This is my third summer alone and I’m trying to figure out how to celebrate the season by myself. Of course, this summer is quite unique in that most of the normal activities are either cancelled or restricted.
Yes, beaches are generally available, but sitting on the beach for an afternoon of sun isn’t really something for me.
I have been trying to establish a walking routine for two or three days a week, and that seems like a simple thing to do. I wish that my dog Zoey enjoyed walking along with me, but she doesn’t. She has many fears and gets nervous at the sight of a stranger or the sound of an unfamiliar noise. So I have to leave her behind. I realize that she, like myself, has had to make adjustments, and her fall-back position has been to keep close to home.
As for myself, I still struggle to find activities outside of the home that I might enjoy.
How do we ever manage to figure out how to create a new life that offers some satisfaction when our circumstances change? I can tell you that it’s a challenge. Of course, if you’re fortunate enough to have a family, they are there for you when you need them. But you don’t want to rely on your family to become your source of personal satisfaction on a daily basis.
Having a sibling is always a sure bet with respect to having someone with which to share your common experiences and life-long connection. When my last sibling passed in the spring, I recognized that I had lost the only person who had known me for my whole life, and who understood our shared family history. As time has passed, I have come to really understand that loss.
So, at some point we all need to lift ourselves up with a plan for managing our time. I’m not that unhappy spending time alone, and I’m beginning to figure out what kinds pursuits I want to look into for my leisure time. More reading, for sure, and ideally finding some others to share my opinions with after reading a book.
When available, I want to revisit the places I haven’t been to in a long time – such as my favorite museums, to take advantage of the new exhibits they mount each year. Perhaps even take a train trip somewhere.
So what does all of this have to do with the summer of the pandemic? I think that these special circumstances force us to think outside of the box; to not just rely on the familiar.
I’m always amused to read about the opportunities that so many people have created to provide new outlets for interacting with others. Will we ever shake another’s hand, or offer an air kiss? Perhaps not in the foreseeable future, but we can bump elbows and even with a mask, you can tell when someone is smiling at you.
Living in Connecticut offers us the advantage of being in a place that can offer us a higher level of comfort with respect to the COVID threat. How fortunate we are to be among so many who have supported the efforts in place to protect each other.
The most significant part about all this I want to remember is the willingness of so many to help each other and to provide for those in need.
So my wish for this unusual time is that we continue to do all of these things not because of an emergency, but because these are the things we should always do when we live in a caring community.
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