Last year, we had a “Spring Party” planned for Willem, the non-religious variation of the catholic First Communion. At first, we rescheduled it, but in May, we cancelled it all together. “Let us have a big party next year! We will be married 10 years then. Let’s go all out then!” And behold, a year later. No big plans, however, for parties, or anything else for that matter.
Life is kind of boring without any plans or even the possibility of making plans. Kind of like the movie Pleasantville but in reverse: slowly all color is replaced by grays only. Life seems to be reduced to work plus weekend on repeat. No social interactions or events to ever break the routine or interrupt the churning wheel of time. The weeks and months just pass by uneventfully. It does not look better for the coming months. While States are vaccinating people at the speed of light, Europe feels like a hopeless mess of bureaucracy and rules with no vaccinations in sight. Just a third wave on the rise.
Are you feeling it, too? This gloom? This bleakness? The lack of color in life? I am sure I am not the only one! That is why I am sharing some of my coping mechanisms with you! Some good, some bad, but they get the work done: coping with this everlasting pandemic!
Frederik and I met at a bar. This kind of tells you how we feel about alcohol: We feel good about! For us, it is part of the good life. We enjoy a glass of wine or beer after a stressful day. Or after another day of parenting in general. I actually believe that alcohol should not be abused as a stress reliever, which it often is to me. One of the reasons why I started the coping mechanism two below. Frederik and I noticed how our alcohol intake was going up because of corona. So, we redirected our dinner routine with mocktails! Just as much fun and, in fact, also stress relieving by taking the time to make yourself a special drink. We even have Willem participating in the fun: he often squeezes fresh orange juice for us all!
I really miss shopping, which is kind of ridiculous, because I am really not that big of a shopper. Or better, buyer. I do not spend money easily. I am a browser! I love searching in second-hand stores or Goodwills for unique finds. Which also explains my love for mushroom hunting. I guess it settles my primitive instinct of gathering. Well, I just fulfill this need online now. Always looking for the best sale on clothing or shoes. It works like a charm. In these desperate times, I have also gone bigger: looking for houses or campers. Just don’t push the “buy now” button at the end of your search!
A colleague sent me a link to an online meditation course and I immediately enrolled. So, since a couple of weeks I have been sitting in front of my computer on Thursday night with twelve other people staring at their screen talking about and practicing meditation together. I also try to find ten minutes every day to practice, which isn’t that hard because I enjoy it so much. Ten minutes for yourself, completely and utterly just for you, without any distractions, is the best stress reliever you can find. I can only recommend it to everyone. Netflix does now stream “A Guide to Meditation” as well. So, you have no excuse for not giving it a try.
I was so fed up with a life without plans, without things to look forward to, that I simply started planning again. So, we picked a new date for Willem’s Spring Party. Because cancelling is easy and quick and we can still do it later. And our plans do not stop there! We are even celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary with family and friends. Online over Zoom! Of course, it is not the same, but it is something! Everything is better than nothing, don’t you think? And we can even invite friends from Seattle! I can barely wait! I even did some real shopping, buying included this time. I picked red as a theme color! It pops so nicely next to all the grays of these days.