Updated: Jul 8, 2020
Solutions From the Lighter Side & Cosmic Intervention
I must admit I'm rapidly tiring of this Coronavirus thing and all the news, rumors, forecasts, and stories that are circulating across social media. But please indulge me in one last list before I move on.
Here's my Top Ten List of Things I Miss (and suggested solutions):
Socializing: frequent Beyond Introversion blog readers are scratching their heads right now as I've described the solitude and serenity of alone time. Yet even the staunchest introvert needs people. Remember, in small doses with the right group, introverts too love and need interaction. So nearly two weeks into social distancing, I'm getting social yearning...who'd-a-thought? SOLUTION: Get to know whoever you are huddling with. Pick a topic for discussion and delve in. SKYPE or ZOOM with family and friends. Just don't overdo it!
Starbucks visits: as a creature of habit, I know my sense of routine and solitude, not to mention my people-watching hobby, are destroyed when my every Wednesday morning visit to Starbucks is cancelled. SOLUTION: Start new routines...make my own coffee or tea and go to a unique place around the house or outside to treat myself.
Touching my face: it’s natural. I never realized how much I did it. Probably a hold-over from my grease-laden, acne-terrain face of adolescence. SOLUTION: Wash, scrub, touch, wash, scrub, touch, wash...
Smooth hands: all this hand sanitizing is turning my white collar hands into cowboy leather. I haven’t had this much alcohol in my body since college...but at least no hangover! Good thing they don't make Margarita-flavor sanitizer! SOLUTION: Soap more, sanitize less.
Entranced walking: Walking through Target staring at my phone has given way to attentive walking amongst the thinner crowds as I try to preserve a 3-6 foot bubble by rerouting to the other side of the aisle or down a less used tributary. SOLUTION: Good to be more observant. I always worried about being one of those people that walks right into a manhole or something.
The few, the proud, the Introvert: I've become a proud introvert, rebutting the traditional definitions still in online thesauruses including "recluse, loner, and anti-social." Now, I am embracing my strengths and am proud to be "different" or "not normal." But now, oddly, we are all basically being recluses, anti-social, loners! It’s not easy for me to be removed from social interaction all the time. I can’t imagine how strange it is for our extrovert friends. How ironic! SOLUTION: Find humor in these moments. We must keep laughing.
Observing other people: I don’t want to chat with everyone, but I do like to observe them. I miss doing that at the store or restaurant. I went for a walk and was thrilled to see a couple of others to observe for a passing glance...albeit from the opposite side of the street of course. SOLUTION: Go for walks outside. Go for a drive. Park outside a grocery and soak it all in!
Be in control of plans: I plan my day, my week, our family vacations in detail. All that was thrown out the window. And now we have to cancel all those plans and await refunds. All those activities must wait... SOLUTION: Make new plans. I',m striving not to sleep the morning away. I'm making sure I have things to do every day...crafts (see National Craft Day below), exercising around the house or going for a neighborhood walk, still having meals together, maintaining a reasonable bedtime.
Gym work: It's taken nearly 15 years of 4-6 day/week workouts to finally enjoy it. I have no bulging muscles and I get lapped by people using walkers every now and then, but I enjoy the solitude and the sense of accomplishment when I leave the gym dripping of sweat. SOLUTION: I'm taking long neighborhood walks criss-crossing streets to preserve my bubble, and I'm fortunate to be able to take a swim in our pool every once in a while. Still, it's not the same. I can never seem to be able to break a sweat no matter how many laps I swim.
Optimism: I always pride myself in being pretty optimistic with determination to succeed. But given current circumstances, it is hard for all of us some days. I've been "house-bound" before in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane's Ike and Harvey and when I broke my shoulder and was awaiting surgery and then rehab for weeks, but this has no definition. I can't plan for so many weeks and countdown toward that goal. We all knew the news and numbers would get worse as testing and spread increased. But waiting for any good news to suggest we are turning the corner can be depressing. While only a small portion of the population appears destine to contract the disease, it will still touch everyone and we are all fighting mental fatigue. SOLUTION: Watch very little news, make lists of what we are grateful for, think positive thoughts, keep busy, and know that this too shall pass.
So that's my list of things I miss. Perhaps this Coronavirus is a bit of a COSMIC INTERVENTION...telling us to slow down, reevaluate some of our habits, and adjust our lives. Maybe some of these solutions will impact my life long after Coronavirus is gone...and it will be!
In the meantime, keep clean, be hopeful, don’t shame carriers. And I'll be back next week with a NON-Coronavirus blog! See you then.