AS ALWAYS: PLAN B
I was made for this Coronavirus World. Sudden Change, Uncertainty, Plan B (C, D and E) are constants in my life and, now in all of your lives with Covid-19. If you are a rigid, routine-oriented person, I feel bad for you. And Welcome To My World! The problem with constant change is that I hardly ever have a Plan A. In the Coronavirus world this seems to be successful. Plan A was never going to happen anyway.
We are now into Thanksgiving and returning to the dark days like we faced in March/April when the VIRUS raged (um, at least according to the news) and fear was constant. I was introduced to the constant disruption of the Coronavirus world while on Spring break. My team was told not to compete in a Track Meet while we were already in progress and two female national qualifiers were sent home from nationals (yes, they were already there and set to compete as it was canceled.) We stayed the final 2 days at the beach in South Carolina and I thought to myself that this is the last of normal for awhile (even while thinking this walking on the beach in a 75 degree, sunny day with an oddly Caribbean blue Atlantic ocean at my side). I also remember thinking that this is going to be interesting.
So my school and my kids’ school went remote. This was mid March and it was to be a two week remote learning period for ALL my kids (my own and my team). Then it became 4 weeks and then DONE…remote the rest of the year-season cancelled.
So for the first time in 10 years I just had One job as my Canvas shop never shut down. And it was busy. I actually started to get the impression that my workers were sick of me being there so much as I sold more than my workers could handle! But they are THE BEST, and they handled it.
DOOM AND GLOOM
Constant never ending change. Doom and Gloom on the news and in the Newspaper. The news Apps on my phone painted such a “Sky is Falling” vibe that I even started to believe it. I even felt guilty going on dates and probably ruined a potential relationship with one Fantastic Woman.
So I stopped listening. I let my newspaper subscription expire and I slowed my reading/watching of the news. And the fear left. Coronavirus 2020 became a bit of a break. Something I’ve truly needed for years. I didn’t have to work till 7pm anymore. I was done at 5. My fitness classes (my social life) were all cancelled as were all my gyms (jeez I belong to 3!!!Plus a Home gym and two Gyms and a Track at my School) were closed. But a Fitness Instructor friend of mine filmed me with a few others and posted the videos on Social Media. It was fun, it was exercise, and It got me reconnected. And we drank a lot of alcohol after and TALKED. It was cathartic. I ran A LOT! more than I have in years.
Since I missed the Library Closing announcement and couldn’t browse at the book store, I re-read books laying in my house some of which I read at various times in my life. I read these books in high school and reread them as a young English teacher. I thought now would be a good time to read them again…oh what new perspective. Here’s some highlights:
DEATH OF A SALESMAN: I was always so worried that I was Biff Loman. Star Athlete who became lost. As I read again…I became worried that I could become Willy Loman…the Salesman who Dies!!! Ok…working on that. Good potential look in a mirror
One of my favorite Arthur Miller works is The Crucible. Oh I still connect with John Proctor. I never broke my marriage vows but I sure know the cold bed he slept in and temptation lurking in the shadows real and imagined. I also know the importance of your name. ..” because [you] have no other”. Powerful and still relevant!
My daughter started reading the Percy Jackson series and she rolled through 8 books in the summer. It took me a month to read book one as I already read it…it was called Harry Potter…jeez this guy is a copycat and is raking in millions.
1984 had many scary similarities to today as did Brave New World. And I didnt connect with Anthem the way I thought I did 20 years ago. The “DoubleSpeak” of 1984 is scary though as it does seem to apply to our political/media world of 2020, or at least to the hard-core followers of our current president. We should all re-read 1984 to gain a bit of perspective.
My book of 2020 though, was Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I’ve always connected with the character Siddhartha as I too am on a journey. We see Siddhartha from a boy to an old man. I think of all the changes and different lives I’ve lived. And all the different Teachers I’ve had. But boy am I currently searching for my Kamala! And I am not referring to the Vice-President Elect! Kamala taught Siddhartha about LOVE, and the Making of It!
Then in early summer things seemed to return to normal. My gyms opened up and fitness classes resumed. There were group outings to bars/restaurants (outside of course). I went back to Ball Room Dancing for a brief time. I took trips to Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, summer ski resorts in New York. I went on dates!!! School resumed. And I thought we were careful. I masked in stores, I didn’t shake hands or hug (kind of), and I’ve mostly avoided indoor restaurants/bars. But the cold weather crept back as it always does.
And as we were back in March here we are in Nov. Schools have all gone Remote. My travel plans have been totally upended. My Trip to FL which I cancelled the first time because I needed to vote and was worried about a delayed flight for a Tuesday Return on ELECTION DAY ( I should have just voted early, but I am a traditionalist), I pushed another trip to FL back because of a hurricane, and then I cancelled the trip to FL which I made for Thanksgiving after my family decided it best to not have our ANNUAL Chicago Thankgiving gathering due to Covid. AND then COVID RAGED again and I thought it best not to Travel.
There’s positive news of a cure. I am hopeful, but a bit apprehensive. I was getting used to the excuses. Oh kids, we can’t go to Cedar Point and wait in lines for rides that make me nauseas….COVID. Oh kids, we can’t spend $60 for 30 min of bouncing at the Trampoline Park…COVID. Kids we are going to the Pool because there is NOTHING ELSE TO DO due to Covid (ha ha ha, I couldn’t tell them there were a few very Interesting, single mothers going to the pool certain days!)
Whatever 2021 holds, 2020 will hold a special place in my heart. I’ve grown a beard and haven’t cut my hair in a year. COVID! I said I would shave and trim when it was over. Looks like it is coming, but I am now attached to the look. I was always into Fitness, but I feel more FIT than I have in years. I have met so many amazing people through these “trying” Times. And because I wasn’t pulled in so many directions. I think I even figured out how to run a business.
But that stuff is all about me. As much as I will miss 2020, too many kids (my own kids and my college kids) have missed out on athletic experiences. I am not living in my past Athletic Glory (at least I hope not), but it did MOLD who I currently am. While my own kids are young and have lost some valuable time learning and perfecting skills, these college kids have lost key experiences in their personal formation. I just hope we can give them something special in 2021.
I have no idea what the next months will look like. Hopefully the Vaccine brings us back to normalness. If not, I hope we can figure out a way TO LIVE through these next few months and not just Survive. I think for many 2020 won’t be a favorite year. But it just might be MINE!