Social Distancing

How odd to be told to do what I have always had a tendency to do — practice social distancing. For others, this might be a bad thing, but it plays right into my psyche. For the past year, I have been attending many social activities, meeting people, enjoying having friends and being part of a community, which has been great, but I like this lifestyle, too. It fits well.

Odder, too, to think that the whole country is now living my life. Staying away from people who are sick. Staying home when I am sick or even just have the faintest tickle in my throat or even just because. Washing my hands. Oh, and stocking up and hoarding. I bought eight cans of tuna!!! I was only going to get one package of four cans, but I like two kinds — the white albacore and the chunk light — so I got both. But that was about it. I didn’t need anything else, and anyway, I have no place to store it. (I’ve designated one very narrow cupboard in my kitchen for a “pantry.”)

Normally, I’d be doing a lot of walking since that’s a good solitary activity, but it’s been cold and gloomy here, which doesn’t do much to motivate me, but oddly, the bulbs in my yard seem to like it. Several of them are popping up, which makes me feel good. I should walk anyway, despite the gloom, but I tweaked my knee when I was sleeping so I’ve been babying it. (Isn’t that the silliest thing? I fell splat on the ground, and didn’t even get a bruise. I turn over in bed and hurt my knee. Sheesh. That’s the part of growing older — or one of the parts — I can do without.)

So, what am I doing in my exile? What I always do. Fix what needs fixing — in this case, replacing the cord in one of my Roman shades. Read what is available to read. If I get bored, I have hundreds of movies to watch, but mostly, I’ve been playing on the internet.

I’ve been staying away from FB — there’s not much good that can come of all the virus talk, and there’s not much else going on except for the usual political outrage — which gives me plenty of time for other things, like making mandalas with the online mandala maker I found. Since the purpose of mandalas (besides beauty and symmetry) are to transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones and to aid in healing, it seems the perfect pursuit for this particular time. I wouldn’t mind being more enlightened, and the world can use some healing.

I hope you’re taking care of yourself and that you’re enjoying a quieter time.

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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.