I’ve never been so stir-crazy in my life. I want to get in my car and go somewhere, eat out, stay in motels, swim, work out at a gym, sip a beer while listening to live music, write in a coffee shop, and eat donuts with my friends after Mass. I want to sit in someone else’s house or ride in someone else’s car. I want to go into the vet’s office with my dog and to sing to my friends at the nursing homes. I want to jam with my musician friends. I’m so sick of Netflix and Zoom I could scream.
My calendar is loaded with events, nearly all of them online. The photo shows the Post-It version. I have the same information on my Google calendar, but I like to be able to see what’s coming up. I get great satisfaction out of peeling off a note and throwing it away once the activity is over.
Yesterday, I spent four and a half hours in Zoom meetings, first a reading for the upcoming issue of Presence, a Catholic poetry journal in which I’m blessed to have a poem. We had a wonderful group of poets from all over the United States. In normal times, Presence’s in-person readings are usually done on the East Coast, and I would not have been there. It was an honor.
That was followed up by an Oregon Poetry Association board meeting. We had a lot to talk about: money, membership, publications, and online events for the upcoming months. Stay tuned for information about readings in March and weekly workshops during April, National Poetry Month.
It was all good stuff, but I kept looking out my window at the almost-sunny afternoon that I was missing. Like my restless dog sighing in the doorway, I wanted out. It was Sunday. I’m supposed to be able to go out and play on Sundays.
The schedule continues to be busy with classes, readings and meetings. I have books to promote. Physical touring is out this year, so I need to get the word out online. Tomorrow I’m being interviewed for the UnRipe podcast out of Australia for childless women. Australia! Imagine that. A while back, I was part of a discussion by childless “elderwomen” that included women from Australia, Ireland, England, Ohio and Oregon. Listen here. How cool is that? As a result, I’m selling copies of Love or Children: When You Can’t Have Both in countries where I have never been. Very cool.
I can read my work at open mics or invited readings almost every night of the week. I can take workshops that would not have been possible pre-Zoom. I can go to Mass at many different churches via YouTube and attend concerts online.
And yet, I want out. I’m my father’s daughter. On Sunday afternoons after church, he’d tell us all to get in the car because we were “going for a ride.” Deep into his 90s, when he finally let me or my brother do the driving, he loved to just get in the car and go. Up in the mountains, down to the beach, through the old neighborhoods, it didn’t matter. He just wanted out. We often wound up dropping in on friends or family. In the time of COVID-19, we can’t do that anymore.
I thank God for the Internet. I don’t know how I would survive so much alone time without it, but I sure miss “real life.” How about you?
Annie the dog, featured here a lot lately with her two weeks in the hospital with Vestibular Disease, continues to get stronger and less dizzy, although she still falls a lot when she’s not on solid ground. She likes to dive into the bushes and wade in muddy water, and then she crashes. But she gets back up. Her bedsores are healing, and there’s nothing wrong with her appetite. We are scheduled for a follow-up vet appointment tomorrow. Thank you for all your love and prayers.
5 thoughts on “I’m Not Going Anywhere, But My Schedule is Full”
I always love to read what is on your mind. I believe that you are surviving living alone through our covid captivity probably much better than most. You have so many interests, like Annie, your walks, your writing, your faith and your music that you can do alone or on the internet that many others living alone don’t have. I think that you stay connected to others who have like interests which keeps you from being isolated. You may live alone, but you are not alone. Yeh! We all want to get out even if we do not live alone. As the saying goes…this too shall pass. I make stickys too, but the night before, I make a list of things planned for the next day and stick it on my dresser, so that when I get up I can be reminded of the day’s activities adjust my schedule accordingly.
Thanks, Carolyn. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have my writing, music and dog. You can only watch so much TV and read so many books. I keep thinking I should deep-clean my house, but . . . nah. I’m glad to keep in touch with you this way. Imagine how bored Fred would be if he had to live through this.
I’m with you Sue! I miss singing in choirs and at church, attending live music and in person concerts, and a lot of the other things you mentioned. I often wonder how long this solitary lifestyle will continue.
I do not spend nearly as much time online as you, and am not grateful for the money Judy and I have spent trying to stream online musical performances. We’ve been disappointed most of the time. That also is true for most of the online singing virtual hour experiences I’ve joined.
So instead we spend a lot of time hiking outdoors, watching birds, photographing the beauty we encounter. It has proven to be much more satisfying, and far less expensive! We also spend a couple hours a day cooking “healthy” new recipes, which has opened a new world of discovery . . . how to incorporate vegetables deliciously into everything! Stay mighty!
Sounds like you’re making good use of your time. I have found most of the online music stuff disappointing, too. A talk I paid for last week was just a rehash of everything that person has said many times before. A few of us do sing at St. Anthony’s, masked and distanced, of course. But it’s not the same. Keeping doing the healthy stuff. Me, I keep baking fattening foods I can’t resist.
This writing will also be a great historical accounting of “what it was like”. Thank you and miss you friend.