When this novel coronavirus first appeared I, like a lot of people, did not take it too seriously, figuring it would run its course in a matter of weeks, then vanish into the sunset. I didn’t think it would affect me overmuch, since I’m now in a rural area, I grow stuff and am, in general, Prep Lite.
I was wrong. While the virus itself has not appeared here and my days have not been overly impacted, there is still a lot of free-floating anxiety attached to this situation. Even though it’s still mostly Monday for me, there’s a difference – prior to this, it was my job, my choice. Now it’s a mandate. That ‘mandate’ is……. unnerving. The first week after State put us on lockdown I tried to conduct Business as Usual (I’m in construction support so am considered as essential to the whole supply chain) – but guess what? Business as Usual ain’t happening! I fought it, for a full 10 days, sitting at my desk, poking my ‘refresh’ inbox button … until a client in Oil & Gas (which is definitely considered ‘essential’) said ” do NOT call me – I am up to my ears in drama and when/if I need you I will call YOU!”
I sat in my office and fought the rising panic… then I hoicked up my nerves and looked at the situation. Here’s the thing: sometimes there isn’t much you can do to change a situation. This is one of those times. Poking that inbox only results in a very sore finger. So I ‘turnt it alooose’ as my Uncle Percy used to say.
I went into the garden.
Since I have this enforced downtime, I now can take the time to plan some changes. My original plan was to PLANT EVERY VEGETABLE! because PANIC! right? Then I remembered: I don’t LIKE every vegetable and, no matter what, one person cannot possibly eat that much harvest (and I live in a rural area, where everyone has a garden, so I can’t even give it away!). So again: Plan. I germinated collards, Romanesco broccoli (soo pretty), cabbages and peppers for spicy raw kraut. For those of you who don’t grow/ferment, check out the AMAZING Cleveland Kitchen)
I’m looking – really LOOKING – at my garden. Taking the time that has been given here (though I’d rather be working, since I don’t get paid unless I’ve got a job in). I’m finding all sorts of delightful little surprises, like my chinodoxa, which I don’t even remember planting! And Puschkinia!
And…… well! I found a hydrangea just leafing out behind a vicious, dead bayberry (just because it’s dead doesn’t mean it can’t try to kill you – trust me)
Looking at my garden. With my dog.
March calls it ‘intentional use of time’ – and I’m here for it. I have no wish to ‘kill’ time – time is precious, indeed (especially now, as I have fewer years ahead than behind me). And to ‘kill’ time now would simply add to my anxiety, whereas ‘intentional use’, the acceptance that what I should be doing isn’t currently available so I’mo intentionally do something else; That? That ramps the anxiety way down. Bonus: I get a lot of crap done (like this intentionally cleared path that was choked with 3′ high weeds in the mirror garden. And my intentional donning of rose gauntlets to tie up yet another vicious plant – the beautiful (but mean as a snake) ‘Harrison’s Yellow’ rose.
I could go on and on about my garden plans but… hey, I’m actually taking my time to make a plan, seeing what comes up, where things need to go (or get gone)…. this may be the very first time I’m allowing myself to see the whole thing!
And… it’s kinda nice!
What are you doing these days? I know a lot of you are under serious stressors right now – is there anything you are able to do to alleviate some of that? I’d love to know!
Let’s all stay as safe and sane as we can.