Preparing To Wait


With the COVID vaccines beginning to rollout, it's hard not to get excited about life returning to normal in the near future, because from everything I'm reading, it won't be as 'near' as most of us would like. Completely understandable in that the entire world, times two inoculations each, is eagerly waiting as well. So I'm trying to get myself mentally positioned to see life carrying on in in 2021 much as it has been for the last nine months. Meaning I may have many more months of waiting to go before my turn in the vaccine line arrives.

Things that should help me slog the waiting out would be . . . 

  • The completion of our current remodel. The remodel itself is keeping me distracted, particularly the challenge of communication with the various work teams while keeping ourselves masked and socially distant. Think of a hummingbird - I swoop in, quickly say or clarify what I need, and then swoop out. I generally walk through the work areas in the evening after the team has departed to make my list of touch points, masked always, and then depart. We have a plastic barrier, plus closed doors between us and the work teams, so we feel pretty safe and comfortable here otherwise.
Settling back in afterward will take a few days - much dust to dislodge - and I look forward to the sense of bliss that will likely descend once we are fully resettled.

  • The arrival of our new travel trailer early in January. We'll need to explore our new trailer to see where and how we want our essentials to be kept and stored, plus we'll be taking an easy shakeout trip to test out all the working components (lights, refrigerator, stove, hot water heater, shower, etc.). We're hoping to get a reservation at Bolsa Chica in nearby Huntington Beach, where our oldest daughter lives, so that we can not only go walking and bicycling along the beach, but zip over to visit her as well. 
The new trailer may also necessitate getting new, shallower cabinetry made for our garage, another project that should keep me busy for a while if so. We've gone through our garage two times since moving, getting rid of lots of stuff in the process, and I'm sure doing so for a third time will send even more items out the door. We are not packrats, and do not hang on to items not being used for the most part, but still, things to have a tendency to accumulate.

  • I'm continuing to work on the trip planning for our June-August RV trip up into the Pacific Northwest. I'm anticipating things continuing to open up in the months ahead, so I am hopeful that trips to museums and other places of interest will become increasingly realistic. As well as outdoor dining. Researching interesting places to eat is something I much enjoy, and we have many, many, many happy memories of memorable meals eaten around the USA and world. 

  • Once our remodel concludes, I'll be able to return to four days a week of scheduled outdoor hikes, bicycle rides and kayaking excursions via several groups I"m involved in. I return so invigorated and physically spent from each of these, that the rest of the day is always an easy flow back at home.
  • Golfing should continue to fill one of the remaining three days each week as we continue to work toward playing a full 18 holes (we're at 9 holes currently), particularly if we continue to enjoy a cold or hot beverage out on the golf course's lovely patio after each visit.
  • Of the remaining two days, one will likely be taken up with outdoor volunteering at either a food pantry or marine institute we volunteer with. At the food pantry we place loaded bags of groceries into cars, an easy activity with which to remain COVID-distanced, and at the marine institute I assist in leading tours of our local tidepools, also easy to do while remaining safely distanced. I'm on standby for a third volunteer position at one of our state beaches, but so far they are holding off until the pandemic situation eases.

Socially, we'll be a bit more limited due to our shorter winter days and cooler winter evenings. Hopefully, our current emergency restrictions will be lifted come January, and we can return to visiting our two wineries on the weekends in order to sip free wine and listen to live music from a nicely distanced location, usually alongside a fireplace or heat lamp. And hopefully one of our small local playhouses will reopen for limited outdoor entertainment as they did in November, when we enjoyed an evening of entertainment while seated at a private table for two. Chilly and/or rainy nights may limit the frequency of this, of course, as would a return to Stay At Home, but so far our refunds for any sudden cancellation have been very prompt.

Intellectually, here at home, I'm continuing to practice the guitar each day. Every so often I surprise myself and think, 'Hey, that sounded good!' LOL. I'm also reading more than I have in years, and it has been a most welcome return to a beloved old habit. And I'm continuing to work on stitching Christmas ornaments from the stash of projects I've accumulated over the years (so much aspirational buying, my goodness), the majority of which I'm going to donate next year to our spiritual congregation's fundraising holiday boutique.

Family wise, we are hoping to visit our youngest daughter and her family on the east coast in February or March, but we are taking a wait-and-see attitude for now. The hardest part of this pandemic has been not seeing our granddaughters as regularly as we normally do, meaning every two to three months. 

On the giving back side, we have upped our charitable donations budget for 2021. We will also continue to assist in providing food for a nearby homeless shelter, continue the above mentioned efforts with a local food pantry, and continue to look for small ways to make a difference and spread some joy. 

Speaking of which, a small thing that happened to us last Christmas has stayed with me all year, and speaks to the power of how small things can often be so very big. That being two gifted cups of coffee we received from Starbucks, the result of someone in line ahead of us handing over a gift card to the cashier and asking her to use in for subsequent customers until it ran out. I was so touched, that it set off a swell of wanting to spread kindness myself. One thing I resolved to do this year, and did pretty regularly I'm pleased to report, was to be on the lookout for drivers waiting to enter my lane of traffic, in order to slow down and leave them space to do so. A very small effort on my part that hopefully gave a small lift to someone else, because it certainly does for me.

And I also plan to return the favor that started this all, and leave my own gift card to be used at Starbucks on Christmas morning. Hopefully it will spark others to spread their version of kindness  the way it did me.

Preparing To Wait