(I tried to publish this yesterday but the servers were too overloaded) I enjoyed my birthday dining outside with my son and went for a walk. My grandson called to sing and is 90% better. A friend stopped by and sang to me wearing mask and gloves and handed me a bd bag with toilet paper and paper towels…how thoughtful! and funny!

It’s my birthday today! Made it through another year! It won’t be the party it was last year for a milestone birthday party.  This one will be quite uneventful and relatively quiet and alone, but it’s nice to hear from friends and family at this time. Excited to see my son after six weeks who will pick up some food for me and maybe we’ll picnic on the patio!  It will be a rare warm day as it is usually snowing or raining on my birthday.  My lilac bush is barely budding which is a bit behind.

However, there are still family health issues weighing on my heart. I miss my grandson who is still recovering from what we presume is the virus (they won’t test unless you are over 65 years). He’s been sick a month and with pneumonia and been in Arizona with his mother since spring break.  Hoping he will be back sometime in May when he is all better.

And, I am doing a fundraiser on my Facebook page for one sister. Two of sisters dropped by the past couple of days and they are both facing health challenges. One sister began chemo this week and another needs a liver transplant yet I am hopeful they will fully recover as they are young yet (I am the oldest of six).  Perhaps we can have a big celebration later on and party for all the birthdays and good health outcomes at once! And I have a niece whose baby was due the 24th, so awaiting news of her birth!  She will deliver at home with a midwife.

It’s unbelievable that six weeks have passed since sheltering in. Finally, this past week, I experienced some hope and some spring fever.  And a bit of the urge to do spring cleaning (good thing since I am firing my cleaning lady…me!)  I am tired of feeling gloomy and depressed about everything, while hoping for good outcomes.  The weather is getting nicer and the days longer. The sun helps!   Soon will be out on the patio raking my dirt/plant areas and planting for the summer.

Part of the optimism is due to the fact that some businesses are beginning to open back up.  Mind you I am not anxious to run out to shop or get my hair done (though it sure needs it)!  We have to do this cautiously.   I am hoping I can get to my scheduled dental appointment, and back to massage soon, but cautiously.  Those are all things you can’t do six feet apart!  Even though I am getting used to it, it still feels a bit odd to wear the masks, apparently our new societal dress code. Also, I am still making masks for people and also starting to work on projects for Christmas now. Might as well get a head start and use the time wisely! 

The news remains both sad and upsetting so I am watching it less. What I’ve found more helpful is reconnecting with some spiritual groups and webinars to keep myself more grounded.  It was nice to learn that our governor has released many prisoners and that California is releasing many of the detained children at last!  I just have to hope that some good will come from all of this.

This pandemic period in our history is highlighting many of the policies that need to be repaired and reexamined in the U.S.  One is elder care facilities, which obviously need more oversight for their cleanliness and procedures.  We never should have been detaining children in prisons in the first place and the immigration policy needs revamping, not dismissal!   Who would want to immigrate here when we have the highest virus rate of 25% when we are only 5% of the world’s population?  The prison system should be examined and those who have minor offenses can be released, and perhaps more programs to integrate and train people to reenter the communities in a better fashion.  We need to work on the Green New Deal and reinstate the EPA regulations that keep us safer, and work toward sustainable energy.  Have you seen the photos of the clear skies, and the animals and fish thriving without our interference and encroachment on their territories?  I just hope the zoos survive since many are having trouble feeding the animals right now.

The federal leadership has been grossly lacking. There should have been a task force looking at all phases from prevention to cure, and reassessing procedures in places that are incubators for the virus like prisons, cruise and military ships and elder care facilities.  They should have overseen the supply chain for toilet paper (Business vs Personal use), masks and ventilators, and other necessary items. This team should have coordinated with governors instead of letting fifty make individual decisions.  The virus knows no boundaries and we have truckers, trains, planes and automobiles crossing state lines every day. They could be looking at statistics about symptoms, and what age and racial groups are coming down with the virus, and whether it could have begun earlier than thought, as well as keeping records for the future.  I think perhaps the flu I had in January could have been Covid and many others think the same. Also, this task team could be coordinating the production of masks, ventilators and other necessities as well as its distribution to the states with the greatest needs.

If nothing else, this time alone gives one more time for introspection, for reevaluating our goals and missions in life, for determining what’s really important. I am guessing most of us aren’t thinking much about the new outfit or car we want when this is over.  Maybe we’ve discovered we could do with less things around home taking up space that we rarely if ever use.  I bet we miss the connections with others, the ability to go for entertainment, work out at a studio, or join friends for happy hour.  It’s likely we are a bit tired of catching up on home movies and reading, although that can be a perk. And our pets will be missing us when we aren’t around again as much, and we’ll miss them too.

Here’s an idea. Make a list of the things you want to get accomplished during the coming days or weeks before the quarantine is lifted.  And make a list of what you already accomplished.  Have you set some new goals?  Are there things you’ve decided to toss aside for the future?  Are there people you haven’t connected with that you want to reestablish a relationship with, or perhaps some that you realize you’ve overgrown?  In other words, it’s a shift, a re-prioritization of your values, and a time where you can take a step back and see your life with new eyes.  Enjoy it while it lasts and go for the things you’ve been putting off!  Get some fresh air and exercise and practice wearing your cool masks! And remember to vote these crazy folks out of office!

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