Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
So… just how long has this been going on? Who knows anymore? I don’t even know what day of the week it is! Well, except for today. Today is Wednesday, in case you need to know. And I only know that because it is Blog Posting Day for me! But when you get out of your normal routine of going to work, the days kinda run together.
Today is the 50th Earth Day y’all. Did you know that? The theme this year? Climate action. Kinda appropriate, considering that with this pandemic, there have been less travel, less cars on the road, and less emissions in our atmosphere, leading to less carbon monoxide in the air. Best example is in New York City. According to Columbia University, carbon monoxide emissions decreased 50% in March. Pretty amazing. And good for our earth. My neighborhood is lighting luminaries tonight at 8 pm to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and to honor our health care workers and first responders. I love my neighborhood!
“Love the earth as you would love yourself.” John Denver
The pandemic became real for me when we closed our clubs on Monday, March 16th, at 4 pm. I began working from home the next day, due to my new fear of getting COVID-19, since I was scheduled for surgery on March 25th. Social distancing was in full force. My younger daughter arrived that Sunday, March 22, as we were worried that if she waited any longer, the state borders might close and she would not be able to come. I mean, we had no idea what was happening in our “little world” at that moment, or what was going to happen. Now we do. Many have lost loved ones, many have survived the virus, many have had the virus without even knowing. Many have filed for unemployment for the first time in their lives (no easy task!). Many small businesses (and some larger ones) have closed their doors forever, feeling they cannot recover from the financial losses due to COVID-19. The Downtown Grille in Charlottesville is one of those. It has been on our historic downtown mall for over 21 years. A very nice, classy restaurant many people would go to for special occasions. One of my dear girlfriends, who shares a birthday week with me, and I have made this restaurant our birthday tradition. No more. I am sure this will not be the only victim of our current times, but I have to admit, this one surprised me.
“Good things happen, too. Don’t skip over that stuff just because it feels like the sky is falling. It is just as urgent and important to note the goodness and beauty around us.” – Nanea Hoffman
My daughter and I ventured out Saturday to run a few safe errands and deliver a baby shower gift for a friend of hers. The shower was actually a zoom meeting later Saturday night. Oh the wonders of technology. Zoom party complete with wine, friends, videos, music… a celebration. Proof that even in these dire times, celebrations continue. Connections with family and friends continue. Just in a different format and venue. My sisters and I were able to facetime with our sweet momma all together. I missed my high school zoom call last weekend, but got to catch up with a couple of very dear girlfriends for 2 hours! We asked ourselves why we had not done this before and decided we would make this a recurring event, even when life goes back to normal. Ahhh normal… what is normal?
“Only when normal things are not normal any more do we realize how special normal things are.”
I was supposed to be at the beach this week. Washing the remnants of winter away and readying my house for summer. Cleaning both the inside and outside of the house, charging the golf cart, and pumping up the bike tires. Plus spending my days on the beach collecting shells (which I heard are plentiful now!), reading, sleeping, enjoying the beach, renewing my soul. This is my annual April week at the beach. Not happening. At least not yet.
“I am missing the beach and I am sure that the beach is missing me.”
I was also supposed to run a race in Chapel Hill last Saturday with my kids. Cancelled. We were supposed to go to the Spring Football game. Cancelled. And I was supposed to get together with some of my Carolina dorm friends. Cancelled. Gosh I hate that word. Postponed is better. I will get together with my kids and with my college friends later. We will run the race and attend the spring game next April. And of course I will go to the beach later… actually in about 10 days. Soon.
“Life is not always a celebration; so be ready to courageously face disappointments when they come and be sure to grow stronger and wiser from them.”
My kids and I were really looking forward to that race in Chapel Hill and the spring football game last Saturday. Had plans for tailgating after the race and before the spring game. Lots to look forward to this fall with Carolina football… assuming we have a season, that is. This new “no sports” world is hard, even for me. Which made the early release of The Last Dance, the docuseries about Michael Jordan and his final year with the Chicago Bulls, on Sunday night even more special. Did you see it? Like so many, he is my favorite athlete. So nice that he is a Carolina boy through and through (born and bred in NC and played for UNC!), but he is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)! When we moved to Charlottesville in 1997, my then 5-year-old son loved Carolina basketball, Michael Jordan, and the Chicago Bulls. Our new neighbor, same age and same name as my son (and same as Michael Jordan), was also a basketball fanatic and also loved the Chicago Bulls (his family had lived in Chicago). So these 2 front-toothless boys played basketball non-stop in our driveways, decked in their Chicago Bulls jerseys – my son was Michael Jordan, our neighbor was Scottie Pippen. Watching The Last Dance brought back lots of good memories. We all watched it. We all loved it. Cannot wait for the next 2 episodes next Sunday. Something to look forward to!
“Look forward, not behind. Your best days are still out in front of you. Be focused and keep your dreams alive.” Adedayo Olabamiji
While we wait for the return of the “old” normal, my “new” normal includes lots of hour-plus long walks. Sometimes I call friends or family and talk while walking, sometimes I just enjoy the scenery and think. After all, I have more time for this now. I know these times are hard for us all. Life is so different now… there are limitations on what we can and cannot do. But we are also learning how resilient we are, finding ways to cope, ways to hope, and ways to be connected to each other, which is so important, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”
PS… It’s been going on for over 6 weeks up here.
PSS… some more funnies:
“2019: Stay away from negative people. 2020: Stay away from positive people.”
“Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands???”
“I never thought the comment “I wouldn’t touch him/her with a 6 foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!”
“Since we can’t eat out, now’s the perfect time to eat better, get fit, and stay healthy. We’re quarantined! Who are we trying to impress? We have snacks, we have sweatpants – I say we use them!”