In the beginning there was simply an awareness that something was happening that was going to engage us enough to foster a few changes in our everyday behavior. January and February of 2020 we had to make a few adjustments in our lives. I had an ominous feeling about the entire reporting of the epidemic from China thinking from the beginning that it was under reported. Being an empath I could not shake the feeling and knew enough to act. By the last week in February 2020 I had ordered masks, surgical gloves, and several bottles of Lysol wipes and clorox cleanser. A pilot I had worked with in Phoenix came down with COVID in March. He was not what you would call old, but fit and trim. He was dead in 5 days.
This event confirmed my feelings and I took notice. I stopped going to crowded restaurants and sat on patios for happy hour.
By March I gave up my hairdresser and let my hair grow. I colored it myself which I had done before when I traveled extensively. My hairdresser always wrote down my formula and I bought the ingredients online. This didn’t work in Arizona. I bought L’Oreal at the drugstore and worked it out myself. For several months it was liberating and I experimented with familiar tones. I purchased a couple of messy buns and worked it all together. I tried a few different colors with the highlights incorporated into the color mix and it worked. After eight or nine months I had dried out straggly, umkempt multicolor strawberry toned hair.
I let go of not only my hairdresser but my massages, my facials, my acupuncturist and my dipped nails. Within two months I had saved one thousand dollars from my self care items but then spent it on ordering groceries from Amazon, Sprouts and Walmart after perusing the sites to determine what I could find in each store, grateful each time that I could afford the items. It seems the whole nation that could order online wanted the same items, toilet paper, paper towels, noodles and 7 oz. diet Dr. Pepper.
The summer heat rose to 110 degrees and the pool closed for COVID. I stayed in and cleaned like a professional maid. I sent everything in my closet to the Goodwill and scrubbed every drawer in my house. I did online exercise classes and saw no apparent results.
I tried going to Costco’s senior morning hours to stock up but the lines were too long to stand in the dire heat. Amazon sent me packages most days of the week and I broke down boxes in between. I did telemedicine until my cancer Doctor insisted I come in to be examined. I weathered it all by working on my novel, cleaning, cooking and staying busy. I got my affairs in order so my children could find the right documents if COVID hit me. I wrote a novella from the POV of each piece of my jewelry collected from all over the world. My son, Barry taught me to play chess and thus far I am not very good. My daughter sent me puzzles but I am not too swift at that either.
I worked doing my readings and thanked God everyday for my clients who helped me through this difficult period. The money I earned was like manna from heaven and their familiar voices soothing to my soul.
Christmas came and we clebrated by trimming the tree and my son cooked a prime rib perfectly and we brought dinner to my sister who is in assisted living and unable to have visitors. We chatted through her window until they told us to leave. 2021 came in quietly and New Years’ we took down the tree. Every drawer, closet and cuboard was dirty again. I cleaned the grout in my tiled house and did a better job than all the companies I have paid in years gone by. I paid to have my house disinfected and deep cleaned and they came with their masks, gloves and cleaning supplies. The next day with my clean house, it hit me, what I call my “malaise.”
The pool was open again but I had several Mohs surgery sites from skin cancer and could not swim. My general assessment was that my hair looked like s***! My nails long and ugly and I needed a facial, an acupuncturists , a physical therapist, and a life coach. Life coach? What life?
Part of me began to love my malaise. I looked hard at my self, complaining about my hair and nails. I told myself to be more grateful. I have everything I need. I am very lucky. My family is safe and healthy. I decided to let my productivity waver and not judge myself. I simply indulged myself in happy moments like conjuring up dialogue for the text of the characters in my novel. I read as long as I wanted each day. Reading. reading. and more reading with Amazon prime’s maximun borrow of 10 books at a time and i read them all. Binging on Netflix and Prime Video I watched late into the night all my Turkish series to which I am addicted and my wonderful Mexican series which helped my Spanish. Not to mention our own American detectives. I ate Starbucks Lemon pound cakle at 470 calories a slice more than I care to divulge. As my malaise begins to wane and I return to the new normal, I thank God that my family is healthy. I am thankful I have been able to be vacinnated for Covid.
Today I am a survivor. Tomorrow is the unknown.
But, what if all things are possible?