I got an email from a friend who wrote: “I decided to read your blog today and you did not seem like yourself. I understand that these are trying times, but you usually find something nice to say about a flower or a blue sky or something.” She went on to talk about how she’s dealing with the isolation and the trials of having to cook every night rather than going out to eat a few times a week, then ended with: “Your next post I expect to hear something upbeat. How pretty the sky is. How your bulbs are blooming, or if not, how pretty the frost looks on your windows. You live in a very nice home. Have nice friends. And the cold weather and pandemic will end – sometime!”
I hadn’t realized how gloomy yesterday’s post was, hadn’t realized how gloomy I was. Just goes to show . . . something. Maybe that gloomy days make for gloomy moods.
Today the sun is shining, and surprise! The gloom — both outside and inside — is gone. And, I have to admit, my friend is right. I have nice friends, including her. The cold weather will end — this weekend is supposed to be warm and sunny. And one of these days, the restrictions will be lifted. It’s also possible that my dread of long-term repercussions won’t be fulfilled.
But even without the pep talk and the sun, today would have been a good day because I decided to make it so. I ran a few errands, and just getting in the car to drive a few miles felt like freedom. I also decided to treat myself. Even though it makes more sense to eat healthily at a time when we’re all being made to face our mortality (because eating healthy foods helps keep us a step away from that mortality) it also makes sense to splurge.
My splurge was one of those diner specialties that I never take the time to make for myself — a patty melt. Three pans and lots of butter later, I ended up with a fabulous treat! (In case you aren’t familiar with a patty melt, it’s a grilled sandwich on rye bread, with caramelized onions, hamburger patty, and cheese.)
I also took advantage of the sun-warmed day to water my bulbs and bushes, hoping that the cold didn’t do any harm and that there will still be time this spring for more blooms — maybe even tomorrow!
Tomorrow is wide open with possibilities. To treat myself or be disciplined; to work in the yard or be indolent indoors; to rest my leg or go for a walk. So many choices! The one possibility that I will not entertain is to be other than myself — whatever that self might be when I wake in the morning.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.