It has been 37 days since I began my own social isolation from people due to the pandemic. I have been out once since then, on March 23, and that was only to pick up an order of meat I’d made from a guy selling off his meat supply before it went bad. In the past two weeks, my car has moved only to the end of my driveway in the morning, and back in the evening – so the contractors doing the exterior work on the house have room.
I’ve done small projects here and there, because all of the big ones that needed doing were done after I retired 5½ years ago. I’ve knitted. I’ve binge-watched TV too much. I’ve spent too much time on my laptop or iPad on social media or playing mindless games. I’ve shopped online through Instacart twice for those items we go through quickly – bread, milk, eggs, etc. I’ve chatted with friends here and there using FB messenger or text messages. I’ve chatted on the phone with a few people. I’ve kept up (mostly) with my household chores.
But everything I’ve described for the last 37 days is exactly my life prior to this. Which tells me that I need to get off my ass and start living what life I have left.
One of the shows I binge-watched was Star Trek: Picard. At one point he says “Life is a responsibility.” Also, he says that he has spent the past 14 years in retirement thinking he’s living a comfortable life but has realized he’s not living, he’s just waiting to die. I felt that. Like a gut punch, I felt that.
So, when this is over, assuming I survive (and there’s no reason to think I won’t), I have promised myself that I am going to get out of the house more. Volunteer more, maybe. Take one day a week out of the house to do something for ME, even if it’s just to drive into the city and walk around to see what’s there. Maybe drive down to Letchworth State Park where, even after spending 47 of the past 65 years living within an hour of it, I’ve never been. If I can’t get anyone to go with me, I’ll go alone.
I keep dreaming of driving to farther away destinations like Mount Rushmore, the Mall of America, and other places in the north central part of the country (and I can pick up more states that I haven’t visited yet). I have dreamed for 3 or 4 years of taking that 9 day Fall Foliage Train Ride through New England. I’m going to do that, with or without a travel companion. I figure, if it’s a group on the tour, I can stay among the group for safety, right?
I don’t want to just sit here, waiting to die. There’s a world out there that I have closed out, and it’s time to throw the windows open and let that world back in.
Today, I resolve to live again.