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Pickle Me This

March 11, 2021

Get Outside

I went for a walk with my best friend Jennie this morning, whom I haven’t seen since the summer, even though she doesn’t live so far away. The weather has turned spring-like, and we’ve traded our winter coats for spring ones for the time being, and we marched up past Casa Loma, down into Cedarvale Ravine, spending ninety minutes in each other’s company, and we never stopped talking, although we have been friends since 1992, so we have a lot of touchstones between us. When I got home, I said to Stuart, “Hanging out with friends is fun. I can see why people like it.” It was really lovely, though I will admit that hanging out with friends is not something that I’ve been actively missing. I don’t know that I’ve actually been actively missing anything, it occurs to me, which is kind of weird and seems far from other people’s experiences. Certainly in the early pandemic days, I was completely beset with grief—the vacation we never went on (which Google kept sending me updates about, ghostly reminders of what time to leave for the airport to catch my place), the loss of ordinary life and all those things it had never occurred to us not to count on. But eventually, I kind of found my even keel, and stuck with it. (Not counting, of course, the days in January when I was consumed by anxiety and it all felt so hard, and only exercising while listening to up-tempo Celine Dion delivered me any kind of relief.)

It helps that I spend 24 hours a day with another adult whose company I appreciate, and have no shortage of people around the house to bestow hugs upon, and the children’s schooling gives every day a framework and place for me to be at certain times, and even people to meet there. I’ve always worked from home so that part of my life is just the same as it ever was, and in fact it’s better because Stuart is home and often makes me lunch. And this is not a LOOK HOW GREAT MY PANDEMIC HAS BEEN post, because certainly I’ve been in as much despair as anybody and it’s been a long long road, but I think I’ve dealt with the burden of it all by focusing on what I’ve got instead of what I’m having to do without, and yes, probably lots of denial and a bit of numbness, and faith that there will be plays and book launches eventually so I don’t think about it very much, and yes, maybe I never much liked leaving the house anyway. I just think it’s curious, how everybody has their own coping mechanisms, and none of them are ever one-sized fits all, and sometimes I think my comfort zone has become infinitesimally small, so its a splendid surprise to be taken out of it sometimes, as I was this morning. Especially when I get to discover crocuses in bloom along the way.

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