As an optimist and extrovert, it’s incredible how behavior modifications have taken hold. At times, I barely recognize the former me. A slow drip or should I say an injection of hope is on the horizon as the vaccine rolls out and into the arms of friends and family but in the meantime……
I wonder about the behaviors of the new me that have become embedded over the past year.
“No problem, I can wake up at 5:30 for our yoga class.” Did I just say that? Yup.
My east coast yoga group was meeting at their normal 7:30 time and my husband and I had moved west for the winter months. Three mornings a week, I can do this. And I have. Seeing my yoga friend group and our fabulous teacher was a non-negotiable.
“Are you going to bed? It’s only 8:30?” My husband looks at me like I’m nuts. “I’m exhausted, and I can’t wait to crawl into bed. I love this new bedtime. Anyway, I’ve had a full day, I’ve been up since 5:00.” I think the early bird special dinner time was made for me.
“Yes honey, I’ve had a huge day, a perfect day.” I continue. “Yoga this morning, leading a writing group for 2 hours and a zoom call. A face time with the kids. A conversation with my sister. Oh, and grocery shopping too. Oh and I hiked with Karen for an hour. Wow, now that I think of it, it was a packed day. No wonder I’m exhausted. How will I ever go back to dinners out with friends at restaurants after 7 pm?” .
“Well, I know it’s hard to believe but I think one activity a day is all I can handle. I’m simplifying. Or maybe I’m just becoming simple.”
“You are the most active energetic person I know honey, who are you?”
I know he’s right, but I kind of like the new modified, simplified girl in my skin. Fully booked now equals one friend walk or a zoom date, and that just wasn’t enough interaction a year ago. Now it is.
“Thinking about the menu tonight. I’ve got a great idea for dinner. ” I heard myself say over and over again. That is so not last year. Last year Bill was begging for a night off from going out and wishing we could stay in. I loved my nights out sitting at the bar with friends eating salads for dinner with a glass of wine.
Now, I follow “What’s Gaby Cooking” like a stalker planning my meals days ahead.
“Honey, I’m going to the grocery store.” My husband looks at me, raises an eyebrow and says, “Again?”
“Yes, I forgot something.” “You’re always going to the grocery store.” Admittedly, the grocery store has been a substitute for retail therapy. I used to hate going, now I not only love it, I come up with excuses to go, dreaming up elaborate recipes with hard to find ingredients. It’s become a coveted activity.
“It’s Friday honey, should I bake 2 or 3 Challahs? I was thinking I could drop off for the neighbors who just had a new grand baby.”
Two summers ago I went to a Challah baking workshop with famous chef Joan Nathan’s daughter. As a group of us teamed up and gathered around the kitchen island to learn dough kneading and braiding, I was more interested in chatting with my baking partner than mastering the fine art of making challah. It was such a fun workshop but I had no big hopes of becoming the braider or the baker.
Truth is, I now bake challah every week and I love it. Thursday nights I make the dough, and Friday I braid and bake it. “Who am I?”
I hated chopping onions. Now I find it a zen activity.
“It’s remarkable how much we have changed,” I say to my husband. “Do you think we will go back to our former busy lives, ever?”
But he doesn’t answer. He is deep into his bridge game on his app, and doesn’t respond. He looks pretty happy.