Another Letter, Life In Lockdown Of Your Favourite Heathen Introvert, And A Life Hack

You know, I look around me, and this space pleases me, brings me joy. The colours, the light, everything here is soothing and suits me.

I have found that there is often a big difference between what I thought would make me happy, and what actually does. I mean, joy can be illusive. Course, if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t feel so good when it does arrive.

Anywho mom, this Easter weekend most of the world in some fashion is doing their own version of praying for better days.

Ya, be careful what you wish for… WE ARE THE WORLD.

I am fortunate, but some are not.

Struggle for some is already knocking at many doors, or made its way inside, settled in. Some can work from home, some can not. Some are on the frontline, in hospitals, EMS, Fire and Police departments, grocery store clerks, and all those logistical personnel in the warehouses and backrooms making it all go tickity-boo.

Some are scared, some lonely. Many struggle with this, some, like me, do not.

For some the struggle is more abstract, and of course others maybe are just delusional.

Delusion and make believe in some parts of the world, now I mean gigantic Ostrich head in the sand kinda delusion, well, that has infested some places worse than others. Like south of the 49th, where common sense and empathy has become optional… to be honest, in some spots, it is outright discouraged.

Yet, in some fashion universally, the streets are all mostly empty, we are hunkered down at home, awaiting those better days.

Yes… like most of the world.

Oh, better days, better days.

Autumn is about endings, Winters long darkness becomes months for contemplation, hibernation, whatnot.

But this year, thankfully this year I had some foresight, magically so. You have no idea, mom, no idea how much joy those blooming bulbs I planted in the fall will bring. Spring… and this year I have miniature Daffodils, Grape Hyacinth, Scylla, and they will be lovely. Are lovely to see.

Now that I’ve come to terms with the reality that I just have no idea what the future holds, for me or for anyone. Many are in the exact same boat as I, and our individual stories may be different, but our worried look towards the future all look the same.

“It’s like I’m a teenager again… gas is cheap and I’m grounded.” anon

So, last I spoke to Lexters, her SirB was laid off yesterday, friday. But lucky for them she can work from home as her work falls into the essential service guidelines. Course, they will be down one income.

Talked to her a couple days ago, she just needed to vent, she’d had a panic attack the night before, not so much I think about money, but, geesh, everything.

I mean, you know, all of it is worthy of panic and certainly anxiety. You would be hard-pressed right now to find someone who HASN’T had a major focking anxiety attack in the last few weeks.

She is in good company in that regard.

I mean, she’s an old pro.

Just imagine all those out there who have no clue how to handle that claustrophobic, beating like a drum in your chest, tightening a grip on your heart like a fist, of kaleidoscopic vision making you feel mad as a hatter with actual technicolor real life doom out your window, and not just some manifestation inside your body. And how suddenly it grips you and at first just won’t let go.

That skill set to handle that kind of shake you to your core reaction is not baked in… handling that kind of emotional roller coaster takes work.

Remember the first time it happened to me? It was just in the in-between place, between when my marriage had crumbled and I came to terms with it. It was really rather terrifying. I recall I called you, of course, and you told me to go out for a walk… and it worked. I rarely have them… but not never… they pop up once in a while.

Will say this, and that’s that right now it really doesn’t serve your mental health to gaze too far off into the future. From experience, better staying in the now, difficult sometimes as that may be. No sense worrying too much about stuff you have no control over.

And with the streets all empty, it can seem like some dystopian nightmare. So, going for a walk can have an opposite effect, sometimes.

Yet, I think instead those empty streets in truth, they are the very embodiment of love. It’s good to remind myself of that.

Those empty streets show us how many truly do care about that neighbour we’ve never met, the great grandma and/or grandpa round the corner in the seniors home, the young man with the compromised immune system, and everyone, all the strangers, the friends, the family we are staying home to protect them.

And that is beautiful.

Personally, I now just get up when I get up, go lie down when I feel droopy, night or day, midnight or noon, I just go with the flow.

Routines and I don’t really get along, it bores me, refreshing not to worry about routines, just go with the flow, what will be will be.

You have no idea mom how many times I have popped outa bed, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, and gobsmacked to discover its like only 1 AM, only been asleep 4 or so hours. Sometimes I just stay up, sometimes I don’t.

Ok, ya, well, maybe ya would. \ (•◡•) /

I’ve kind of just stopped worrying too much about it, like I said, I’m not a real routine kind of person, and it is really nice to just let go and go with my own rhythm.

We are in strange times, and to be honest, I don’t know if we’ll ever truly go back to what some term ‘normal’. I think, I don’t know, but I believe maybe that ship has sailed.

Yet, what is meant by normal?

That’s up for grabs. Or, maybe more correct to say that normal of the past I believe was very flawed, and with this isolation we are collectively experiencing, it will change all of us.

What we need, who we need, how we acquire things, all will forever change.

On Facebook, I watch communities turn inwards, create new groups to reach out to one another. Some to share resources, to get groceries for those in full quarantine, or sometimes to share their sorrows, fears, joys, together… yet apart… this will change them. Neighbours, strangers, they will become friends, relying on each other, and once this transpires, they won’t always want to return to that normal they once believed in… that time before.

I know, from experience, if anyone knows that, I suppose mom it is you. These times of crisis, they do change you, forever make you question things. You question loss, death, fear, anxiety, and friends made within the confines of this time stay with you long after the crisis has passed. Certain things get baked in, they leave a mark.

I for one know what things I need, what I want, what makes me happy, what makes me depressed, sad, angry, and I have learned to adapt. I like being isolated… it is my safe place. Taking things away that no longer served me, added more of the things that do.

I remember, mom, in those last days, that night before we took you home for the last time… I asked you about your life. I have it written down somewhere what you said… but I remember you said you were content with your life… and that out of it all, that you loved being a mom.

I think about that a lot you know. About how to gauge my life, how to measure it all, that in the end what do I want to feel? What is it I loved? Am I content with it all? Is that good enough? Just content?

Well, yes, it is the journey though that really matters. Whether sad, mad, content or filled with joy, I have learned to appreciate all of it a lot more than I did.

The last few years, I’ve thrown off a lot of masks I used to wear. Ignored the drum beat of the crowd, stopped caring so much what other people thought, stopped wearing makeup, dying my hair, stopped and took a step back.

So, I have come up with some real life hacks, like I cut my own hair. The fact I just sorta hate going to hair dressers, find it a waste of money. So I keep my hair long, and do it myself.

Remember that old hairdresser of ours, Kathy, she once said that if she could hang me upside down, she could create the perfect Shag style cut. So over the years I’ve found various ways to replicate that.

Latest is a cool technique, called the Unicorn. This technique gives a perfect waterfall style shag cut, ideally with the front pieces hitting just at or under your cheekbones.

Basically, first I wet my hair. Next I combed it all out and put it all in a ponytail that sits just at the front, at my forehead. Next, well… basically whack it off… keeping in mind where the longest piece will fall when its down. I took off almost 5 inches (12.7 cm) or more.

When I did it a couple of weeks ago, I cut my hair to length horizontally a little above where I wanted the length, and then cut in vertically (scissors pointed ⬆) to make the ends more wispy.

Well, ciao for now mom, sun is shining, and I can hear a bird outside the window chirping away, the day is calling.

Love paula

“We ask that streams of Easter light might flow into the intimacy and privacy of our hearts this morning, to heal us and encourage us and enable us to make again a new beginning.”

John O’Donohue, Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World

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