I have been home since Thursday. When I’m home indefinitely, I tend not to wear my contacts because I really only need them to see at a distance – to drive or to watch a movie or something. But when I’m home studying, everything is immediately in front of me, and my eyes without contacts work just fine for that. So, when I’m home, I give my eyes a break and just use my glasses if I happen to need clarity on something more than a few feet away from me. Turns out, I sort of like living this way.
I like living with only what is right in front of me in pure focus. My world gets smaller, and I worry less about the “out there” – something I have struggled with a great deal in the past two years. What matters is what is happening right here, in my home. Across the street? I cannot see it. At the place? I am not there. My world is what is immediately in front of me, and I like that world a great deal.
Since I started not feeling well last week (turns out I have Covid), I have been able to focus on school and work and my volunteer work, and I am getting so much done. Shoot, it’s 8:30, and I am ready for tomorrow’s classes and my Thursday class. What on earth? That has not been true since the semester started! But that happens when I am able to focus on what is right in front of me. Stuff gets done, and I love that. It does not mean I am in total control because the reality is that the end of the semester means lots of projects that I have yet to start. But suddenly I see when I can start them. I can do that tomorrow.
Tonight, I choose to pause – to sit in front of the television and perhaps watch some General Hospital. I am about a month behind. I choose to pet my Butter and nestle with my Bread and just be for a bit. (Those two have been loving my doing classes by Zoom again. They are my constant companions.) And though Dave and I are isolating from one another, when he gets home, we will be able to communicate at a distance, whether it be on the porch or on a walk together. We find those moments. At this point, we are being really cautious in keeping space between us, but that is what we do. He is my person, and I want him well, so we’ll take a little extra time apart to make super sure of that.
This period of forced being at home has been…nice. Again, I’m leery of saying that because I know this experience is not easy for everyone. For some, it is incredibly uncomfortable and painful. For others, it is life-altering. I know people in both of those situations right now. Thankfully, for me, it has done little more than slow me for a few days. It helped me to do some things around the house, do some much-needed yard work, catch up on my school work, and, dare I say, get ahead?
I’m staying home a few more days. A few more days of not driving anywhere, of not being around anyone but Dave, and of doing everything by Zoom and by telephone. It feels like early 2020 except there is an end in sight. And for that end and for the ability to focus a little more closely on what is right in front of me, I am grateful.
Take care of yourselves, friends. And take care of the people you love. There is still plenty for us to do ahead.
I love hearing your voice, dear one. I have missed it. There really is something life-giving about only needing to see the next thing. I too did not mind being sequestered. I thought I would feel pressured to be back out in the world when I (arguably) could be; but, you know, I get to be who I want to be! Thank you for writing it down. And be well! It sounds like you are. xoxo Gretchen
I miss you, too, Gretchen. I am so excited to read your book. And so proud of you for seeing it through!