Well, well, well…here we are, folks. It’s mid-October (by the time I’ve finished writing this, it might be the end of October, the way things have been going for me lately) and so many things have changed. And then again, they haven’t changed at all. Amirite? I don’t remember if I had any ideas, back in March, what the fall and winter would be like. Did I think the world was going to magically open back up? I don’t think so, but I probably thought that things would be better by now.
We’re mid-pandemic, as opposed to the omg-there’s-a-pandemic-buy-all-the-toilet-paper spring, and more or less, people have really gotten on board with hand washing, hand sanitizer, and face masks (I actually don’t rip my face mask off 2 seconds after I leave the grocery store anymore…it usually stays on for a solid 10 seconds or so. And I’ve started to think of my face masks as a wise investment for the winter, to help my perpetually cold nose maybe be not so cold). Most of our needed supplies are available again, even if not in the quantity we’re accustomed to.
At the same time, it also feels like many things are still just the same. Or maybe even a little worse. School? Omg, I don’t have children so all I can say is I’m sorry, and please know whatever choice you made for your child/ren is the right choice for your family. Public gatherings? Still not a great idea. The COVID-19 infection rates are going up all around us (but a huge shout out to our local communities where the numbers are still pretty level. We might be rural, but heck, that sure has advantages, doesn’t it?) Nursing homes? I’m so so worried about our family members who haven’t seen loved ones in months, and hope with all my heart that things will get better for them soon.
Political unrest? Check. Looming election that, one way or another, will cause a greater divide in our country? Check. Rising mental health, alcohol/drug dependence, and domestic violence issues? Check, check, and…check. Welp, I pretty much just depressed myself to death – wonder if anyone is still reading? I hope so, because I do have IDEAS to help all of us get through the next few months. Maybe not in total comfort, most likely not at all in style, but some ideas, nonetheless.
First – do a deep deep cleaning of your house (I’m talking to myself here). There is no better feeling than having a home that is clean. Those of you who deep clean on the regular? I am so envious, and also – how do you do it? Plus – clean house = less germs. ‘Nuff said.
Prepare your television / streaming service / music binge list: Don’t get stuck in a rut. Make a plan for what you want to watch and listen to, so that you don’t spend endless hours on the weekend mindlessly scrolling through cable and whatever streaming service you have, saying “I know there was something I wanted to watch… but what was it?” In other words, don’t be like me.
Food: I’m guessing we’re all pretty much over our sourdough bread baking phase, but cooler weather and a pandemic demand comfort food. So far, I’ve found recipes for something called Rösti (kind of like a fancy hashbrown – yummmm, potatoes); home-made pop-tarts; chicken putanesca; and I’m bound and determined to master risotto. I see a theme of carbs-carbs-and-more-carbs here. And since I really enjoy cooking, I want to learn more about making authentic Asian food at home.
Exercise: Following food comes exercise, because uh – duh, that’s a lot of calories I just listed up there. Thing is, I hate being cold. Therefore, I hate being outside in the winter. My feet are always cold. As I said above, my nose is ALWAYS cold (even in the summer, in air conditioning). My fingers get so cold they ache and I can barely move them. This is the year for me to do the research and invest in some genuinely warm winter gear. And then go outside and get some fresh air and exercise. Given my propensity for being a klutz and having frequent injuries, I *won’t* be taking up skiing this winter. If you’re already an avid winter lover, feel free to send recommendations on how I can stay warm!
Hobbies: Jigsaw puzzles. Adult coloring books. Sudoku. Building covered bridges out of popsicle sticks (I had an uncle who did that). I think learning how to knit or crochet might be a good winter activity, because WARMTH (yes, we do turn the heat on in our house, it’s just that I have no circulation, I guess.) Did you ever watch NCIS and marvel at Gibbs building boats in his basement? Think outside the box – if there’s something you want to learn and do, see if you can figure out how to do it! If you get stuck for ideas, I know a place where you could probably borrow a book or two to help you… 😉
Clothes: No matter how much we plan, there’s going to be down time/ stuck in the house time. Make sure you have plenty of comfy, roomy clothes so you can veg on the couch in comfort. Also remember, hygiene is important, so don’t wear the SAME yoga pants and t-shirt with fuzzy slippers for *too* many days in a row <ahem…might be talking to myself here again…>.
Blanket forts: Doesn’t matter how old you are, if you have kids or not. There is nothing better than snuggling down into a blanket fort and watching a movie, reading a book, or simply taking a winter’s nap.
And lastly, as if you didn’t think I was going to mention this: BOOKS!!! Books, books and more books. All free at your local library!!! You don’t have to spent a dime, and if you have an e-reader, you don’t even have to leave your house. If you *do* leave your house, remember we also have audio books, DVDS, and other media. We even have board games you can borrow!
I tried to make this post light and fun (after my seriously depressing beginning) – but I think we all know we have some challenges ahead of us. Wash your hands, wear a mask, stay off social media (except for the library’s web-site and FB page, of course), be kind to yourself and to others, and if you’re struggling, please reach out to someone who can help. If you need resources, give us a call at 518-829-7248 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to help.
We’ll get through this together!