One year ago today, I was in a local grocery store trying to stock up on supplies along with throngs of toilet paper panic-buyers. It was the first day of my quarantine, a Friday the 13th. I thought it would be only a few weeks of working at home.
One year later, I am still working at home.
Like many people I spent the year exploring new activities and hobbies. I’ve baked bread. (But only three times. Store-bought is better.) I studied the Tao Teh Ching and read the Bhagavad Gita along with books on Buddhism and meditation. I got into doing at least one of the daily offices from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer (okay, not every day, but enough so that it is somewhat a habit). I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen with vegetarian cooking. (Beans, beans, the magical fruit….). I have been gardening– you’ve seen plenty of pictures here– and I have been trying to establish art-making as a daily practice (except I spend more time arting in my bedroom where the light is better than in the studio I set up.)
I have not been writing much. I need to be out and about gathering experiences to write on. I have not been drumming. I cannot drum alone and zoom drumming is not an option. I have not been exercising much. Bad girl, bad!
I’ve spent way too much time on social media. The upside: I’ve been cultivating virtual relationships with other artists and like-minded people in FaceBook groups. I have spent hours binge-watching series like Downton Abbey and The Good Witch. I have been taking crash courses in ancient history on YouTube. Technology has been a God-send: I’ve gotten to know the people of my faith community and my work community a whole lot better through Zoom. I’ve had many “virtual happy hours” with my personal friends via text messaging.
And I’ve been reading and reading and reading fiction– especially in the genres of fluffy mysteries and magical realism.
I’ve been more politically aware thanks to 24/7 cable news. I’d like to think I made a difference for the better with my vote.
But these activities, along with work, could not fill up all the hours of the day and night. So I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting: Reflecting on heavy issues like death and dying. (Yes, Covid has touched very close to home). Reflecting on the difference between being alone and being lonely. (Not something you want to ponder at 3:30 in the morning). Reflecting on my own physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. (I’ve got some work to do there).
Tomorrow, God-willing and the creek don’t rise, I am supposed to get my first vaccine dose. Even though the pandemic is far from over and I still need to be careful for the sake of others, when I get my second dose, I will consider this journaling project over. I will have survived.
This quarantine has been as if the Universe has given me a time out to sift through a lot of inner stuff.
And I am trying hard to be grateful for that.