I picked up that old book again- the one that I return to from time to time. It has me thinking about the year. I have eight months before I have to physically leave my home to return to work. What do I want life to look like this year? What changes do I wish to make? How will I be the best version of myself?
I’m sitting on the front porch as I write this. I pause to watch a squirrel play. This morning, I watched another squirrel carry a branch much larger than him to his nest. The nest looks like it couldn’t possibly be stable. It’s in the branches of a small Ash tree. The nest is as big as a cauldron. I’m sure squirrels know the ways of trees much better than I do. I’m thrilled to watch them continue to dislodge the old ivy vines that once suffocated our poor trees when we moved in. This place has transformed; it has transformed me. The yard is finally looking like a garden after being here for just two years.
Reflecting on what went right this year—I stayed home, I spent an amazing amount of time with my fella, and I saved money, enough so that I will be renovating my bathroom sometime this year. I even bought a garden window for my bathroom. Also, I’m excited about my current research project—an idea that organically came to me in late summer and one that I had to pause for many reasons. I have been quite focused on it this last week and I am nearing the halfway point. Yesterday I read the introduction to my fella and he said it was the best writing I’ve done- so clear in focus and so passionate.
Other thoughts swirling through my head…
I think I need to reduce social media and probably return here. Those people are not my friends. They make me mad and raise my blood pressure, which I need to reduce anyway. I was born a worrier and stress radiates through my veins. I breathe in deeply and exhale. I return to worry. This isn’t healthy so I am working on finding a better way.
For 2020, I walked 378 miles, which wasn’t too shabby considering I had pneumonia that knocked me out, mostly because of the medicine. I had a 13-week cough that I kept trying to tell myself was allergies. No one really wanted to head to the doctor with a cough in 2020, although I knew I didn’t have Covid. We have been home, socially-distanced for (pauses to check calculator website) 295 days. I have gone to fewer than six places including the doctor’s office twice. We’re fortunate we have access to grocery delivery. My fella had been working from home for about a year so his life didn’t change much, and he is thrilled we don’t have to go grocery shopping. Sometimes you end up with a tiny zucchini or broccoli that is much larger than you expected. Small complaints for convenience and helping by giving space to others. Plus, I was a self-diagnosed germophobe before any of this. And, we’re introverts who really are not so fond of people. I worry about my extrovert friends; I realize this is very hard for them. For me, it feels like an amazing commuting sabbatical and a glorious mid-career change. I try not to smile too much as the numbers of dead increase daily.
I read a statistic right before Christmas that in the time it takes to listen to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” nearly five Americans die from the virus. The more contagious strain has hit the East Coast (Florida). Scary times, y’all. I hope you’re all safe and making safe choices.