Hanging Around During the COVID-19 Crisis

For most of my adult life, I have been so very busy, that I’ve really not had much free time. In fact, the notion of a hobby was elusive, ridiculous, far fetched even. I’d thought that retirement would be the delicious time of life to relax, explore, try new things, and have oodles of time.

Even retirement fast becomes busy. Often too busy. Yes, I have taken up some new activities (like trying to garden; learning French, writing novels), and responsibilities (running a nonprofit as a volunteer; teaching for free). Moreover, my time got eaten up fast. And there’s still so much to do.

While we are all living through the most serious, and for certain the most widespread event of our lifetime, with all the seriousness, angst, heartbreak that it entails, there is also this curious sidebar for those of us who are not essential to anything, don’t have kids at home learning remotely, aren’t on any frontlines – we have this most curious thing – time. When doing our part to arrest this pandemic is…mostly staying home. Doing nothing in particular.

So, I am making a list of all the things I said I would do when I had the time. Because, right now, I have the time (and no excuses).

  1. Write more. No excuses. I will work on the novel I am writing.
  2. Get my Last Will and Testament updated. Found a reputable online provider, cheaper than an attorney. Law offices aren’t open anyhow.
  3. Get that “Advanced Directive” turned in. My doctor’s office has it -need to bring it along to the hospital on my next visit.
  4. Play the piano more. I feel my hands losing strength. What better way to strengthen them than scales?
  5. Get exercise. All gyms are closed of course, but there are workouts online, on television, and of course, I can also walk around my land.
  6. Study French. I’ve made time for this mostly in an ongoing way. But no excuses now not to study everyday.
  7. Photos – When I began traveling internationally, I thought I would create an album from each country or at least each trip, if I visited more than one country. Boy, did that get old fast. Albums take up a lot of space. So, when I ran out of space, I stopped that, more recently only taking pictures with my phone. Looking back into all those albums – I took such stupid pictures much of the time. Now, who cares what some medieval building looks like? What I search for is the few pictures of the people I traveled with or met while traveling.

SOO, I am pulling apart those albums. And, frightfully, some of the photos have adhered to the albums (who designed these things?). I am discarding the pictures and the pages of generic medieval street scenes, and rephotographing the pics I like with my iphone. This way, they are safely preserved somewhere. In case I want to see them later.

8. Spring cleaning is a good thing to do now. Then there’s those closets that need rearranging, culling, organizing, garages that need sweeping and hosing down- this list is long.

9. Gardening – As weather ripens and that pesky spring snow finally gives in to seasonal changes, all 5.5 acres are waiting for me, for pruning, sowing, designing, weeding – whatever.

10. It’s a good time to rediscover the ancient technology called the telephone. Yes, we can call people. We can talk. We can even Facetime, use skype, google hangout, zoom, whatever. Or, just the plain old telephone. It’s quite nice.

11. Time to try and figure out how to cut one’s own hair. Trim one’s own toenails.

12. Reading, of course. So many books, so little time. I plan to read.

I will think of things to add next time.

Keep busy. Keep hope. Keep kindness.

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