Earlier today, I called to check in on “Grandpa Mike”—my 85-year-old adopted grandfather who lives in Staten Island and has been strictly homebound since the start of the quarantine per his children and grandchildren’s orders. He was pleasantly surprised and excited to hear from me and kept saying: “You are a good person. You are a good person.”
We talked for about an hour. He shared stories with me of how he lived through the polio, peaceful protests, uncertain and scary times, and the unknown and unseen inflicting fear as the greatest and more fearsome powerhouse. He is living history. Before we parted, he said to me, “I was listening to the radio and the radio host says that we have been in confinement for 100 days if you count ALL the days since we heard of Corona Virus, Covid-19.”
“Really?” I asked.
“Really,” he confirmed.
I went over to my Pusheen kitty cat calendar and counted the days since I started working from home. It has been approximately 91 days, but it was, indeed, about 100 days since the news of Corona Virus, Covid-19 landing on USA soil. 100 days out of nearly 38 years of my life. I started to wonder the place I was in now as opposed to 100 days ago and all that had happened in my life in this weird time warp of the days going so slow like thick molasses but then it blows you away at how speedy the time actually went by.
This is what I came up with in 100 days with the ones in * to be the hardest hit for me:
-Spent over 50 days not physically seeing or spending in-person time with my family and friends *
-Laughed and joked with my colleagues at work in-person*
-Spent over 50 days not going to a supermarket to buy my very own groceries and just roam the aisles as I so love doing
-Gone to one of the many libraries I go to for in-person and fun activities and get lost in all the book aisles
-Swam in a pool *
-Went to a restaurant with my friends to eat and chat*
-Fulfilled another Wu foodie list item*
-Spent over 50 days not walking side by side with a friend or family member*
-Stood up and spoke up to bothersome individuals and situations- realizing and making boundaries known
-Handled an insect problem in my apartment
-Being physically all along without any human contact *
In 100 days, I DISCOVERED:
-Discovered Yoga and Breath
-I am pretty decent at baking cookies!
-Putting together my patio table and the joy of being outside on my patio in nature
-The importance of neighbors and community
-The Helpers and the Heroes versus the not
-Received many visits at my door of food, love, care, and conversations
-Surprise from long-lost people who checked-in on me and made sure I had enough groceries and food
-Wrote and Received cards
-Learned about curbside ice cream and farm produce delivery
-Made phone calls to strangers to try to cheer them up
-Positivity Project at Ossining Public Library
-Discovered how beautiful it is where I live to walk and be in such beauty
-Learning about meal planning, being resourceful, and about rationing and substituting
-How much stuff I have that I do not really need that other people need more
-Discovered Zoom and other technological advances
-Ricky and his funny, sweet routines
-Integrity and Humility
-Faith (an ongoing process)
-YouTube stretching videos
-The love of animals
-How powerful compassion and hate can be in the best and worst of ways, respectively
-Little things mean the most in the best or worst of ways
-How much or many I may have taken for granted
-The greatest power is FEAR and how the unseen and unknown enemy inflicts that feeling of fear
-Created HUGS platform
-Hugged someone or received a full-fledged ‘let me mend your broken pieces and put you back together again’ HUG*
In 100 days, I have been physically ALL ALONE in my apartment only to realize that humans and myself especially are not made to be all alone and that people need people AND need touch. In 100 days, I witnessed and experienced the death of a good friend (and another friend and a friend’s mother), difficulties with people who can't take the stress (myself included at times), opportunities with people who can take the stress and anxiety and turn it into something awesome, family dynamics of loves and dislike, limitations and boundaries while also trying to push boundaries, opened doors to closed doors, and the good days and bad days and the good and bad in all of us. I think one of the biggest discoveries I have made is that stress, difficulties, and challenges can bring out the worst and best in people and what we do or do not do can have the biggest impact. It can be hard to be happy and to keep on going and to focus at the positives at times and we are all allowed to our bad days to then appreciate the good in life yet again.
It just dawned on me today that this is the first post I have written and posted in a long while on my blog..probably in 100 days. I have realized that, in 100 days, I have somehow reverted to a child to color, bake and eat cookies, hug my stuffed animals, watch old 1980’s shows, read children’s books, do origami, crave comfort foods (hot bread from the oven, tomato soup with grilled cheese, and dumplings just to name a few), cuddle extra with kitty cat Ricky, discovered new places and revisited some old places to walk at least 30 minutes-1 hour every single day, and, most of all, struggled to be an ‘adult’ and ‘adulthood’ to write the words I have been really feeling and experiencing during 100 days and counting time.
Recently, someone asked me: “What do you think the whole point of this corona virus was and with everything else going on in the world?”
My answer: “I think the point is to learn about ourselves and others—we only will learn about ourselves and others in the worst of times and not the best of times, and the learning and discovering is not always pretty, but it is always revealing and necessary to reflect and reevaluate our lives and ourselves. I think the point is gratitude to treasure and savor what we have and who we have who are worthwhile and reminding us of our self-worth. I think the point is to realize that as much people can get on our nerves that people need people because we are no isolated islands and solitary confinement is one of the worst punishments one can endure. I think the point is to become better and not bitter. “
I can honestly and wholeheartedly conclude the one certain and truth is that we ALL have been immensely hit, impacted, and affected by this time emotionally, economically, financially, mentally, physically, spiritually, and the list goes on and on. I wonder what you have you learned, discovered, and realized during this time about yourself and others? What do you think the whole point of this corona virus was and with everything else going on in the world? How have your 100 days been and what do you HOPE for going forward?
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,