It’s Cold. It’s Quarantine. It’s Okay.
A huge portion of the country is frozen over and Minneapolis is no exception. The StarTribune issued a challenge to get outside for thirty minutes a day for thirty days. While it sounded invigorating, I respectfully declined to participate. I walked to my mailbox last night and I felt like the Tin Man before Dorothy found the oil can. I logged maybe two minutes in the cold, and the other twenty-eight were not going to happen.
I’m looking at my calendar for next week and I have three in-person appointments and three virtual ones. I hardly know what to do with myself. I haven’t had something scheduled every day since pre-COVID. I may try the new CDC guidelines and wear a double mask. I’ve made it this far and have no intention to risk my health, especially being a low priority person for the vaccine rollout.
As long as I’m on the subject, I’m having nightmares I contract COVID-19. In my dreams, I’m shocked and angry. How could this happen? I rarely leave my kitchen or home office and always mask up. The visions are very vivid. I can’t smell or taste or breathe. When I wake up, I actually welcome the bad morning breath because I realize it was just a dream. Do you have pandemic dreams as well? I think we should discuss them. They are such a creative extension of our psyches.
It’s in these doldrums of winter, between the Super Bore of a football game and Easter, that I have a tendency to waste my most precious resource. Time. I sense, wrongly, that I have an abundance of days. I don’t have any idea how many I have, but as I look around, songs I enjoyed as a college student are now the soundtracks for drug ads and retirement programs for old people. What the hell? I can not legitimately put myself in any age group labelled “young.” I’m in my sixth decade and just when I got the hang of this thing called life, I’m realizing there’s a lot left to do.
So what if it’s cold, and I’m old? I will go outside and watch my breath freeze. I’ll listen to my lungs crackle as I inhale the frigid air and feel the sting of the wind on my cheeks. I will not go quietly into a rocking chair with a shawl. I can’t promise thirty minutes but I will accept the challenge of going outside every day for thirty days. I’ll report back on my progress. Let’s do this.