Back To The Blog: SOS #2: I’m Racing… 4/15



Where are we/I in this isolation?

I can’t remember when I wasn’t in isolation.   Actually, no, on a Thursday in March (?19) in a conversation with my friend Agita,  who calmly, casually announced that she, after a long  conversation with her kids,  was officially in self- isolation , I guess I had already been moving in that direction because I casually chimed in,

” Well, me too.”

I have been living a solo life for 4 years now and you know, it’s pretty good. I had lots of food in the fridge, the spring was coming, I discovered a great walking place close to my house and I knew we were heading for something very serious and life- changing and I was ready (?)

And then everything started moving in warp speed.

April 15, 2020:  I have been writing every day, just keeping a daily document of my solo life   My to do list for normal life has become  my Want To Do List . And I include  what I think about in this life without being face to face with another human being.

Of course, the world is never far away, not with my two laptops, my iPad, my iPhone, my land line and of course,  ‘Old school”- TV… just outside my door there are 3 other apartments of people and even  more in this complex so really I’m not alone even if i only see a handful on my walks…

Thank God I love I love where I live, I love my apartment , I love books, and writing and playing my guitar and exercising,  and yoga,  and  cooking and eating (too much)… creating videos for good causes,  learning Hebrew, working with my Hudson Valley Writing Project, nurturing  our virtual community  on Thursdays with writing and sharing.  I Write into the day at 10am and out of  end of the day at 10pm with my buddy Casey on Facebook… and course  I communicate with family and friends- texting, phoning, zooming…

Honestly, I have everything I need to feel comfortable: to be stimulated   mind and body, but it’s crazy… I have  only two decisions to make- Do I go grocery shopping?  Do I take a walk in my complex?  Those are our only freedoms, right?

And I don’t know about you, but I have had a few melt downs…  The first one came  early on in this isolation, right after my first  grocery shopping trip in terror,  As soon as I unboxed I started feeling achy and dizzy and i was sure at that moment that I had the virus and wondered how I could get back in my car and drive to get a test. I was up at 3 in morning talking with my brother in Israel- he was up and we went through the symptoms and I didn’t have any although I couldn’t tell if I had temperature and I didn’t won a thermometer, but by the next morning my friend Jane made sure I had one and the monitoring began.  By the afternoon I still felt achy but what I had felt familiar and I just dealt with it calmly until the chills let me.

And just last weekend, in a casual conversation catching up with a school friend, we wondered if schools would soon be permanently virtual.  We often have this conversation but this time I was connected to it.  What would that mean for me?  In isolation throughout the summer? Fall? What????

I did get the advice I needed… Eat the Elephant…

No you can’t eat a whole elephant, it’s too BIG  but you can eat him in small bites, one at a time… one day at a time… Just what I needed… got that and I calmed down and turned to yoga and breathing in and out… in and out…

So i’m okay… well I did polish off 1/2 a big bag of healthy popcorn tonight as I watched the Cuomo brothers do their routine on Chris’ Prime Time show on CNN… Go figure, I never miss the daily briefing on the virus from Andrew and as my Want to Do List seems to increase I feel like a runaway train sometimes….

I wonder how I will change from this experience… well I hope i stop eating before I have to get out of sweats and but on people clothes…


I wonder how you are dealing with this experience?



31 thoughts

  1. Bonnie — I love your glasses! I’m so happy you included a picture of YOU to start this post. It is good…to feel like we are in this conversation together, rather than on other sides of the screen. Your writing is so real, so genuine.

    I often think that I’m glad I’m at this point in life to be under a stay-at-home order…our kids are still home and it feels like an extravagant gift to get this time with them, AND they are old enough to take care of their elearning assignments INDEPENDENTLY. We’ve established strong boundaries around screen time, so there are few fights about doing things without screens. They are amazing humans…becoming creative and confident adults that this world needs. Hannah is rolling with this unexpected twist to her senior year…Sam is still celebrating not going to school…and Jay does what Jay always does — rolls with it. Andy is still working, actually longer hours than before, but when he gets home, we are all at the dinner table…every. single. night.

    And at the same time my heart breaks for those who are experiencing deep loss, in so many ways.

    Thanks for writing…it makes a difference to me.

    Shine on,

    • I can say it many times in many ways but I am thrilled to be back with you. Our TWT community was wonderful, groundbreaking and then in our time away we found different ways to keep writing and now back again, seems like just the perfect time. So let’s keep this going.

  2. Sounds pretty familiar. How will we change? For the better, I hope. But sometimes…

    Pronouncements so preposterous… how could anyone believe? Yet, they do..,

    People protesting to “get their freedom back”…
    What, freedom so more will die because of our selfishness

    While I still have a job that is paying the same, and at my age, would still have an income even without a job, some close to me wonder, how will we pay our bills

    And family after family, unspeakable loss…

    • Hi Diane,
      Yes I agree. I try hard to help where I can. I am blessed and I want to pass on some of my good fortune. Yesterday I sent surprise packages to my nieces. I can help people in Thailand and Tanzania and asylum seekers at the Border. But I have some family to make happy as well even if I can’t see them now.

  3. Bonnie, like you, I feel like most of the winter I have been in isolation. My husband’s lungs aren’t that great and he seems to catch every bug going around. Regular flu and strep were everywhere in our area throughout most of the winter, so we were already being careful. When I would sub, I was already changing clothes and washing hands. I had a supply of hand sanitizer. So the change for us wasn’t drastic, but it definitely different!.

  4. Can I just add my voice to the choir that is happy to be reading your thoughts again? 🙂 I have not minded the stay-in-place order except for grocery shopping (which I detailed last week). I too, wonder how life will be changed forever when we finally get a vaccine for this virus. Please, let there be a vaccine! Stay well my friend, I still need you to show me around NYC someday. 🙂

  5. I do wonder how the world is changing! How strange to be in the middle of what might be seismic changes to our society. Faith tethers me and that only deepens.
    In many ways my solo life is the same. I am more conscious of the need to connect and am more diligent about it. I am starting to miss face to face interactions. When I do see people on walks our faces are covered. I miss smiles!
    All of this is not important when my heart aches for all the suffering and loss. The number of deaths climbs and climbs due to Covid-19! As it does I think and pray for each individual story! I think and pray for my ICU nurse friend as she shares what it is like to lose a patient and place them in a body bag. No time to grieve because there are other patients to care for. Stark realities and more time in prayer.

  6. I am letting the days unroll, one at a time. I hold nothing in my hands. No plans, no obligations. Each day fills up, and the end of the day comes with so much accomplished, but more that could have been done. It will all be there the next day.

    The weather here has turned warm and dry so I am out every day, working in the yards. I still do my once a week grocery shopping. No masks, no gloves.

    • Morning Delaine,
      So nice to see you back here. I wish I could be more like you but I have my list of things I want to do and maybe I’ve become better about accepting the fact that I can’t get to everything and that’s OKAY! Breating more is good but we have been inside more because the weather is just horrible for walking, at least for me…
      More to come…

  7. It is lovely to read how you’re doing & what, Bonnie. I am such an introvert that I don’t mind the isolation much, but I am missing seeing the grand-girls as often as I had been & I miss going to & working at the bookstore. We tried to keep the Amazon orders going until Colorado went into full lockdown. I am writing and doing art, walking & have gone by this quote for what seems like forever:
    “Let’s just muddle through today. That’s what I say. We can’t take care of tomorrow until it gets here.” Elizabeth George
    Glad you are okay! : )

    • So far, so good Linda. I am happy to be back on my blog as a means of writing and revising and sharing with a community I’ve always loved and missed. So here we go again, just at the best time when writing takes a center stage. So let’s hope you get back with your family and book store soon.

  8. I am glad to see you and read your words. I appreciate the honesty in your post. We have been in distance learning mode for four weeks. We have found our rhythm. I have a chance to go for walks and this makes all the difference, I am not stuck between the walls all the time, and nature helps to forget the strange world. Keep filling your days with things that bring joy and are meaningful to you. One day at a time. Take care!

    • Terje,
      So glad to be back with you again. I think I’m doing the best I can to stay productive and positive. Writing is such a great way to communicate… and walking has taken on a new excitement in the day although the weather is mostly rainy and cold and windy. Three elements of nature that keep me inside with pleasure.
      So more to come…

  9. Hi Bonnie. It’s nice to see you back.l I”ve thought of reopening my blog, but haven’t gotten there yet. Here in Chico we wear masks when we go out and wash up well when we come home. I carry a can of alcohol wipes in case of need. I stay home almost all the time, painting and writing and making myself food. I’ve been stretching out the time between trips to the grocery store – so far I’ve gone twice in a month. I go at about 6:30 AM on a Sunday. The store is practically empty which seems safe to me Then I wipe everything down with wipes when I get it home and wash wash wash my hands. It’s the new normal, isn’t it? I have bought books and gift certificates from my struggling local used bookstore. They are doing curb pickup where they run out to your car wearing a mask, and put your paper shopping bag of books in your car. No contact, really. I stay in touch with friends and family via Marco Polo videos, Zoom, FaceTIme calls and text. It’s not ideal, but it works. Fortunately I am retired and can stay home and don’t worry about paying for things. Life is simple and minimal these days. I spend a lot of time in my art studio (garage) ,which is such a blessing. I try not to watch Trump talk at all. I do watch Cuomo once in a while and our Governor Newsome pretty much every day. I am still shocked at people who don’t wear masks when they go out, and who think they can restart their regular actions already. I fear for their safety and that of the people they are in contact with. Just this morning I saw an Instagram post from a young woman who does eyelash extensions and nails. She advertised that she’s reopening on April 20. I cant help but wonder why she thinks that is okay! So then I try to curb my judgement of others and just hold true to what I know to be right for me. It’s all a thicket, isn’t it? Much love to you.

    • So good to get an update from you friend. She still have a meet up to plan, your side of the US or mine. I am pretty good most of the time. I’ve been at this life now for a long enough time to adjust and adapt to this stay home life… but until we have a president we are all living a life that’s off balance.
      I think your new blog is up and running by now so I’m going to find it and renew on virtual connection.

  10. We all have so many concerns about these crazy times and I do wonder how our world will change. I’m praying that we will all continue to take the time to be family – with our own and with our neighbors and friends. Being retired has been a blessing – I’m used to staying at home and doing what I want when I want to. The one thing I’m truly enjoying is ordering my groceries on line and having them delivered to the door – I’ve never enjoyed grocery shopping. Stay well.

    • Yes to everything you’ve shared Judy except the grocery shopping. That I love to do especially as stores have gotten better at regulating. But I’m very happy. It to be teaching virtually

  11. Hi, Bonnie! It’s good to read your writing again. I could identify with so many points – one not so deep, but perfectly worth talking about – how we’ll look when we’re all done with being at home with the snacks! I saw one of Gerry Brooks’ recent videos and he talked about schools adding a mumu clause to the dress code! I wear jeans every day at home so I can keep track. I also just started yoga.

    I can also identify with your remarks about going out for the first time and how you were convinced that you must have COVID-19. The mind is so powerful, isn’t it?!? I, too, have had this happen a few times and it is maddening. In fact, I think for the first two weeks we were home I felt like I had a 400-pound person sitting on my heart. So difficult to reconcile.

    Stay well. I’ll look forward to seeing you back here next week.

  12. Eat the whole elephant – I had to reread that three times and I’m so happy you shared this with me. It was so nice to get to know you here in this space. My peace is a about this time and opportunity I had which was great AND this time has had bumps and hardships.

  13. I think I commented on this post from my phone and it disappeared. So here I am again. Breathe in and out, in and out. I think I should try yoga. Missing time with my grand boys and daughter too. You amaze me with all your projects. Here’s to another week of staying safe!

    • I can imagine that you’re missing your grandkids. There are things that are very hard about this but maybe we are getting closer to some changes… We will see. Good to be writing isn’t it?

  14. Hello Bonnie, Nice to meet you through SOS. Just reading the day to dayness of your post–the ups and downs–reminds me we are so not alone–even in isolation!

    • Yes, Anne,
      Nice to be writing with you on SOS. Yes, I am obsessed with writing about my daily life in this isolation. So I’m glad to be back blogging to share and ready others in this universal isolation… I’m learning a lot about myself… and growing as a person not as a body… 🙂

  15. My emotions followed you through this tale. This past month has been a whirlwind or emotion and change. I found myself distracted and wondering so much ore. I’m finally in more of a rhythm at home but time is so different. Writing has helped. It gives me a recording of what I am doing. I have a journal, keeping track of daily activities and feelings. Then, I am writing letters and I also have a notebook for just writing, something that I didn’t realize I missed. Good to hear from you, my friend.

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