• Cynthia Dagnal-Myron

Random s**t I've learned about myself while staying home to avoid COVID19

As I'm the age thought to be a highest risk, I've actually been living a relatively solitary retired lifestyle for quite some time now. So I didn't think the pandemic precautions would affect me all that much.

But I noticed recently that my mind, body and spirit have synced up with everyone else's. Much the way all the women in an office sometimes magically find their menses arriving at the same time.

No, really. It's an apt comparison. We really are all connected in mysterious ways. And those invisible bonds become stronger at times like these. I really believe that.

I've had some profound "Aha" moments. And I've written about some of that. Today...I just want to write about some of the sillier and less serious stuff.

Like...just as I did when I was seriously ill not long ago, I'm craving the kinds of foods and snacks I loved as a kid. Perhaps because it reminds me of a sweeter, safer time in life when all my needs were met by doting grownups.

I started out making big, healthy meals. Trying recipes I'd saved for months--even years. But I regressed, gradually, to hotdogs and hamburgers and mac and cheese and oh my God, the craving for just a simple chocolate bar for "dessert."

I"m not talking about the fancy dark chocolate we're encouraged to eat. I want the stuff I always hope I'll still have lots of after the trick or treaters stop ringing my bell. C'mon, you know exactly what I mean.

Oh, and I've suddenly discovered the deli area of my local grocery stores. I can have a couple of big meals for, say, the price of one Burger King splurge.

I mean, throwing together some strange new salad or side with the fried or rotisserie chicken they put under those heat lamps every few hours--blessings upon thee, deli people. And also upon whoever it was that put a Starbucks right in the middle of the one in Safeway to make my life even more complete and calorie rich.

How I've managed not just to maintain but also lose weight is a mystery to me. And it shall remain one. Whatever works, right? And I'm starting to hear that some of my friends are losing weight, too, so something is definitely working.

Maybe it's because unlike many, I have not turned to alcohol for amusement. But I tried. Out of boredom, mostly.

I have some bottles of wine I've been saving for...I'm not even sure what. And some harder stuff I keep for other people to have if they want it. I've experimented with some of it and found that I just can't stand the taste, really. No matter how I try to mask it.

Though bourbon in very sweet, very creamy tea, hot or cold, is kinda delicious...

I have decided to get a medical marijuana card soon, though. Gifts of edibles have convinced me that that's the way to go. Quick and easy, like the deli food.

I've also become almost completely unable to stand any kind of "restrictive" clothing. I was already having trouble getting dressed up for lunch with the ladies. But now, just having to put on a pair of actual jeans gets on my nerves.

If the waistband isn't elastic...if the fabric isn't forgiving and flexible...ugh. And don't even ask me about shoes. Real shoes. My feet have been bare or "socked" for months. The good news is I also slather them with body butters that have made them baby's bottom smooth, while watching all those Netflix movies that I would never have watched before I was forced to stay home so much.

And when did just doing the regular morning and evening ablutions become such a chore? I've stuck to them because I'm afraid of what might happen if I didn't, but I've never grumbled about them so much before. How hard it is to brush my teeth? Shower? Take my meds? My "inner child" says, "Very."

Also...what day is this?

Yeah, you feel me. I have to use TV shows or trash pickups to help me remember what day it is and why it might matter for purely practical reasons like bill paying and such.

My days, by the way, have also gotten slightly weird. I never used to stay up all night for no reason other than...well...what else do I have to do?

Seeing the sun come up while I'm chillin' on the couch watching the umpteenth awful movie and just shrugging it off is an experience I'm still not entirely comfortable with. I know we have certain natural rhythms worth maintaining but...how bad could it be to ignore them now and then?

OH--and I've met a couple of remarkable men online with whom I can have really fascinating conversations without the pressure of "So...coffee?" hanging over my head. By the time we really can have coffee or...whatever...we'll have told each other some pretty remarkable things. For the fun of just "conversing" to pass the time.

I've shared my writing. They've shared their music and art. And they're pretty friggin' good at what they do. I'm kinda stunned. But also, really delighted to have made a coupla new male friends.

I'm going to miss being totally real like that, in the online dating world, when this is over...

In fact, I'm going to miss quite a few things, oddly enough, when all this is over. The protesters and such make me worry that there are rough waters ahead. I was hoping we'd find our better selves the longer we were forced to turn inward.

But for some, times like these just unleash the demons they've kept at bay perhaps for social reasons up 'til now. With no socializing allowed...well...you're seeing it on TV. Like scenes from The Walking Dead, only with real people. Even people you may know...

I'm sorry...there's some Blue Bell pistachio almond calling to me right now, so I'm going to have to stop here. Norman Mclean, of A River Runs Through It fame, was haunted by waters. I am haunted by ice cream. And I do not care.

It's just one of the sweet things I crave and have begun to appreciate much, much more, during my time "alone."

Are you counting yours? Savoring them? Allowing yourself to have a few? A lot?


Gotta go now...


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