What To Do

In case you don’t know, as we get older we become more attached to our routines. In case you are new here, I am 75 … and VERY attached to my routines. Since we moved to Utah in December many of our routines have been shattered, in particular those connected to particular places and particular people. Now this, this being the COVID-2 pandemic and whatever degree of shelter in place (in my opinion a really dumb terminology) you see as prudent. Ours is probably not as strict as the most rabid would advise but it keeps us in the house much more than we are used to, particularly since we decided to limit our visits to the grocery stores. I had been using the stores to get my steps in each day when it’s cold (and almost all Utah days feel cold to this former Californian), so now I’m bundling up and walking outside. It’s actually better to be in the fresh air. But I get stir crazy being in the house and stir crazy leads to boredom and, for me, boredom leads to mild depression and depression leads to loss of interest in things I enjoy. Ouch. So it’s important for me to be conscientious in finding things to do. Here are a few that help me stay sane.

Talk with friends: We live in amazing times with numerous ways to correspond with those far away (and now, nearby but quarantined). Since we moved here I have been corresponding with friends more and the pandemic (God, I hate that word) has given me time to do so regularly. Doing so satisfies my need to write and keeps me in touch with people I love. My brother (in Ohio) and I have become regular correspondents. I have several friends who are long winded writers like I am, and several others who respond to my long winded by saying let’s talk on the phone. I have never been a phone talker until now … now I have several regular phone-friends, one a friend from high school and college in Connecticut good for a one hour call. My 11 year old granddaughter, Savy, turned up on my tablet using an app I didn’t even know I had, her pretty smile looking out at me in lovely color. The app is Duo, like Apple’s Facetime (but better because it’s not Apple … yes, I’m biased). What a treat. And all kidding aside, I will be using it to extend my phone calls to face calls.

Join a Group: The utilities for online meetings have been quietly improving in the business sector … who knew they would suddenly support socializing at a distance for so many. For over 15 years, I attended a men’s meeting in Garden Grove, CA every Thursday night. Two days ago, I attended it using a dandy app called Zoom that makes it easy to set up a meeting and invite guests. It was great to see the faces of old friends and share how each is dealing with this in a spiritual way. Churches are bringing services on line. I have two friends who have transitioned to online AA meetings using Zoom. Find your own group.

Go to the library: We had just gotten a library card when the coronavirus closed our local library. But I can still browse the shelves using an app called Libby that allows me to find books, then borrow them to read on the LIbby app … or any Kindle device or device with a Kindle App.

Go to a concert: If you’ve been around here long, you know Oldereyes thrives on music. You will often find me with my Bose Headphones or Enacfire earbuds on, listening to the thousands of songs on my smartphone or to the selection on Amazon Prime Music. But there is nothing like live music so at least once a day, I sign on to YouTube and select Music. Listening to favorite performers is fun (I am currently posting one every day in honor of our social distancing efforts) but finding new favorites is fun, too. I have several friends that share their finds with me and I with them. And there are dozens of live concerts on YouTube, too. This is one I found today by my favorite jazz vocalist, Diana Krall.

Attend a lecture: As far as I’m concerned, when we stop learning, we might as well be dead, so while I’m waiting to see if COVID-19 has me on it’s list, I’m going to lectures. My favorite source is TED Talks. TED Conferences LLC (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an American media organization that posts talks online for free distribution under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”. The talks cover a wide range of topics that inform and challenge and can be accessed on the TED Talks App or on (yes, again) YouTube. Two favorites of mine are Brene Brown’s inspirational talk, The Power of Vulnerability and Siamak Hariri’s How Do You Build a Sacred Space? on the building of the Bahai Temple in South America.

Laugh: Laughter is fun in good times, essential in tough times. The internet … and YouTube in particular … is a great place to find videos to make you laugh. I spend at least a half an hour a day watching comedy videos, usually before bed. Jim Gaffigan is a favorite, and once I went through the Jim Gaffigan videos, I started on Jay Leno Headlines and comedians appearing on the Tonight show. Yes, I’m old so I mostly go for the old stuff but you can find something for your taste without much work. Laugh, dammit.

I’d be happy hear any of your favorite social distancing diversions in the comment section of this post or on Facebook. And please, look at the positives, stay grateful and take care of yourself. This too shall pass.

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One Comment on “What To Do”

  1. barryh Says:

    Some good tips there. Thanks.

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