If I am absolutely honest, this past year in captivity has not bothered me as much as it might have. Even before Covid, my kids were worried that I was turning into a hermit. Oh, I took a bath every day. Put on lipstick. Some combination of clothes. But if we weren’t off on some foreign travel adventure, I stayed pretty close to home. I got out into my yard. There were occasional trips to T.J. Maxx. But much of my days in the Before Times were spent at my desk, trying to eke out words.
Now, whether the words have been worthy is a matter of some debate. I can’t tell you how many articles I read about creative people who were having difficulty creating during various pandemic and political crises. My own writing slowed down a lot last year. I’d like to blame that on outside drama rather than old age, LOL.
I did finish and sell a book, which comes out in September. I edited it and started another, and had a release last July. It was difficult to concentrate with the woes of the world regularly pounding on the door. Like picking at a scab, or scratching a mosquito bite, I found it hard to turn away from one 2020 train wreck after another. Everyone’s hair was on fire on my Twitter feed. I unfriended a lot of un-and-misinformed people on Facebook.
I got a little depressed, although I am so very lucky—there’s a nice roof over my head, a beautiful garden, an unsatisfactory (barking, shedding) yet loyal dog. I keep in touch with my kids on FaceTime, and then there’s my husband who does all the grocery shopping, and most of the cooking, too. So, a lot to be thankful for.
We last went out to dinner on January 24, 2020. It was our 49th wedding anniversary. This January, my youngest daughter sent a pizza with 50 spelled out in pepperoni. Someday, we’ll go out to eat again. Travel. Go to a place that’s not a doctor’s office. We’ve now had our two vaccination shots, and are cautiously optimistic to celebrate Christmas at Easter with some of the family and the Easter tree.
Easter tree, you ask? Why not? I love to decorate the house for Christmas, but this year there was no one to admire the ornaments or rip open presents. I almost didn’t put up our artificial, pre-lit tree, but my husband noticed I was blue and decided I needed it, even if it was just the two of us and the unsatisfactory dog. He was right.
Our daughters and grandkids usually put up and decorate the tree Thanksgiving weekend, but they weren’t home. So, I rummaged around in the garage, found the right boxes, and got to work. I was immediately cheered up, although the star was never quite straight.
After I took the Christmas decorations down, I noticed I had a few hearts, and one thing led to another (Hello, Amazon). More hearts and flowers and cherubs arrived for the Valentine’s tree. So what if the neighbors thought I was nuts? They’d be more or less correct. This week, I hung bunnies and carrots and eggs on the tree in hopes that four-year-old Josephine will enjoy them when she finally comes to visit. The jury is still out about a Fourth of July tree, or a Halloween tree. I may decide by then I am cheerful enough.
What have you done during the pandemic to keep your spirits up and your reading and writing flowing? I did not make a single loaf of banana bread, or sourdough, for that matter. And in case bread and Easter trees are not your jam, here’s an article from the English magazine Country Living to help you deal with stress: 17 Easy Ways To Relieve Stress – Stress Relief Tips & Techniques (countryliving.com)