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.
April 17, 2020 at 5:21 pm
Patty Melt for Pat!!!! Enjoy!
April 17, 2020 at 7:59 pm
I know, funny!
April 18, 2020 at 2:24 pm
We are really fortunate to have so many choices, Pat. Some days are just going to be better than others, I suppose, what with weather and mood swings, etc. I’ve settled into a set routine now, and I wondering if that’s a good approach or a bad one. On the one hand, every day seems like the one before it. On the other, at least I don’t get too frustrated because I can’t think of something to do.
Yesterday was my grocery hunt day, and I came home frustrated by the number of people who still are not taking this seriously. At least a third of my fellow shoppers were without masks, and that is just crazy. And it wasn’t all younger folks. I saw several elderly people without masks, too. What really kills me is that those without masks are the most likely ones to crowd your space by coming up behind you or standing within two feet of you until you pluck your item from the shelf. I will never understand people.
April 18, 2020 at 2:49 pm
Some people think they are invincible. Some people think it’s a hoax and so they won’t get sick. Whatever the truth about how virulent this disease is, it’s still a disease, and one that needs to be treated with respect. I’m lucky in that I live in a small town with a small grocery store, and if I pick my time, I see only one or two people besides the employees. I might be confused by all the hype, but I certainly am not foolish. I take precautions against any flu or cold. Even at the best of times, I can’t stand At least now I have an excuse to veer away from people.
As for routine — so far, my only real routine is this blog. I don’t always have something important to say (not even to me!) but it’s the discipline that counts. I noticed today I have a bunch of jigsaw puzzles I never completed. Maybe it’s time I stopped spending so much time online and work those puzzles.
April 20, 2020 at 12:13 pm
Wonderful post. For those of us safe at home, we just need to remain vigilant, upbeat, and creative! I applaud your patty melt sandwich! I made a pizza the other night and it was worth it! I’ll be making all sorts of other fun meals too. Heck, we all may come to embrace cooking for ourselves more often.
April 20, 2020 at 12:15 pm
Making a pizza would be fun. Maybe I should try that!