This installment comes after more than six (6) weeks in self-isolation. Admittedly, I am not as upbeat as I was when I wrote the first piece but I have learned a new trick or two for adapting to our "new normal."
With some stay-at-home restrictions being lifted, more folks are opting to go outside simply for a change of venue or to stretch their legs and get some fresh air. As a result, I have been forced to adjust my exercise routine to avoid the rush of people who given this new-found freedom, have taken to the streets like giddy children hearing the recess bell. However, freedom always comes at a price, and local government has declared that when you are outside of your home, then you “must wear a face covering whenever you are within six-feet of a non-household member.” Based on the number of folks choosing not to wear a mask or some type of facial covering, they have decided that rule simply doesn’t apply to them. In order to avoid too many of [them], I have started my walk an hour earlier each day. Another way I have improved this experience, is to give a big wave to those I pass wearing a face covering, as a gesture of solidarity. It makes me feel giddy for some reason.
Like so many of my friends and family, I am now working from home full time. After six weeks you would think I’ve finally accepted my fate, and settled into a routine, and I have. But, there are distractions. Lots of distractions, or maybe I am looking for them. For instance, my neighbor across the street put up a basketball hoop in his backyard. Now that I work from home, I am subjected to the irritating sound his basketball makes which is a thump, thump, thump. He dribbles the ball for what seems like hours (though in reality it’s probably not more than 30 minutes). As if the sound wasn’t distracting enough, he starts shooting hoops which also goes on for what seems like hours. I watch with curiosity as this 75-year-old man can be so single minded in this one activity, that is until his wife yells at him to "stop that incessant dribbling!" Actually, she never does this, but it doesn't stop me from fantasizing.
As I looked to other forms of entertainment, I realized cleaning is entertaining me. Yes, you read it correctly! Cleaning, and specifically cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. Perhaps it’s due to being a “clean freak” as some have labeled me, or the fact that in another life I cleaned houses as a side job. No matter what may have caused this phenomenon, I know I truly enjoy putting on music, lining up my cleaning products on the kitchen counter, and strategizing how to tackle the big jobs which may require more time than a routine cleaning. I have a *system which maximizes my time and energies. *If you’re interested in learning some cleaning tips send me your email and I will happily pass them along.
My thing is cooking, but recently with so many friends and family suddenly being swept up by the baking craze, and news reports of flour shortages, I have decided it’s the perfect time to try my hand at baking. My first attempt was a banana nut bread, which I understand is one of the top three things to bake, because face it, who can ever eat all the bananas they buy before they become too ripe? I was not impressed with the results, but then I’m more of a savory gal. I think my next attempt at **baking will be a sourdough bread, which I believe is the number one choice among novice, COVID-19 bakers.
I hope very soon I won’t need to write about self-isolation coping mechanisms. Until then, stay well and to avoid boredom, please try at least one of the suggestions from the "Creative Things to do When You are Stuck at Home" section.
By Francine Chemnick, Director of the English Language Academy
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