Making the Most of a Quarantine
Remember all those times when you said to yourself, “If the world would just stand still I could … clean off my desk, or organize my files, or write those thank you notes?
Well folks, things are pretty still at my house, and I have been thinking about some things that we all could do now that we all have the time. There is no order to these things below. They are as they came to me as I wrote and explored them in my head.
Pull a time from your memory of growing up and write or record a story about it. We all have thousands of experiences that our children, grandchildren, and spouses don’t know about, but yet are special memories to us. If you never record it in writing or orally (on your phone, for instance), it will be gone forever.
Don’t say you cannot write. If you can talk, you can write. Just talk to yourself inside your head and let your fingers write what you hear on paper or on the screen. This is the secret to writing that your English teachers never taught you! Do not worry if you make a few mistakes—EVERYONE does. You are writing this for you. If you want to clean it up and send it to someone, that can come later.
Pick up the phone and call someone you once cherished but have not talked to in a long time. Even better, do it if they were a good friend one time and you drifted apart over some silly disagreement. Trust me, just like you, they think it is silly, too. Don’t miss this special occasion. Don’t let the chasm deepen a day longer.
Now’s the time do it without feeling guilty, and you may find that you will do it from this point forward without ever feeling guilty again! The health benefits, alone, are worth it.
Be thankful the quarantine did not happen in the middle of winter. Go outside and take a book with you, or a crossword, or lunch! The pollen be damned!
What a remarkable time we have to renew ourselves spiritually without the restraints of organized religion and church. We can find out what we believe about the fundamental nature of God. A good starter question I have been pondering is this: Is God responsible for the COVID19? If yes, how do I justify the people who have died? If no, what is the Almighty’s role in this pandemic? If God gets the credit for the good things in my life, mustn’t I also give God credit for the bad things? Can God act outside his/her fundamental nature?
BTW – there are no wrong conclusions here! Just revelations.
Whatever you call prayer, do it. Do it for those who are suffering. Do it for the families of victims. Do it for the responders and the inventors and for those with the responsibility for governing. Just do it.
If doing nothing during this time brings on stress, we are all in great need re-naturing!
Turn the television off. Put the phone down. Don’t look at a calendar. Turn the clocks around backwards. Just live in the moment. A great break to relearn how to live by the sun and nature.
Want turkey in April? Go for it—dressing, cranberry sauce and all. Spoil yourself by cooking that dish you have always wanted to try.
Try something very new. Anything. So, you fail the first or second or tenth time, rekindle the fun in trying. Just don’t get stressed.
Say I love you and thank you to the people closest to you. When the world gets busy again, you will wish you had.
Whatever constitutes playing to you, do it! And do it LOUD! Turn up the volume on your favorite rock and roll (or classical) songs. Sing along! Sleep with your dogs. Go for a long drive out in the country where the constables are few. Play with your grandkids video games. Rev your engine! Go off the damn diet!
Watch the Pink Panther or Mash (the movie and the series) for the tenth time! Hoot at every silly episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Tell yourself a joke you have never heard!
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
– The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
This is your time. Enjoy your home. Joy in your health. Pray for the sick. Be joyous over things you normally take for granted – most of all relationships. Take the Road Not Taken