At this point, I am more than tired of the whole covid 19 situation.
I have run through many thoughts and feelings over the past few months. I have been enormously sad at the suffering and loss of life many families are experiencing. I am grateful that I am retired and don’t have to navigate the tech world of virtual teaching, with no children to teach at home and financial stability when so many are coping with unprecedented work and home challenges. I have felt lonely without my usual in person friend gatherings. I have felt trapped, unable to go to stores or salons. I have felt angry at myself as I spent weeks wallowing and eating copious comfort foods, binging on Netflix and the news as I watched social media posts of people who were turning the quarantine into a time to exercise and cook elaborate, healthy meals. Most of all, I have felt a bit lost and helpless n the uncertainty of a country (and world) wracked by virus, hunger and division.
But then, out of frustration and lack of options, I started walking again. First, it was for very brief periods, a chance to get out of the house and away from the news for a few minutes. I started noticing people in our neighborhood I had never seen before. Neighbors were walking, biking and walking their dogs. I realized our neighborhood had changed while I had hibernated. Our normally quiet neighborhood full of two parent working families that were busy with work and school during the day and activities away from the home in the evenings and weekends, had morphed into a more active, social and friendly place. Some people in masks, some socially distanced, but as I walked almost all waved a hand in a friendly greeting as we passed each other. When I sat in front of the house in the evening to escape a brutal heat wave in our area, people would stop and chat from a safe distance. There were quick chats about landscaping, weather or the latest virus restrictions and longer check ins with neighbors I knew who were also venturing out of the confines of their home. I started noticing I was feeling a bit better and more hopeful. As I reentered my home it felt more welcoming than confining.
My walks became longer and never one to listen to music, I started listening to podcasts. I picked areas of interest that had nothing to do with news, politics, covid or world problems.
My walks became full of inspiring true stories, fiction that took me to other worlds and information about things and events that piqued my interest. While waving to other neighbors who were out about, I walked my mind into new worlds, subjects and stories that transported me. Every time I did this, I felt a little more energized, a little less hopeless, a little more in control of what I was soaking in to my spirit. No, I did not become an exercise fanatic (there are still some covid pounds padding my hips). Nor, did I become a master cook. There is a lot of grilling going on at our house (although my baking skills have improved:). What I gained was more important.
Each time I left my home, I started walking away from covid and back to myself. Finally, something I feel good about:)