Maybe SOMEDAY. “Someday” has always indicated to me a probability of this elusive eventuality actually happening – and of my participating in it. I sure hope that’s still the case.
MAYBE someday. “Maybe” used to indicate to me nothing more than a series of choices to debate, or possibly a financial decision or two to be made – should I do this instead of that, or go here instead of there if I couldn’t afford to do both – but still something I hopefully had some say in. “Maybe” now has more serious implications, but unlike when I was a child negotiating with a parent – maybe does NOT mean no. 😉
So, “maybe someday”, to me, used to be an optimistic day-dream of future adventures or perhaps a detailed listing of my Bucket List, with colorful Post-it’s marking “must-see” pages in my well-thumbed Milepost book.
The biggest challenge until recently was my age (70) and the ever-increasing time pressure I felt to fulfill at least some of my Bucket List before my body or my mind let me down or limited my favorite mode of travel.
I figured, optimistically, I still had plenty of time, but I was/am aware that my most active and athletic years are behind me, so it was past time to up my game and get busy. My plans for 2020 included some ambitious travel endeavors. Canada and the lower-48 beckoned!
Then, of course, covid-19 hit and most everyone’s plans were deferred, mine included.
So, I sit here this morning in my currently stationary Winnebago, dreaming of plans for next year – and realizing that I am struggling to not include “if I survive the coming winter of Covid” to my list of challenges to overcome.
Generally, I am an optimistic soul. As long as I take reasonable precautions, Jerry and I should be OK. My health is fairly decent, with my only big risk factor being my age.
Jer, on the other hand, is high-risk in multiple categories, so my level of caution may be higher than might seem warranted for only myself.
I really can’t take into consideration the opinions of others when it comes to this topic. I’m the only one responsible for deciding my own comfort level and what risks I am (or am not) willing to take.
I’m aware that I have friends and even family who think I’m being overly cautious. I’m sure these conversations are going on all across the country – even the world, as individuals and families wrestle with balancing feeling safe and having a good quality of life.
Over the summer, I felt my quality of life wasn’t being seriously impinged on since I was able to be outdoors quite a lot, camping, walking local trails and getting together with my K9 Nose Work group for regular, safe outdoor practices with our dogs.
But with the days getting shorter and cooler, I know my much-loved camping window is getting shorter. Meeting with friends at an outdoor cafe won’t be an option much longer. My smooth-coated dachshunds are going to be more than satisfied with shorter walks, even with coats on.
Last night was a sobering reminder (for me) of what is to come. It was the final evening of teaching my K9 Nose Work group in person for quite a while because I’m not comfortable moving it into the busy, multi-use indoor training facility for the winter.
I realize this wasn’t a popular decision among the teams I’ve been guiding, teaching and supervising for the past five years, and I’m grateful for their understanding and support as I transition our ongoing practices to an online-learning platform.
I can only hope my family and friends realize how painful it is for ME to miss out on spending this time with my friends, as well as missing birthdays, graduations, weddings and other social gatherings because of my decision.
I’m hoping (and Ronni is hoping!) to be able to continue getting together periodically with a few teams for shorter practice outings, where I can come and go as “just one of the teams” and not have to spend several hours in one indoor location as instructor/supervisor. It’s really just that longer-term possible exposure I feel the need to stay away from right now.
So, I’m sorting out my feelings and my “bubble parameters”, trying to decide where I’m comfortable being flexible and where I need to draw harder lines.
I plan to keep my “social bubble” fairly small this winter, but hope to be able to include a few of my friends in it, so as not to be completely isolated. Of course, that will have to depend on their “bubbles” as well.
This coming winter is going to be a difficult one for many people in a myriad of ways. 😢
The beginning hints of Fall are already flavoring the air, with crisper mornings, yellows and golds peeking through the still [mostly] green branches of the trees, and our beautiful Fireweed flowers not only topped out but starting to go to seed.
I don’t intend to stop dreaming of the future, or stop living life to the fullest extent possible within my self-imposed restraints.
I am HOPEFUL that next spring will bring with it renewal, hope and new possibilities. And travel!
In the meantime, [depressing] thoughts of winter can wait. Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons of the year and I’m going to enjoy it!
Maybe someday we can put all (or much) of this behind us. FOR SURE, right now, we still have lives to live. I’m sure everyone, like me, has days when they can’t help but ponder the vagaries of life and our own transitory place in the overall picture. We are but sparrows in this huge universe.
I look with determination to a small plaque on my wall that states with conviction, “This too will pass!”
Outside my window, sparrows are singing joyously. It’s a beautiful day and I’m going to head outside to be part of it! Come join me!