NC’s Stay at Home order expires on May 8th, and we go into phase 1 of trying to reopen. I just finally got used to this new way of life, I don’t know that I’m ready. Honestly, I’m probably not doing anything different than what I’m doing already. The phase 1 orders don’t look much different than what we are doing right now, except that I think some retail stores, like clothing stores, that had previously closed, will be able to open again.
I have created a little routine for myself here. I like it more, honestly, than I liked my life before. I stay busy, the house is cleaner than it has ever been, the yard looks better than it ever has, the dog gets more walks, shit… I’m cleaner than I’ve ever been. I’ve been flossing literally every single day. I’ve been taking vitamins. I’ve been eating square meals regularly and walking at least once a day. I do something challenging (like digging a vegetable bed, or hauling some junk) every day to keep myself strong. I’ve never been one who enjoyed working out, so these types of things are how I stay fit. I don’t really want it to go back to the way it was for me before, and I don’t think that I’m going to.
I have plenty of clothes. I finally located all of them (I have WAY TOO MANY). I don’t need to go clothes shopping. I can order anything I need or get it locally, literally anything I can think of within reason. I have time to think now, and I get things done. I don’t need to go to a bar, I can simply go see a friend. I got over the bar thing really fast. I’ve learned to cook so many new things, about once a week we get the urge to go to get some kind of take-out, like a treat. That take-out is typically very modest, I’m talking Snoopy’s or Moe Joes. Something I would definitely be willing to spring for is descent sushi. I can roll some, but mine is just not the same.
I wake up, have my coffee on the porch, feed all of the animals, feed the chickens, and water all of my baby plants. Then I water all of the garden beds. Then I usually start some kind of weeding/digging/planting project. After that, I eat lunch. If there are errands to run, I do those. Then I put all of that stuff away or whatever needs doing with it. Next I start kind of planning for dinner. I call a friend or family member. Today I even sat in the hammock and read! Sometimes I write letters to people.
Then I make dinner and clean everything up- dishes never sit in this house anymore. I sweep the floors, because pet hair is constant. I floss my teeth when I can’t think of what to do next and remember to take my vitamins because my brain isn’t packed full of busy bullshit. I tackle something that is disorganized because I simply had not noticed it yet. I don’t rush through it because I don’t have to. All of the laundry is done and put in its place. All of the towels are clean. Sheets are washed and changed on a mental schedule, and my office is finally organized into something that I can work in.
As I settle into the evening, Elliot and I might watch something together. My hands take a beating from working outside, so I strip off old, clear nail polish and apply a new coat, sometimes getting daring with glitter and little decals- can’t get too crazy on it, it will all be ruined in a day or two with all that digging in the dirt, but then again, what does that matter? I have time in the evenings to fix it, if it’s important to me. I take a shower, no need to rush, but I tend to take short showers anyway compared to my husband, “King of the 30 minute shower”. I put on something clean and comfortable. Elliot goes to bed and I take over the office and write, research, and learn to do new things. I plan to try something new tomorrow. I go to bed and repeat.
It’s not a crazy life, but man, it’s a better one than I’ve had in years. I don’t think that I’ve checked so many wellness boxes in one day in my entire adult life. I’ve just always been too busy, and when I wasn’t “too busy”, I was too depressed about not being “too busy” to enjoy what I had. I didn’t even know how to live a day to day life that didn’t require me being pulled in 4 different directions while needing to physically be in 2 different places at the same time. I just simply didn’t know what that could feel like. I would work hard, then play hard, and everything else got smooshed, condensed in between, typically with “personal wellness” taking the bottom rung and the least amount of space.
In my downtime, I felt like I had to go socialize- often times because jobs I’ve had most of my life required it to some degree. I can still be social. I’m a great messenger person. I do actually reply to texts. I can even talk on the phone or in person. If I have your address, you may even get a real piece of mail when I feel froggy, but I am absolutely over being squished into a wall, dick to ass, in a music venue. (I’ve sort of been over that, now I’m real over it).
I’m enjoying getting exactly what I want at smaller places, instead of braving the grocery store- fish markets are awesome. The Farmer’s Market is awesome. Individual growers, bakers, and local artisans are awesome. I’ll also tell you this, I have not stepped foot inside a Wal-mart or a Target since this all started. Not to be snobby, I haven’t gone to Costco either and you couldn’t pay me to go in Wegman’s. Those big ass places full of humans scare the fuck out of me right now. I would rather just go to the Walgreens at Cameron Village for shampoo, toilet paper, and pain reliever- so fewer people, in and out quickly. That’s where it’s at for me.
I think I’ve found my “new normal”, and I think I really like my “new normal”. I like ME better this way, not just the world that I’ve been somewhat forced to create (even though it was really here the whole time), but the person I am while being a part of this world. I think I’ve retained more information, lived in the moment more, and had my life more organized in the past few weeks that I definitely have in the past 10 years. No matter how far they “reopen NC”, I don’t think that I’m going to be fully participating in all of that anymore.