I’m sitting at my kitchen counter eating my eggs with Live With Kelly and Ryan on in the background. I can’t remember the last time I watched this show. Typically, I’m out in the morning off to run errands or to pick up my granddaughter or play tennis, or see friends, or SOMETHING. But it’s day I don’t even know what of our CoVid 19 #staythefuckhome ordeal. And, yes, I do mean ORDEAL.
I like to think I’m typically a positive person. You know, the kind that makes lemonade when life gives you lemons. But I’m thinking this morning that I don’t particularly care for lemonade. “No thanks, not thirsty, I find it too tart, not for me, just NO.” I don’t want to squeeze juice, separate seeds, mix in just the right amount of sugar, stir, chill and sip. I want to go back to when there were no lemons in my life needing to be transformed; a life full of family, friends, paddle tennis, errands to stores without gloves and masks, dinners out, travel, hugs, kisses and traffic.
I’m not alone, I know that. But, daily I am feeling more and more pressure, “pandemic performance pressure,” as I’ve coined it, to do something; to find the **** silver lining, to make lemonade. Social media is full of people displaying incredible talents and finding ways to connect virtually. They are taking up new games, cleaning out garages, closets, donating clothes, moving freaking refrigerators to clean behind them. They are signing up for online college courses, vowing to make this time, the “time I learned to play the flute all online.” Or, “that’s when I learned I had a natural talent for sculpting.” I can hear us all when we are out and about in a few months (I’m showing my true optimism here and making lemonade) describing how well we filled this “gift of time” with projects and connections that we should have been doing and cultivating for years. “Oh, that was such a wonderful time, when we could all be with family and the world just become so much smaller and we were able to really concentrate on the things that are truly important.” “It was such a global bonding experience.” Like the lemonade, “No thanks, I don’t care for any.”
I got one cabinet cleaned out and then realized that my garage, basement, attic, closets, drawers and cabinets are a disaster not because I don’t have time to clean them, but because I don’t want to clean them. Having time changes nothing about my desire or lack of motivation. I’m not signed up for online language courses because I don’t really want to do the work it will take to learn the language. I took the violin in 4th grade and that was good enough for me. I will not be adding the flute to my repertoire. I’m not a great cook and have never really aimed to be, so that’s off the table, literally, and I’d sew masks and do some good, but Lord knows I don’t have a sewing machine.
One could, and some have, suggested that perhaps I’m just lazy. But, here’s that making lemonade metaphor again, I like to think that perhaps I’m just content. Satisfaction is underrated, in my opinion, as is acceptance of one’s limitations. I’m good with a manageable amount of clutter. I don’t feel I need to spend every moment of free time engaged in something “meaningful.” I was the kid satisfied with the “B” on the test if earning the “A” meant studying longer and missing out on the party. I don’t have some void inside that aches to win a marathon or even to run a mile. Nor do I need to climb Mt. Everest or be the smartest person in the room. I enjoy the middle of the road. I want to excel, but I measure the cost.
And so, I’m going to stay true to myself when the “pandemic performance pressure” weighs on me. I can allow others at our future parties and gatherings over 50 people to list the ways they bettered themselves and the world during this gift of time. And then I’ll go home to my crammed closets, cabinets and basement, my disorganized refrigerator with God knows what behind and under it, and carry on. I’m ok with that. To hell with lemonade.