A set of random thoughts this week reflecting my life in the COVID-19 pandemic:
- A recent grocery-shopping trip really brought home the emotional impact of social distancing. My trip to the grocery store was after the “wear a face mask when out” guidelines. This new guideline is in addition to the “stay 6 feet apart”. In the grocery store, when I wanted to get near a shelf to pick up something or turned a corner… not only did someone pull physically away from me, but now I couldn’t even see if they were smiling hello. OK, I was probably doing it as well…. but the pulling away and no smiling connection really took a toll on me emotionally. I felt like I had leprosy – a huge feeling of rejection settled in and I left the store quite emotionally shaken! Wow. Yes, I am really contemplating the curbside pick-up or delivery options now.
- New learning – I don’t play well with others. I hate the “pyramid” games and the “give out your security questions answers” games that are proliferating in this stay-at-home time. You know these games. The “send a whatever to the top name and then forward this note to your 20 closest friends”. Or the “tell us more about yourself”, like the street where you grew up and your mother’s maiden name. But one game recently did catch my attention – list 10 jobs you’ve had, but one is not true. At first I wondered, “Do I even have 10 jobs in my past?” I worked for one company for 32 years. Then I wondered, “What was my unusual job?” Hmm, this wouldn’t give out any security question clues!
Here’s some of the paid jobs I’ve had in my life: babysitter for deaf child, Burger King cashier, route coder for a freight company, parts coding for military equipment, waste treatment facility worker, manufacturing line team leader, time management analyst, new product start-up leader, cold-water laundry detergent developer, consumer researcher & data analyst, shampoo package designer, spa treatments designer, beauty care product designer, technology story-teller. Which do you think is the most unusual? What was your most unusual job?
- My life seems to revolve around eating these days! I’ve been planning and then executing a 2-week dinner schedule. I’d never planned dinners that much, but with limited grocery shopping and limited restaurants to fall back on, I’ve had to think ahead more. I’ve done pantry and freezer “surfing” – which has unearthed some things we had forgotten about. I’ve enjoyed the creativity involved in pantry cooking! I’ve gone through a bunch of old Rachel Ray cooking magazines and looked on-line for recipe ideas. Not that I follow any recipe directly; I tend to up the veggies and spice levels. Beyond the dinner planning, I spend time almost daily thinking about how I’m using up leftovers creatively for lunch. So far there have been over 5 new dinner recipes tried and quite a few interesting rice/quinoa bowls for lunch. I do think some of this new cooking habit will stick. I do look forward to when I can enjoy grocery shopping and restaurant dining again.
- I’ve joined the “make a mask” brigade. Let’s be clear – I am not a seamstress. Yes, I own a sewing machine, but I do think my mom has used it more than I ever did. My mom attempted to teach me to sew when I was 10 and I vaguely recall how to thread a sewing machine and make a bobbin. I looked at YouTube videos and it took 4 different types of (failed) masks to find one that I could do without cursing. Who knew there were so many different approaches! I’ve ordered masks on-line, but who knows when they will get delivered. So my not-very-even, made-at-home masks will suffice for now.
Life during this pandemic does have its interesting moments.