The COVID-19 stay at home orders are, to most people, including me, a drag. They are, in fact, a real drag. No doubt about it. I am a person who loves social activities. I enjoy spending time with my friends, going to rock and roll concerts, traveling, going to community events, eating in restaurants, going to the beach and parks, and in general, living life to the fullest, including having as much fun as I can possibly have. I also enjoy solitary activities, such as reading, but for the most part, I thrive on being with people (fun people!). Many people I know share a similar outlook, while others prefer to spend time close to home, mostly with their family. Now that all of us are forced into an isolated state of existence, it is possible that we can stop having fun until things in the world return to the new normal, whatever that will be. We can lament about all of the things we can’t do, such as attend concerts, participate in team or individual sports, go to the beach, or whatever we think is fun, but all of our whining and complaining won’t change a thing. No, it won’t. Whining and complaining about the good old days or the way things used to be or how miserable we are that we can’t have fun won’t get us too far. Furthermore, whining and complaining is annoying to the people who have to listen to it (or read about it on endless social media posts). Instead of focusing on negativity, I decided, at the outset of this long, drawn out period of isolation, to focus on the positive aspects of my life. For example, on a lovely Saturday when David and I had planned to enjoy long weekend, including a day of boating with our dear friends, Roger and Janine, I was sitting at home, by myself. But, I had no complaints because I was able to enjoy a virtual bass guitar lesson with my teacher, Phill; I called my wonderful friend, Marilyn, and we enjoyed a few laughs; I read a book; and when David returned home, we participated in a Zoom chat with the friends we had planned to visit, as well as another dear friend, Charlie. That is only one of countless examples of the ways I am “making my own fun” (as Mom used to say). I doubt I will ever be bored during these trying times. I have books, music, and my lovely surroundings to keep me entertained and happy. And, there’s always the outside scenery, etc. birds, squirrels, and of course, Rex, the Siamese cat/boss of the house to bring a smile to my face. As usual, life is what we make it.
I second Melissa’s comments about the “safer at home” orders being a drag. We, as Americans, are not accustomed to being told what to do – you know, we are the land of the free and the home of the brave. But certain challenges require certain responses. I will state clearly that I think some of the restrictions are ridiculous, stupid, dumb and just plain thoughtless. I get it, I understand the spread of a disease like this, especially one where we are starting behind the curve and playing catch up with a fast moving threat. (More about those thoughts in another post.) But, to large degree, Melissa and I are following the directives and trying to live through this pandemic. And, like Melissa, I am making the best of it. Hey, we’re not in jail, we have free roam of our houses, we can go outside to get supplies, and we’re not surrounded by destroyed landscapes from hurricanes or war ravaged cities. By comparison, we’re still living a life of luxury compared to most of the world. The critical thing is to consider what we can do, not just what we cannot do. I’m always behind on tasks like editing, organizing, and archiving my photos. I’ve been spending time on this and I’m getting caught up. I’ve spent time learning new technical tricks with my cameras and iPad/apps. I’m spending times on other projects at home and the office. And I’m trying to focus on these positive things, though in other posts I’ll be lamenting the various and numerous costs of the “shut down.” And, those virtual happy hours aren’t too bad!