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A Month and Counting

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Well, I’ve been here in my house for a month now. On March 15 the Governor told anyone over 65 to stay home. A couple of days later he expanded that order to include everyone. Everyone, just stay home, he said. So we did, for the most part. I believe that everyone stayed home because I did, but I have been led to believe that I may be at home more than some people. I have a family member who is a police officer and he was shocked this week at how many people are out and about during this time. I find myself getting really irritated by it! What makes them so special? Do they think that only other people can get this virus? Or that they can’t bring it home to their family members? There’s no easy button here.

Does that make me sound grouchy? It probably does, but honestly I’m not feeling grouchy. Just incredulous. And maybe a little grouchy if I watch the daily White House antics. About that, I’m more than incredulous, but I don’t know the word for it. Definitely “grouchy” applies.

So, the days are flying by. I wake up and make coffee in my fancy espresso machine that I’m so glad I bought last summer. Then I do a Marco Polo video with a friend or two. Even though those videos are such poor quality that they make anyone look terrible, I love being able to chat up my friends, so I do.  Why, in this day and age, does a video app have to result in such bad looking videos? I look better on FaceTime, and that’s not great. But whatever. That requires both people to be available at the same time. And I have to stop talking long enough to wait for the other person to talk. So I keep doing Marcos.

After a Marco or two I eat breakfast – always the same thing. bacon, spinach and eggs. Day in and day out. Then I start making art. I’m all about my newly revamped garage studio these days. I now have three working spots. Two standup spots and one sitdown spot. Which one do you think I use the most? KYep.The sitting down spot with a bit tabletop. I either make a collage, or paint something in my art journal or I work on a painting in progress.  Sometimes I tune in to an online class or work session with an artist or two that I like. That’s pretty fun and it helps make the time pass.

A couple of times I went out to the bird refuge for a sit in the breezy sunshine. The migratory birds are pretty much gone, so it’s a good place to be able to avoid contact with other people. I took this picture there (the one above). That is my favorite little tree. I can always get a pretty good reflection shot, and in the winter when it’s naked it is always filled with noisy little black birds. The place is starting to smell a little of algae as the sun begins to evaporate the marsh water. But that’s okay with me for now.

I think I need more exercise, so yesterday I ordered some trekking poles. I was supposed to have my knee replaced on April 6, but that didn’t happen. I think that if I use some poles maybe I can actually take a walk. I wonder if I’ll be embarrassed using them, but I sort of don’t care. If they help me take a walk they’ll be worth it. And I’m a pretty early riser, so I can just walk early, while everyone else is still sleeping, while I get used to them. While I get over being embarrassed by them. Maybe I’ll try them at the bird refuge.  I’ll keep you posted on that.

Yesterday I saw that a former student of mine (way former – like 12 years ago) announced that she is reopening her eyelash extension/nail salon on April 20. I’m pretty sure that Gavin Newsom isn’t going to let us out by then, so she’s just making a rogue move in reopening.  I messaged her asking what she’s thinking. She replied that she has bills to pay and that this virus came at a really inconvenient time for her. So she is opening.  A pandemic came at an inconvenient time. Okay then. I get it, and t’s none of my business really. But how much closer can you get to a person than when you are adding little tiny hairs to their eyelashes? I am practicing non-attachment here. Non. Attachment.  But have you seen “the curve?”  Non. Attachment.

Okay. This is enough for now. If I write any more I might get snarky. (Snarkier. M ore snarky. Snarkiest.) Have a wonderful day. Get out in the sunshine, maybe dig in the dirt a little. Avoid the Socials. That’s what I’m going to do.

 

Things I’m Learning About Retirement.

Here is a list of things I’m learning about being retired. They are creeping up on me as I become accustomed to not working. Some are surprising and some not so much. And some have more to do with aging than retiring. I’m sure this list will be a regularly occurring feature on this blog.

  1. You don’t have to do your errands and grocery shopping on the weekend. Yesterday I went out to Michael’s for one of their ubiquitous 70% off canvas sales. Michael’s is located across the street from Costco. For some reason the street leaving Costco is one lane, so turning out of the Michael’s parking lot is a chore on the weekends, even if you are only turning right, into the stream of traffic. Those Saturday errand warriors are not very generous in allowing extra traffic into the mix. After waiting for ten minutes for someone who needed to go left across that incessant stream of cars (Doesn’t anyone plan their shopping so they don’t have to cross traffic like that? There is a light one driveway down where she could’ve crossed easily!), I realized that I don’t have to do my errands on a Saturday any more. The canvasses were on sale on Friday too.  (Not that I even need more canvas. Michael’s puts them on 70% off about every other week. ) There is even a not very crowded Farmer’s Market on Wednesday morning so  that outing can be avoided on Saturday as well. I’m just a creature of habit, I guess. And that habit that will be changing now.
  2. Even though you don’t have to get up early to go to work (4:45 AM for 25 years is not as hard a habit to break as I expected), it’s good to maintain reasonable sleep and wakeup times. Your body wants that and doesn’t feel so great when you stay up until midnight to watch one more episode of Outlander. Or whatever one does until midnight. You feel kind of warmed over in the morning. The excuse that you can sleep in as late as you want to doesn’t really fly with me. I don’t feel good when I stay up too late, no matter how many hours I sleep.
  3. It seems to be a good idea to save one day a week in which you don’t schedule anything in particular, unless it’s maybe a lunch date. I am so busy now doing whatever I want to that I can’t imagine how I ever found time to work. That’s not really true. It’s just a thing people say. I have plenty of time, but I am quickly filling it up, so it is truer than you might think. So I’ve declared Fridays appointment free days. Unless someone wants to go out to lunch or to see a movie.
  4. There aren’t as many chances to earn a couple extra hundred dollars as there were when I was working, so even though I have enough to live on, doing extra things will require special budgeting and saving. I’m not very good at that, so that’ll be a new skill to master. Or I could get a part time job if I want to go someplace expensive.
  5. When you go to the Apple store (Or, presumably other places) you may be told to have your daughter set up something in your phone for you. Today I was buying new charging cables for my phone and iPad and when asked if I used Apple Pay, I said no. I’d set it up but had to change cards because mine got hacked and bla bla bla. I just hadn’t gotten around to setting it up again. I’ve lived without it all my life, so I don’t feel any urgency to begin, but at the same time, I’m game.  After trying to set it up for me, and discovering that I’d have to call my bank to finish setting it up, the teenaged clerk who was attending me told me to just have my daughter do it for me. This is the daughter who was at that moment buying her first computer ever. I have owned Mac products since this guy was in elementary school and I can certainly set up Apple Pay if I want to use it. And I said that. I wasn’t rude, mind you. I didn’t  say the elementary school thing. I just said “Yeah, I can do it.” But he again told me to just have my daughter do it for me, that she’d take care of me. The condescending pat on my shoulder hung in the air, unpatted, but present all the same.  I recognize that this was probably a function of my silver hair rather than my being retired, but it fits here any way. Really.  Just really. Ugh!!
  6. Here is an encouraging photo to end this post, Because no matter how cold and rainy, no matter how crowded things become, these birds always take to the air and soar, cackling and laughing all the way. Plus Sandhill Cranes are just so cool!