So we are in Month 4 of the coronavirus pandemic quarantine, which is unbelievable and weird. Time has no meaning anymore, as people are fond of saying.
Despite not getting to go to most of the places that were part of my regular routine (the office, the climbing gym, dance clubs and bars, restaurants, bakeries), my life is not terribly different. I still show up “at the office” (aka the dining table) every day. I put on adult clothes (sometimes even a dress shirt and blazer) to “go to work.” I exercise, hang out with friends, eat yummy food, and consume lots of media.
It took me awhile to find my own groove being at home most of the time. But after the first month, I have grown to accept and be comfortable with it, which I was not expecting.
There are a few key things for me that are keeping me positive and hopeful.
It’s been hard for me to find replacements for social dancing, to be honest. I tried doing Zoom dance parties for a few weeks, but honestly got burned out on dancing in front of my webcam with lots of tiny little boxes of other people dancing in front of their webcams. That wasn’t giving me what I needed as a dancer.
I got back into running, which has felt really good, despite not being very good at it.
Now I have a new passion for quad roller-skating, that I started at the beginning of July. It’s meeting a lot of my needs for exercise, artistic movement, physical and mental challenges, outdoor time, and socializing with others. I am so fortunate that I live near a major hub of the roller-skating community in the Bay Area, the “Skatin Place” in Golden Gate Park.
At a moment’s notice, I can throw on my skates, and be at the Skatin Place a few minutes later. I highly recommend it as a past time. Not that it needs any advertising — apparently so many people are buying roller skates that most brands are out of stock now!
I’ve been doing a daily meditation for about a year now, typically first thing in the morning after I make my coffee. It helps center me for the day, focus my energy, and deal with any bullshit that I’ve carrying around.
I also have been going to virtual Meeting for Worship organized by Brooklyn Society of Friends on most Sundays. Being in a Zoom call with 100+ other Quakers is surprisingly healing and energizing, just like a “real” Meeting for Worship.
I’ve started the habit of saying out loud to myself all the things I’m grateful for that happened that day as I lay in bed falling asleep. It helps to calm me down and ease into sleep more gently, no matter how that day went.
Because I am alone and in my head a lot, I am trying to be more conscientious about connecting with friends and family on the regular. Now that some of the social distancing measures have been relaxed a little, going on walks, bike rides, skate sessions, and bakery runs with friends has been so great. And I’ve visited my sister and mom a few times now for social distance visits. And I had one of the best birthday celebrations yet, despite the social distancing measures.
Beyond my local community, I’ve been trying to be more connected to love ones far away, particular during my birthday month. I just did seven wonderful virtual coffee dates with friends in New York, LA, Australia and SIngapore. It’s a reminder how close my friends are, even if we are several time zones away.
I can’t wait for the day when we can dance together, hug each other, celebrate, and break bread in the same spaces. But until then, for now, I feel like I have all that I need and more. And I’m so thankful for that.