A lot has been written about our current state of social isolation. And you can bet volumes more on the subject will appear in the months and years to come. I just want to write my little piece about what I have learned so far.
First I have to say that hanging above my desk, amidst about two dozen other pithy words of wisdom from famous authors, which are there to inspire, are the words of Nobel Laureate, Doris Lessing: “Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.” You would think that looking at those words every day for the last two or three years would have had some impact on my organizational skills, but apparently not.
As the virus descended on our country, and stay-at-home orders fell into place, I found myself left with a whole bunch of do-do’s on my list and no reason why they weren’t already done. For instance, my newish car has a system for changing the time that is so complicated even my daughter, book in hand, couldn’t figure it out. So last year I went to the dealer and asked them to show me how to do it. “Forget it,” the young man at the service desk said. “It’s too complicated. Not worth your trouble. We’re happy to do it for you any time.” Okay. It wasn’t hard to convince me. He’s done it twice now. This year at the time change – early March you might recall – I rationalized that everybody would be rushing in for help so I would wait a week. Then the world shifted and my clock is still an hour slow. I suspect it will be closer to the next change than to this past one by the time I can drop by for help.
And then there’s the matter of my favorite shoes that need to be re-soled. And the window shade that needs repair. And a couple of throw rugs I wanted for my porch. Oh, and that update my computer refuses to install. Geek Squad where are you?
None of this is life or death. And the virus is. I do have my priorities straight. In fact, I think this whole staying at home thing is good for us. I think we all needed to slow down for a little while and think about what we’re doing with our lives. I know I did. But when it’s over, I tell you, if I have something to do I’m going to do it. No procrastinating allowed. I hope.
Norma Libman is a journalist and lecturer who has been collecting women’s stories for more than twenty years. You can read the first chapter of her award-winning book, Lonely River Village, at NormaLibman.com.