This makes sense. As I’ve realized I do not know how to shop for a pandemic. I’m more in tune with the French way of shopping. You go to the store every day or so to get what you want. Not that I’m eating fresh all the time, as my palette extends most often toward frozen pizza and such, but I don’t have meat in my freezer. There is no chicken, nor bacon. And the grocery stores don’t have much to offer right now either.
I didn’t have potatoes or onions until recently because I know my cooking is like the chances of catching your favorite John Hughes film on TV from the very beginning – slim to none. I buy one or two loose potatoes, and they will sprout eyes before I know it. I buy more than one or two of anything, and I may as well throw the actual money away and save the gas and time in the checkout line.
Ugg! These petty ass worries make me feel so guilty. I’m safe, my family is safe, but I’m still complaining.
People are dying, out here sick and struggling, being laid off, having their businesses completely disrupted – mine included – and sundry other horrors, and I’m fretting because I didn’t get a chance to make my returns to Marshalls and Bloomingdale’s before they closed. Will they open before I have to pay my credit card bill, my petty brain wonders?
I’m supposed to have my taxes done tomorrow. Is the state of Illinois going to follow the federal government and extend things to July, so I can keep a socially safe distance from my hilarious old tax man? We usually jaw it up for a good two hours while we take care of business. But now…I’ve got to call him. See what he says. See? It’s like a hamster on a wheel between my ears. Not a sedate hamster on a leisurely stroll either.
So, in an effort to refocus my scattered, fretful, petty energy, I’ve come up with a list of things I should be doing with all of this good time at home. Naturally, I’m not doing most of the things on this list, but I imagine some of you will be able to relate. As useful and even necessary as some of these tasks are, they’re also not terribly sexy or interesting:
- Wash dishes. Why are there dishes in my sink? I have time between work calls to erase the evidence that even though I’m down to my last suspect avocado, I do still have quite a bit of food left to eat.
- Do laundry. Why is my hamper full? Yes, I’m mostly in my robe, but just because I’m not actively dressed doesn’t mean clean clothes are optional.
- Clean. I’m living in a low key dust bowl. I actually thought I had “it” for a minute until I realized it was my frickin’ allergies acting up because I didn’t vacuum my room this week. *peeks out window, then opens it for a quick breath of fresh air.*
- Finish my Marie Kondo-ing. I am currently looking at several large bags filled with donations waiting to go to goodwill. Trust me. There’s more that needs to be added to these piles.
- Clean out my various inboxes. The internet is moving damnably slow thanks to everyone being on it all at once, but there are still a lot of digital organization projects I could be working on. I can’t see them to muster up the energy though. I have my eyes closed. It’s a temporary shutdown, you understand.
- Create content. I have books to write, edit, self-publish and market, articles to write, social media posts to create. Unfortunately, my focus and motivation are suffering. Maybe I’ll go wash dishes.
- Exercise. I’m gonna bundle up and go for a good long walk. Strangers, please don’t think ill of me if I cross the street when I see you coming. It is not personal. I’m just keeping a respectful, social distance.
- Communicate. While I’m walking I think I’ll call my old lady and make she has her “I live to run the streets” tail in the house. My sister too. That dingbat inherited the same itchy feet.
- Pray. Part of my angst and that general, weird sense of strangeness hanging over me is because of the uncertainty we’re all facing: When will this end? Will I be okay whenever that is? Will my family? Will I suffer? How badly will others suffer? If you don’t pray, I suppose the equivalent is thinking good thoughts, practicing good deeds. Whatever, if it’s kind, please do it. We’re all we got right now.
Anyway, here’s to the cessation of virulent disease, first world pettiness, and here’s to a surge of motivated, productive, positive, at-home energy. If we actively tackle lists like this one, when the dust settles, we should be able to rebound more easily. There’s a rumor going around that we may have to shelter in place soon. Please be safe, people. Be kind and considerate.
That goes for me too. I’ve had to check my own impatience in a few situations recently. I was in Walmart a few days ago, and there was so much chaos it was like having a ringside seat to a ratchet, live action comedy show! Good night.
Last but certainly not least, be healthy, and as a post script, I sincerely hope your money isn’t too funny. We’re living through troubled times, but let’s keep the faith that this too shall pass.