go to bed and read till 2am. Because what is time when there's no sense of the day?

I want to do better, want to be better, want to seize the day (whatever-day) and make the most of this reset in momentum. Maybe reset, stop, head in another direction? Up?