It’s been a while.
And you would think that the dude who writes a blog called “Practically Well” would be working overtime these days, cranking out tons of facts, figures and advice for readers in dealing with COVID-19. I’ve dealt with ageing, running, chocolate, sex, death & loss, among other things. You’d think this would be a fertile field for me.
Folks, this is serious stuff. This is doctors, CDC, life & death for thousands, maybe millions stuff. I’m not going to do my glib, sarcastic dance around this one. I’ll leave that for Bill Maher. I’ve decided to finally write about an aspect of it that I think I’m qualified to write about.
What’s that you ask?
Are you hiding a Phd that we don’t know about, Bob?
I’m going to talk about riding out the quarantine.
Not going to work, or working from home, which is what I’m doing for the first time. Not going out to meet up with friends.
No live theater
No movie theater . Wait, that’s a bit of a positive. Because maybe this will get me out of the habit of going to movie theaters. Because people have forgotten how to ACT AT MOVIE THEATERS! You’re not in your living room, even though your seat reclines now. You’re not free to comment to your buddy, or wife, or buddy’s wife, about what’s going on onscreen. Don’t you LISTEN when they say, at the start of every freaking movie, “Please turn off your cell phones, no texting, no talking” You must not, because you do ALL of it! I have turned and glared, I have moved, while glaring, I have said, “would you please stop talking” while moving and glaring. Maybe this will keep me from murdering someone. Or being murdered, more likely, because I still am terrible at fighting. Don’t ask me how I know.
…but I digress…
So, what to do, when a lot of what you normally Do do is taken away, for your own good.
Ok, here’s my take.
First, do as much of your normal life stuff as you can.
I get up at the same time I did when I went to work. I shave, shower, whatever. I dress , maybe a little more casually than before, but I dress. Make my coffee, English muffin, whatever. I think that all of that is a slippery slope. I think that if I started slacking off on that, I have the capacity to get crazy lazy, one day unshaven could lead to 2, 3 . Hanging around in my pajamas could get to be a habit, which isn’t good, except for the weekends of course. I want to stay responsible to myself.
Next, I have a specific “office”. Used to be my dining room. Now it’s my office and home gym. I go there at 7:15am to get ready for my daily 7:30. At breaks, I go anywhere else. I need to set a boundary, so that work and off-work don’t start blurring together. If I gotta work early or late, it’s in that room.
Workouts. If you know me, you know I’m kinda religious about them. But they are usually in a gym 3 days and running 3 days, more or less. But now I have a different routine. But it’s a routine. I know what I have to do each day.
Finally, as much as you can in the age of social distancing, reach out to your people. Family, friends, co-workers. Whatever works for you. Keep in touch. For you, but also for them. This is going to be going on for a while. Not everybody is going to handle it well, and you have no idea what someone else may be dealing with. As Amy Madigan said in “Streets of Fire” ( which is such a good guilty pleasure movie, I promise you) “ those quiet types, they got feelings. Deeper than most”. Or something like that.
Keep as much of your regular life as you can.
Keep working towards goals, whatever they are.
Keep your friends around you. Even if it’s 6 feet away.
Keep a sense of humor.
God we’re gonna party when this is over.