My last post was a little dark, reflecting my stress and mood after a challenging week. Writing (venting?) about it helped me but I doubt it helped you, the reader. For that, I’m truly sorry.
I’d like to try to make it up to you.
Today’s post is a collection of randomness. Maybe you’ll find something funny, helpful, or inspiring as you – like me, like the rest of the world – struggle through our new pandemic reality. I anticipate future installments of similar fluff, as things occur to, or happen to me, so stay tuned.
As many memes showing up on social media lately are making clear, we introverts have been training for something like this our entire lives. Social distancing is our primary skill set! We’ve got tons of books in the house that can be re-read, tons more newer ones on the Kindle; musical instruments to be played; writing and art projects to create; pets to play with; yards to nurture (now that spring is officially here); Netflix and other online streaming videos to watch. Social life for many introverts, in this time of the pandemic, is not much different than it was before.
There will be a baby boom, starting roughly nine months from now. Imagine all the home-bound couples, some who will run out of birth control! I hope hospitals, as they use various models to anticipate the number of beds, ventilators, staff and supplies they need to treat Covid-19 patients in the coming months also factor in extra demand for their maternity wards starting around November.
And what will we call this new cohort? Covid kids? Corona kids? Ideas, anyone?
I heard the first sandhill cranes arriving in my valley this afternoon. I hope they appreciate the lessened noise, traffic and pollution they’re encountering on their way north.
My introvert friends are behaving no differently than they always have: spending lots of alone time, at home; exercising outside, alone; engaging with friends and family online, when convenient to them; reading, writing, creating art…alone (but sharing with others).
My extrovert friends? They’re on social media way too much now, too much time suddenly on their hands and no idea what to do with it. Some are offering to do things for neighbors/community members (a worthy instinct), but that sort of defeats the idea of social distancing. Some are checking in on me via text or email, which is nice (truly) but I suspect it’s more because they’re bored, can’t go to work or hang out in real life with other people so they’re trying to figure out how to do that digitally. One wants to schedule a time to actually talk on the phone! Noooooooo!!
I love you, but…nooooooo!
Today’s the first day of spring. That’s a happy thing! More sunlight lifts moods, warming temperatures lure us outside into nature. It makes walking, running and cycling more enjoyable, all forms of exercise we can still enjoy (so long as we stay several feet away from others). Those lucky enough to have a yard, garden or even plant pots can go crazy, digging, planting (order seeds online!), pulling weeds and feeling nature under their fingernails. Put the bird feeders out (order feeders and bird seed online if you don’t already have them and can afford them) so you’ll have something beautiful and uplifting to watch outside your windows. Wildlife isn’t daunted by the coronavirus or our reaction to it.
Can you imagine if we’d started all this social distancing and self-quarantining in November? Be grateful for small favors.
Meme-makers, get to work, please! I’m tired of my social media friends sharing the same ones over and over. Get those creative juices flowing and give us new things to laugh about!
Many of my Seattle-area friends who for years have questioned my sanity in moving from Seattle to middle-of-nowhere Idaho are finally getting it. I think they’re more than a little envious right now.
I just discovered that if I blow on my Pixel 3a phone screen, it goes from sleep to awake! I picked it up and noticed some dust on the dark screen. Blowing the dust off, the screen came alive! I thought I had to tip it back and forth or move it around significantly (or press the on/off button briefly). Turns out moving it simply pushed air against it, waking it up. I’m feeling a little stupid, but glad I figured it out. Small victories.
Calming tips for turbulent times worth sharing: a dear friend, having read my last blog post, including the part about brain fog due to lack of sleep, emailed a suggestion she has found helpful. Like me, she can’t sleep with music playing, but she reports that listening to one of the sleep stories on this app, from a company called Calm, helps her fall asleep. I’m going to try it. I see that one of the favorites is narrated by Matthew McConaughey. Hmmm. (They offer several options to achieve calm: read more here. Please note: after a seven-day free trial, a subscription for full access to existing and updated programs is $70/annually. Trust me, I have no financial interest in this company; I’m sharing because I trust my friend Susan T. If she says it’s good and works for her, I believe her.)
How about we all calm down? No harm in that, right?
Get your drawing on!
I’ve been interested in learning to draw, in any of various formats (pencil, charcoal, colored pencils, pastels, watercolors). Back in January I even ordered a very cheap and basic collection of pencils, pastels and paints to experiment with, along with some cheap instructional books. While I’ve only played with this stuff a couple times, as this pandemic keeps us all closer to home in the coming months, I think I’ll be glad I have it.
About the same time, I stumbled upon a computer program for drawing: Autodesk Sketchbook (it’s free; there’s a Pro version that isn’t free). They have a Windows 10 version. And while I realize the optimal use of the program is on a tablet, with a stylus, I can play with it using my mouse on my desktop’s computer screen. Another way to fritter away some time in a creative way that maybe will eventually translate into better drawings by hand.
Our local downhill ski resorts (we have two, Brundage and Tamarack) decided to do the right thing this week and end the season early to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus. Thankfully it has been a good snow year, so one hopes the resorts did well enough earlier in the season to make up for closing a few weeks early.
I, for one, am selfishly ecstatic that Brundage made this decision. It’s close by and this opens up even more terrain for the dogs and me to play on without encountering other humans (or very few, and from far away). Every spring I eagerly await notice that Brundage is closing for the ski season, usually in mid-April. After closing there’s a small window of time, a handful of weeks, when the overnight temperatures remain cold enough to keep the snow crusty on the groomed routes, supporting our weight as we run, while we await the re-emergence of the dirt trails after the late-spring snow melt. The terrain is steep – ski runs, as opposed to the more meandering mountain biking trails we run there in the summer – so it’s a tough workout for me but the dogs LOVE IT.
Always looking for the bright spot.
I said adieu to this day by sitting on my deck (I hauled a table and chairs out from winter storage in the garage earlier, but I was, actually, sitting on the deck, legs dangling over the edge) watching the sunset. My boys Finn and Conall sat beside me, happily giving me kisses as I rubbed their heads and shoulders. They love it when I get down on their level. Talk about a sure-fire calming technique!
If this is my life for the next few weeks or months, I’m good.
Featured image: the boys and I heading down a groomed ski slope at Brundage after closing last year (May 3, 2019). Looking forward to this again this year!