by Joan Birsh
Social Distancing… A day in the life of an Ocean Reef Member – Me!
Some people have told me they are surviving being house bound by adhering to a strict schedule. Not in my household, which consists of my husband Arthur and me. With so little on the calendar, we are in charge of the clock, instead of the other way around.
Time for me has suddenly become irrelevant. I might go to bed anywhere from 10 to 3 and wake up from 3 to 10. If I get sleepy during the day (a usual occurrence) I take a nap, wherever, whenever.
My routine on waking up is to read the New York Times on my iPad. Fortunately for me the Times includes a digital Mini Crossword Puzzle. I now almost always succeed in finishing the puzzle in 20 minutes max. That little message that says “Congratulations” manages to somewhat mitigate the Times coverage of all the current depressing news.
Arthur and I now have breakfast outside by our pool. Something we never had time for when I had to get to my Zumba class at the Fitness Center. No television news, just Alexa playing anything we ask for – Duke Ellington, Il Divo, KUSC (a classical station Nancy Zakon put me onto).
Lots of bagels in the freezer, easily resuscitated by a quick pop in the toaster. No shortage of Keurig cups for coffee. Only the orange juice requires periodic replacement by a trip to Wynn’s.
It is at breakfast that we pour over the online dinner menus of the take-out meals available at the OR restaurants. Last night we had the Minestrone Sardo and the Pollo alla Parmigiana from Gianni. Tonight we plan to pick up the swordfish special at the Islander.
Because of the late breakfast, I skip lunch and just snack on 5 or 6 extra dark pretzels. They are from Utz and I favor them not only because they are delicious, but also because the company started in a garage in my hometown of Hanover, PA. Arthur and I refer to this break in the day as “tea time,” though there is no tea, just diet Coke.
The rest of the day seems to fly by. Of course, it helps when you take a sizable chunk out of it with an afternoon nap.
Sometimes when we reconvene before dinner, I ask Arthur what he has been doing. “I don’t know,” he says, “but it took all day.”
Actually, I have some sense of what he’s been doing. And it is a lot. Answering emails (often mine, as well as his); adjusting all the complicated electronics – computers, TVs, radios, iPhones, iPads; ordering things we need from Amazon; cooking on the nights we don’t “take-in”. And (I saved the best for last) writing amazing poems, like the one on page 2 of the Ocean Reef Press all about Social Distancing.
As for me, there are some things I have to do – make the bed, do laundry, empty the dishwasher, write this column for the Ocean Reef Press.
Then there are a ton of things I want to do. Like –
Find out “Who Done It” in the first-rate mystery Raven Black, that I alternate between reading on Kindle and listening to on Audible.
Begin watching the new miniseries of Little Fires Everywhere. (It was a choice of my book club last year.)
Replenish my dwindling supply of cosmetics by a shopathon on Amazon. That will lead to a half day of browsing to satisfy my Joan the Shopper addiction.
Fill the closet that Arthur has emptied of his clothes in order to accommodate the overflow of my clothes. (What a guy!)
Paint a pair of shoes. I have a lovely new pair of flats just yearning for some decoration.
Then, of course, there is EXERCISE. For many of us it was a pretty important pre-corona activity. I’ve been getting by with an online Zumba class, that is a mild version of Ray’s. And I’ve been doing water aerobics in our pool to the Broadway cast album of Hamilton. A perfect choice. Very inspirational to be jogging around the pool to “I’m not throwing away my shot.”
And today I received the message from the Club that the Fitness Center is now offering five favorite classes online via Zoom (If you don’t know what Zoom is, you will find out soon enough. We have already been to one cocktail party and the 21st birthday party for our granddaughter. And now my book club is planning to do our April meeting via Zoom.)
On Thursday, April 2, I clicked the indicated Zoom website and took my favorite Silver Fit class with Nathalia, which was broadcast live to my computer.
The Fitness Center is offering each of the classes one day a week. So, in addition to Silver Fit on Thursday, I might try Mat Pilates on Monday or Chair Yoga on Tuesday. I’ll pass on Vinyasa Yoga on Wednesday and HIIT on Friday.
This article may have a somewhat deceptive upbeat tone. I’m scared. And so is everybody else. But, not so scared, that we don’t recognize how lucky we are to be living at Ocean Reef.
I’ve heard Members say over and over again “There is no place in the world I’d rather be right now.”
So thank you Ocean Reef for making us feel part of a Club that is concerned, not only about keeping us safe and well, but also about guarding our well-being in this dangerous world of the coronavirus.
NOTE: I need your help! For my next column on Cabin Fever, I’m planning to focus on what Members are reading and watching. So please take some time out of your busy schedules (just kidding) to send me an email with one or more suggestions of books and/or television shows (series, movies, special events) you would like to recommend to other housebound OR Members. Just a short report on content and your personal reasons for wanting to share something that gave you pleasure. Many thanks – Joan Birsh… My email: firstname.lastname@example.org.