Friday, May 22, 2020

Learning New Things in the Time of Covid

A lot of people have had a very hard time with this pandemic.  In the beginning, I was pretty afraid.  The hubs and I fall into a high risk group and everything just seemed so dismal.  It did, thanks to the media mostly, seem like a disaster of epic proportion and, for a lot of people, it has been — especially those who have experienced the loss of a loved one or who contracted the disease and have had to deal with the recovery.

I decided early on that I was going to comply with the restrictions without complaint.  I was going to do what I needed to do to keep well and help keep others well.  I made masks and watched the news until I decided THAT was not helpful.  Everything on the tv was negative and depressing and really frightening.  So, I decided to turn that around.

I decided I wouldn’t let this make me crazy — I have one foot in crazy as it is — haha!  I didn’t need help from a virus.  So, I decided to make some changes in my life.  I didn’t know how it was going to work — it was a work in progress — and it still is but there were some things that I just needed to fix, even before this disruption in daily life.   I seem to be in a state of being overwhelmed a lot of the time — too much to do, don’t know where to start, have no energy to tackle things, no time to do the things I WANTED to do. I was not happy, it had to change and it has. I am still working on it. Tweaking so to speak — not to be confused with twerking — I couldn’t do that if my life depended on it and I have no desire to try.

My husband has really bad diabetes.  We went to a diabetic counselor and adjusted his diet and he has been doing exceptionally well — his numbers have been outstanding.  So, I knew that we would be eating in now since we were quarantined so I made an effort to replicate that restaurant meals that we have learned he can eat.  I don’t like to cook but I knew I was going to have to so I made a plan — an eating plan so to speak.  Several days of the week are assigned a type of meal — for instance, Wednesday is Mexican food because growing up in San Antonio we had Mexican food in the school cafeteria every Wednesday and it was just something we always did.  On Fridays we are having breakfast for dinner because I have Girl Scouts on Friday evening and breakfast is quick.  One night a week is assigned fish, another hamburgers, so on and so forth.  It makes it so much easier.  Except for Wednesday and Friday I don’t hold to a special day for each meal but have the items on hand to make whichever meal sounds good that night.  And yes, I am building a pantry again.  I haven’t done that since my kids left home but I think that giving up on those habits was a mistake so I started rebuilding my stores before this pandemic started.  I don’t know why I felt like I didn’t need stuff just because I didn’t have kids here.

I am also learning to groom the dog.  Of course the groomers weren’t considered “essential” so they were closed.  I tried trimming Trixie with scissors and it worked sort of but she needed more.  I finally broke down and bought some grooming shears and some clippers which sort of scared me to death.  The came, finally, on the day I got the text that the groomer had re-opened.  Well, I wasn’t going to send them back so I decided to give it a go.  It is going to take several goes to get her like I want her but I have to say I am pleased.  She seemed like she loved it.  Yesterday I messed with cleaning up the hair on her ears.  I figured if she would let me do her ears she would let me do all of her.  And she was great.  They were still a little raggedy but I worked on them more today.  Then I took to shearing her body.  My goodness this little dog has a lot of hair.  She looks like a little bear.  So, we spent about an hour on it.  You can tell she has been to a groomer because she knew what to do, when to stand up and she didn’t get rattled.  She still isn’t as short as I want her to be so we will have another go tomorrow.  Saturday morning is going to be her bath day.  Yorkies can tolerate getting bathed once a week so that is her new schedule.

And yes, that is my ugly foot.  She is still pretty shaggy but I used the longest comb in the kit so tomorrow I will use a shorter one.  At least now she will hold her ears up.

I have also learned a lot about laundry and doing dishes.  I do the completely wrong thing for the planet but I am doing the completely right thing for my sanity.  I am washing small loads every day.  I don’t wait until everything is in the hamper to wash.  I have been much happier because nothing makes me more cross than looking at a huge basket of clean laundry needing folding.  So, Monday is sheet day with underwear.  Wednesday is towel day with underwear.  Tuesday and Thursday is everything else day and Friday is cup towel day.  What I have learned is that just because you are an empty nester it doesn’t mean you can let the laundry pile up.  Same with the dishes.  I am doing lots of dishes by hand these days as well as running the dishwasher.  It seems that hand washing is pretty quick and I never have to worry about the dishwasher being too full.  I think what is happening here is that I have figured out that if I do these things daily the chores become a lot lighter.  

I know, by now you are shaking your head wondering what planet I have been living on.  Well, self discipline has never been my strong suit and I have always left things until the last minute and put things off and I have always been frustrated with domesticity.  I have finally figured it out and I have felt more accomplished which had led me to wanting to keep it up.  

I have also learned to go with the flow and order groceries for pick up and order things that I need from Target and such.  And you know what, I am happier doing that.  I don’t like shopping, my knees don’t let me walk all over malls anymore and so it is just a good thing for me to be able to order what I need, get free shipping where I can and I am not fighting it.  I have had zero problems with it and it makes me happy for other people to choose my groceries.  I am fine with it.  

I want to plant some bulbs in the back yard at some point so I guess I will be perusing seed catalogues as well.  I have never done that and it sounds like fun.  I am hoping for some nice irises and day lillies and maybe some daffodils to celebrate St. David’s Day next year.  

I have learned that the housework is never going to be finished and the only way to deal with it is to do a little each day, work in the fun stuff so you don’t feel deprived, and just keep on keeping on.  I will honestly say I have much more energy after living like this for a couple of months and I intend to keep it up.  And maybe I will get all those unfinished cross stitch projects done!


Granny Marigold said...

All the changes you're making are truly impressive. And I'm sure doing things like grooming Trixie yourself will save a lot of money. When my kids were still all at home I had a 2 week rotating schedule for meals. Now, with just the 2 of us, I have a much looser schedule but at least I have an idea. For instance Wednesday is soup day. I can put so many veggies in soup that we wouldn't necessarily eat otherwise.
I'm glad you've found a way that works for you. GM

Boyett-Brinkley said...

Hi, Granny! It is still a work in progress. I am just finding that if I do things in small batches I do much better, don’t get as tired and overwhelmed and then I have time for the “fun”. Grooming the dog is sort of fun. We are doing more today. She isn’t having a spa day — she is having a spa week!


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