COVID Can-Do List
It was March 2020 when we all skidded into living life from home.
Life hasn't been the same since.
No more parties. No stopping by a friend's house just to say hello.
No more nonchalantly perusing the shelves of the library or the grocery store.
Now we have precautions of wearing a face covering and keeping our distance.
Now we have all learned what the "6-foot rule" is, and must stand on the red or yellow tape adhered to the floor in the check-out line.
We must be sure to keep our distance from the shopper in front of us.
It's the "new rules" of life.
The lines remind me of high school track, the line one stands behind before the starter's gun explodes and the runners lunge forward with speed, racing to the finish line.
Or the line at the javelin throw, being sure not to let a foot slip past the line before the long rod is thrust into the air lest the thrower be disqualified.
Sometimes these images flash through my brain as I wait to pay for my purchases, and I laugh to myself, imagining my fellow shoppers in a race, lacking only the gunshot to start us running to the finish line.
It would be a fun game show perhaps, for life in 2020.
A new competition to film and upload to YouTube, grocery carts askew, men panting, ladies' flip-flops flapping, racing to the registers.
No longer horse races on TV, but real humans, using the six-foot distances to pace their race.
In this time of staying (mostly) around my neighborhood, I have learned more about the things I "can do" instead of looking for entertainment in town.
I can climb a ladder and finally dust the ceiling fans.
I can trim those backyard bushes that have gotten too overgrown.
I can sit doing nothing on a wicker chair on the patio, listening to the birds chirp -- and not feel guilty.
I can spend hours perusing odd information on the computer -- and then can go on a walk after too much sitting.
I can learn a new hobby of jewelry making -- and now Michael's is a bi-weekly curbside pick-up point for supplies.
I can play with my dogs in the yard, knowing they love the attention.
I can look at old photographs of my children when they were young and scan them to digital files.
I can color my hair a different color -- and like it!
I can take time to finish that short story and enter a writing contest.
I can spend an hour banging the used drum set I bought and learn how to play.
I can work on the lyrics of a song I started years ago -- and finish it.
Of course, I also can and do work on my clients' editing projects -- it's how I earn my living.
The list is truly endless.
It's time alone that is easy to fill in these months of (mostly) being at home -- on the days when I'm not dragging with the monotony of this strange life.
What I can't do is visit family members who live out of state.
What I can't do is join friends for lunch in a restaurant for fear of others who might have the virus.
I cannot feel that this life is normal, despite seeing daily what loved ones are up to by viewing their social media pages.
Or in texting them. Better yet, calling them on the phone.
What I can't do is always remember right off what day of the week it is -- without checking my calendar!
What I can't do is join fellow singers at weekly choir rehearsal -- there are no concerts now.
But like so many others, I can keep the faith that this will be over soon.
I think of those who lived through the flu pandemic of a hundred years ago.
I wish I could go back in time to see what it was like -- and talk to those who were living then and survived.
How many of them were my ancestors?
How many of my ancestors died of that flu?
I wonder what will be written of us, the people of 2020, whose lives changed almost overnight because of some quirky virus that originated in China.
Who'd have thought a year ago this is how 2020 would be?
None of us.
Many say it's like we're living in a nightmare. Or that this must be a bad movie.
I, for one, continue to pray that this ends soon.
I, for one, wonder what God's outcome and purpose of this situation is about.
Families likely will be drawn closer. Some relationships will grow stronger -- or dissolve for lack of having time together.
I can keep a positive attitude about it, and keep those whom I love close in heart.
I look forward to the day when I will hug them close, look them in the eyes and say, "I love you. I've missed you. I'm so glad to see you."
I can continue to wait for that day -- and I do.
I can reinvent myself and enjoy this slower time of life.
Before we know it, we'll all be caught up in the hustle and bustle of life.
Or will we?
I can hope we will take things slower -- because that is how we can truly enjoy God's gifts of nature, family, friends.
We CAN learn to live our lives differently, keeping in mind what's important.
We can keep faith that our loves ones will not die of the virus.
We can learn that our "old" life was perhaps filled with meaningless things.
It's supposed to be about caring for people.
It's about LOVE.
Perhaps that is the lesson of COVID-19.
And That -- I can live with.