50 Days of Eating Alone

Socially Distant FlowersQuarantine?  Lock down?  Shelter-in-place?  Stay Home, Stay Safe? Whatever you call it, I’ve been home alone.  I’ve kept a journal of my reactions.  And it’s a way of having a morning conversation.  With myself.  I’ve tracked it – it’s been 50 days of eating alone.  Every meal.

I see people when I walk the dog.  I’ve had plenty of conversations on the phone, or video chats with family and friends using FaceTime or Zoom.

I’ve even taken a few socially connected but physically distanced walks with a neighbor.

Mostly, though, I’ve been alone with my thoughts (and my dog).

I hate listening to the news.  I hate the disrespect for the science.  I hate hearing about and thinking about all the deaths, all the illness, all the loss – life, jobs, businesses, food, family, connection, celebrations, funerals.  There’s so much loss and grief.

But for me it hasn’t been all bad.  I don’t have to psyche myself up to accept invitations I’m not up to going to.  I’ve had time to do a lot of journaling and a lot of meditation, including loving kindness meditation where I send compassion to myself, my family, my friends, and to the world.  I practice gratitude daily.  I practice staying in the present.

I’ve done art.  I’ve started playing piano again.   I’ve gotten a lot of projects done around the house.

I get bored.  I miss hugs.  I miss being able to travel to see my kids.  I’ve had occasional crying jags where the pain of missing Larry is all too acute.  But all in all I feel pretty ok.  Actually, I feel more whole again.  I think this time has helped me finish my healing.  Not finish because I’m sure there will be more, but maybe move on from healing as a primary necessity.  I didn’t even notice the passage of the monthly anniversary of Larry’s death on May 2.

I can’t say I look forward to getting back to normal because I’ve some to the conclusion there won’t be the old normal anymore.  We’ll have to figure out a way to live in this new coronavirus infected world.  My state is opening up and people are out and about working, shopping, and socializing.  But I’m not sure I’m ready to go out.  I’m not confident of the safety.  I’m not confident it will bring me anything I don’t already have.

Except maybe not eating alone.  And a hug or two.