Staying Motivated & Staying Home
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
What a surprise this morning to discover that I am today’s Sparkpeople “Featured Motivator” especially since our world travels and family activities had greatly reduced my time on the site in recent years.
Returning to the USA on Feb 29th after a month in South America (& meeting a Spark Friend -see last blog), I was concerned about the pandemic but didn’t realize the extent it would impact daily life.
At that time there were no cases in South America and the official US position was that all would be fine.
China had locked itself down on Jan 23rd with many Asian countries, Italy & Spain soon to follow.
I was surprised to find myself in the Global Entry line with people returning from all those countries. The guy ahead of me was coming back from China. I read about cruise passengers being stranded off our coasts & wondered why it was OK for millions to fly here without precautions while some were left at sea.
However, self preservation & that of my loved ones soon became my main concern. I realize that we are much better off than those on the front lines & living in the hot spots. Living in a lovely area that I often call “nowhere VA,” our cases are gradually increasing but I am grateful to those who did shelter in place to provide time to prepare.
Even before the official lockdowns in mid March I had stopped my normal activities. No running, swimming, singing in chorale, or even going to church. I watch services on Sundays remotely. Grocery shopping every 2 weeks wearing a mask. Although my mask protects others from ME, I am dismayed to see so many other shoppers without masks apparently unconcerned about protecting ME from THEM.
Star Trek’s Mr. Spock said “there are always alternatives”
So, here’s my alternative maintenance program.
I’ve become “pioneer woman” cooking while making use of what I have.
My “beer bread” is pretty good. Initially, I wanted comfort food, but since I returned on Feb 29th with 4 added travel pounds, I realized that was stupid. My desserts are limited to “Skinny Cow” ice cream sandwiches. We planted our garden and DH is working hard tending it.
Although I’m unlikely to meet anyone on my road, I don’t run or walk outside.
I have severe allergies and I don’t need any kind of respiratory problem that could mimic something serious. SO, every day I walk what DH calls “The Route of the Confused Squirrel.” In my house from one end to the other, through the kitchen, around the island, through the dining area, through the living room into the sun room, pivot, retrace my steps to the start and repeat. I average between 3 and 4 miles a day, in intervals of 12 to 16 minutes each.
I have a set of hand weights that I use every other day. I maintain my stretching routine as well
We had planned to study “Language & Culture” at universities in either Slovakia or Lithuania this summer. Not possible now, but they are offering online courses and I have registered for those. I am using the materials from our previous courses there (2013 & 2016) to refresh my memory.
Slovakia was one of the 1st countries in Europe to lock down and their President and other officials wore masks to encourage the people to do likewise. Even their news people on camera wore masks. Slovakia has one of the lowest rates of infection and death in the world.
I also bought a puzzle from a local business - a map of our 2200 acre lake - 1000 pieces should take awhile. I ordered another of “Monuments of the World” to remember the past and plan for a better future.
So fellow Sparkers, that’s my new normal. When I get discouraged, I remember trying times in the past especially WWII where ordinary men left their ordinary lives, went off to save the world and (the fortunate ones) returned to their ordinary lives. All I’m being asked to do is alter my routine and wear a mask.
Stay safe, stay well, keep sparking.