Friday, September 11, 2020

They say it’s an ill wind that blows no good.  Covid has been a storm.  It has meant death for some people, unemployment and struggling or failed businesses for others.  It has meant the heartbreak of not being able to visit loved ones in hospitals and nursing homes.  It has meant not being able to have a proper funeral when someone dies.  It has meant an unsettling feeling of alienation when you see more masks than faces.  But if the old saying is true, surely there are a few good things that have come out of it.

Here are some good things that I have experienced on a personal level - 

I found out I’m ok with being gray.  I had my hair dyed for so many years, I had no idea what color it was.  I knew it was gray.  You don’t get to be my age without being gray.  But I always wondered how much of my hair is gray?  And what kind of gray?  Is it a dingy yellow gray or snowy white or a steely silver?  It’s leaning toward silver as it grows out, and I’m happy with that.  If beauty shops hadn’t closed, I’d still be having it dyed.  I found out I like my hair longer than it has been.  I got a trim yesterday for the first time since March 5.  My hair was beginning to be unruly and needed what my beautician calls “shaping up.” It’s a good bit longer than it has been in years.  I like it.

When you live out in the countryside like I do, a trip to the big city to shop and run errands is an all-day affair.  In the past I always had lunch at a restaurant.  Now I pack a lunch.  I bought a nifty lunch thing that has three good sized compartments and three little trays.  All of this screws together and makes a tower that slides down in an insulated case.  Yesterday I had salad in the largest container, mandarin oranges in another container, and a protein bar cut in squares in the third container.  I found a spot next to a tree in a parking lot and parked there to eat lunch.  It’s an idiosyncrasy of mine.  If I’m not seated inside at a table to eat, I want to be by a tree. (If you’re a psychologist, and you know what this means, message me.) Since it was 96 degrees outside, I stayed in the car and kept the air-conditioning running. I played some music on Spotify.  All in all, it was a pleasant dining experience.  Restaurants are open now - although not at full capacity - but I think I’ll continue to pack my lunch on most of my big city days.  It’s more economical and probably more healthy.  I know this isn’t good for the restaurants, but it’s good for me.

Since I’ve been at home more than usual the last few months, I decided to endure the chaos that goes with home repair and sprucing-up projects.  I wonder now if some of my past outings weren’t just excuses to get away from home and avoid these projects.  We had some water damage on the dining room ceiling from a leak.  The leak was fixed a few months ago.  Since Covid, we’ve finally had someone repair the sheet rock and repaint the ceiling.  We also had the 1970s gray paneling in our guest room painted a pretty blue called “Icy.”

Months ago I bought a Kalimba - that little hand-held musical instrument - mainly because it’s so cute.  (I know, that’s no reason to buy a musical instrument.)  Since the Covid lockdown, I’ve actually learned to play the little thing.  I’ve played the piano since I was nine years old, and I also play the flute.  The Kalimba is a different animal.  On the piano the pitch gets progressively higher as you move from left to right on the keyboard.  The pitch on a  Kalimba alternates from side to side.  I think it’s good brain exercise to learn how to navigate this side to side instrument.  I’m playing it so much now I decided to order a case for it.  I took it with me on my errand trip yesterday.  When I had to kill time between appointments, I sat in the car and practiced the Kalimba.

These are a few of the positive things that the Covid wind has blown for me.  I’d love to hear some of your positive developments due to the lockdown, so comment below.