Life after Lockdown

The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Life is challenging. I’m still here. Just not feeling exceedingly motivated to write as regularly as before.  It’s okay.  Only temporary, like everything else.

I’m only beginning to get started after the relaxed pace that resulted from being in lockdown mode from a world wide pandemic that I’m sure needs no more mention.  It’s on the news every night as has been for several months.  The only thing that has trumped that (no pun intended) has been brutal police attacks, protests from black lives matter and the rioting that resulted and is still resulting from that.  Rioting that really has nothing to do with the deserving protests. Black History Month isn’t just in February, It’s year round.

There has been very little to no good news of late. Right now for me no news is good news.  I’m tired of all the negativity.  I’m sure you are too.

Regarding my blog… since my blog endures on fabulous (ha, ha) outings, fashion, food, destinations, etc… and since I haven’t been going out to events, or shopping, or restaurants or anywhere exciting, except my own home, I figured it was a good time to take a break, a good excuse a least.  But as I don’t really need to go anywhere to write, and I still have some stories to share over time…  all that’s missing is being in the right frame of mind to recount them. Not to say I didn’t have other things to take care of and focus on. For instance, my priority was my beautiful 18 year old Sheltie Jia Jia who was in rapid decline and who has since passed away.  

Regarding my Sheltie… a friend recently likened missing a companion to experiencing phantom pain – the amputation of a limb phenomenon. Instead of believing a lost limb is actually still there because its pain is felt, it’s feeling the pain of knowing all that remains is a phantom of what or who has been lost and an awareness that lingers everywhere and in anything that reminds us of them.  It takes time.

Something looks very familiar in the clouds.  Lake Loveland. Loveland, Colorado.  Don’t know who took photo.

And if that wasn’t enough, then came repairs to my home: First a roof repair due to raccoons trying to burrow into it again. Then came replacing two heavy wood beams holding up half a dozen cross-beams in my courtyard, a job made necessary by vines that had grown around those beams and that brought carpenter ants that ate them to fragmenting bits. And then came replacing my 9 year old fridge that was still under its 10 year warranty… except for the only part that needed fixing – thanks to a design flaw in the refrigerating system of this now discontinued LG model.  I couldn’t believe how an otherwise perfectly good fridge failed and had to be discarded. Such a waste! The much older fridge which was here when my late husband and I bought this place twenty years ago (and was old then) is in the garage (because I didn’t want to throw it away) and it still works!  Thank goodness because it was a life saver for a few months. The newer ones, I’ve come to realize, are built to last only so many years – presumably to keep the fridge companies in business.  I’m happy with my new fridge which is needless to say, not another LG.  Like the saying goes they don’t build things like they used to.  

I did my research on all types of fridges as I did with all my home repairs. That’s how I spent the majority of my time during lockdown.  Also because stores weren’t open and people didn’t feel comfortable coming into our homes out of fear of contacting a disease, we had to wait it out – for two months, which seemed like eternity then, but now does not.  That’s when you realize how much we’ve come to take for granted.

It’s nice to finally see restaurants and stores starting to opening up.  I’m sad to see many couldn’t make it and are out of business now.  I’ve also discovered, along with many others, that I’m in no hurry to go shopping or eat out anymore.  Only once did I go to a place very close to me to have dinner and a glass of wine.  A kind of welcome back to business evening.  My hairdresser was my first personal appointment when things opened up, though my dog Layla got groomed even before I did.  Next is the dentist.  These are a few things that were always at our fingertips… until they weren’t.  How spoiled we’ve become.

The sheer audacity of ever having to wait in line to get groceries is disconcerting.  Never in our lifetime have we experienced this sort of disruption to our society, but now we’ve all been given a little taste of what it’s like to be inconvenienced. Of course we don’t like it, and we’re not comfortable with it, probably because it makes us vulnerable.

But what if this became the new way of life? We would have to adjust and adapt. Maybe it’s a good thing we had the experience. Just enough to let us know how lucky we are when compared to what many other people must live with all the time.

There is always hope in the dark.

Rebecca Solnit in her book, Hope in the Dark: “Inside the word emergency is emerge; from an emergency new things come forth. The old certainties are crumbling fast, but danger and possibility are sisters.”

Let’s raise a glass to emerging from a situation beyond our control and coming out stronger while being more aware of all possibilities – good and bad. 

Remember danger is real, but fear is a choice.

And let’s try to treat others with the respect they deserve.  

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