I’ve lived in my house for about five years. The town comes every Thursday to pick up yard waste and recyclables. I put my bins out religiously each Wednesday evening because I know the truck will be by early the next morning. So, of course, I put them out last night and woke up this morning expecting them to be thrown back on my lawn empty. Instead, they’re still out there waiting full. Several reasons scrawl across my brain before I realize it’s only Wednesday morning. For at least 16 hours or so, I had skipped one day of my life. At this point in my life, I’m grateful to regain a day, but I worry a little too. Maybe the porridge upstairs is getting a bit too soft.
I’m not working and I’m self-isolated. Time changes. It bends, quickens, and loops, but mostly it slows. How I spend my day now is completely different from how I spent it a month ago. I’ve come to think of these days as a pause on my life. Some twist of fate (maybe God to you) has hit the giant pause button in the sky and everything I know and do is waiting for the play button to be pressed. It’s not all bad, of course, if one sets aside all the illness and deaths. Parents are spending more time with their children; husbands and wives are getting reacquainted. Friends who have not communicated in decades are saying hello on Zoom.
As for me, I consider these days a test program for my retirement in the not too distant future. A retirement-lite, if you will. It didn’t take me long to figure out I needed to make some sort of schedule for myself. Meals needed to be made and eaten at certain times. I could not watch the 24 hour news channels 24 hours a day. I set aside a little time each morning to write. I take a long walk in the afternoon. The New York Times crossword eats an hour. I consider it exercise for the brain, to stave off its previously mentioned decline. On the debit side, I spend way too much time on social media. My liquor bottles whisper to me enticingly. I tell them to get behind me, Satan. I feel like I’m not keeping up my end of the social bargain. I’m taking, but not contributing. I miss my friends, my family, and even my job.
I texted a friend last week, Thank God it’s Friday. And she replied, What’s Friday? All the days are the same: Nonday!
True enough, but there are words to be written, music to be heard, sights to be seen. Yesterday, during my walk the grey clouds emptied and drenched me. I was cold, wet, a little depressed as I was still two miles from my house, but I looked up and saw a rainbow arcing across the sky. I could see both ends and that’s good luck. Enjoy your Nonday, folks.
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