February has been a month of introspection, making life-changing choices and beginning to come to terms with those choices.
It has also been the first month in nearly a year that I’ve felt a noticeable lessening of stress (in me) caused by the pandemic. Jerry and I qualified by age for our 1st covid-19 vaccine last month, and received vaccine #2 on February 11th.
We haven’t let up on our precautions, but I finally feel like I can breathe again – and start getting on with life.
Let me clarify; life being something more than spending half the day spinning and knitting, and the other half listening to Audible books and coloring.
Good God; I’ve been reduced to coloring in “adult” (hahaha) coloring books. 🙄
Arthritis in my hands and wrists and the desire for instant gratification have limited me so far to less complex pictures. I find “brush-pen” markers (I mostly use Tombow Duel Brush Pens) to be easiest on my hands and still produce vibrant, fun colors. Here are some of my recent “paintings”.
Between my various hobbies and continued training and play with the dachshunds, I’ve managed to stay occupied, if not particularly active. I honestly don’t know how folks with few or no time-consuming hobbies (and/or pets) stayed sane in 2020 and this winter.
Nine months of enforced inactivity has taken a toll though. “Use it or lose it”, right? Even though I planned ahead; implementing daily stretching, beginner yoga routines (I sure wish I’d taken up yoga 20 years ago) and walking on my treadmill (btw; Ronni has learned to walk on the treadmill too!), it couldn’t take the place of the physically active life I led prior to last year.
I’m hoping I can recoup the stamina and flexibility [such as it was] that I’ve lost. It’s going to take time and work – right now, I’m winded and have wobbly legs after 20 minutes on the treadmill. I need to get back outside!
One loss I’m very cognizant of – and a loss I know I cannot get back – is what FEELS like the loss of nearly a full year of my life. At my age, every year counts.
Now, put into proper perspective; it’s a small thing. I have my life. I haven’t lost any close family or friends to covid, which is a huge blessing in itself. And, although I was restricted in having close, personal contact with family or friends, and missed out on a lot of fun activities this past year, I was able to travel and camp last summer – RV travel really being the epitome of social distancing. 👍🏼
Still, while I was focused on the pandemic and staying safe, I was mostly able to ignore and put off making necessary decisions in other areas of my life.
I very much feel the need to make up for lost time this year. I want to visit with my friends (eventually maybe even un-masked 😷), play with my dogs, attend as many trials and other dog competitions as I can squeeze in and maybe take a few longer RV trips in between the shorter ones.
I want to relax this year and plan my days around social activities (yes, of course that includes dog sports 😉) rather than planning social activities around my work schedule.
I combined those new priorities with the knowledge that I feel I’m sadly out of condition after nine months off. I’m not physically capable right now of putting in the long hours of on-my-feet, walking and jogging, with the focused attention needed to set up and teach nose work classes, to prep for, plan, haul equipment and supervise 3-4 hours of nose work practice … Should I try to push myself that hard? Did I even want to?
They say every journey starts with a single step. Well, the choice was clear, which didn’t make it any easier to take that final step.
As of March 1st, I’m going to be officially retired. I’m going to grab what is left of my life with both hands – and ENJOY it!
Holy cow … I said it. That makes it real. See y’all down the road!