Peaceful Pace

It snowed today. It’s September 29th, so a bit early. Yet I am at peace. I’ve always found solace in colder weather. Perhaps part of my rural upbringing in Michigan, when winters were long and at times brutal. My memories of those old days are full of warmth and wonder. Usually sitting by a window writing, as I find myself today.

In the past two years, I have noticed more often than not, how frequently my mode of existence is one of rushing. Hurried. In nearly every aspect of my day, I am pushing to move to the next task.

From my daily skincare routine, where I either skip a step or forgo the cotton ball in an effort to brush my teeth, to taking the next best route to work to shave a few minutes off my travel time. The truth is, none of this skimping does a thing getting me ahead in my day.

Instead, I find myself never really in the now. Not standing on the two feet which are below me, but rather where I was or think I need to be next; I am not present at the given moment. There is progress here in that I am living less in the past.

I’ve been thinking about the days when I drank all day long. I was everything but rushed. I was lazy, lethargic, procrastinating at its finest. As an adult, I still had the needs of others to meet. Responsibilities to be met. Turns out, six hours on the couch while the kids are at school, is not conducive to a productive day. Hence....rushing to catch up.

It’s a trait in sobriety that I long to eradicate.

Fast forward to COVID-19…

It is still snowing.

Who knew when I started this blog in September-which I apparently ran out of time to finish-that I would be sitting here this sunny March morning with absolutely no schedule.

The dishes are currently soaking in water.

The laundry is on a constant loop.

My somewhat naturally curly hair is air-drying today.

My skin-care routine is minimal.

My dog needs to be bathed and groomed.

I’m still in pajamas.

I ate two chocolate chip cookies for breakfast with the same cup of coffee I have reheated at least a dozen times.

I’m on my third La Croix.

This is so reminiscent of my drunk days.

The differences are subtle and sober:

The dishes are soaking from a home-made meal; not bowls full of spackled macaroni and cheese or cereal; drunken cuisine accompanied by Pop-Tarts.

The laundry is in survival mode as I consistently prevent this virus from spreading in our home; this is also known as adulting; keeping up on the chores at hand.

My now salt and pepper, naturally curly hair is air-drying because I have no schedule; not because I am already intoxicated at 9:00 AM and perpetually tardy.

My skin-care routine is stream-lined; not non-existent due to my hungover neglect.

My dog groomer is on hiatus along with the rest of the world as we know it.

I’m still in pajamas because...why not?

I ate two chocolate chip cookies for breakfast with the same cup of coffee I have reheated at least a dozen times. Indulgent at best and a cognizant choice; rather than out of the necessity of a stomach primer; a coating for morning chardonnay.

I’m on my third La Croix; sans any kind of alcohol I could get my spasmodic hands on.

So yes. Life has slowed down. A necessary component of this society imposed lapse in life. Peaceful pace may not be the best description of how I am currently adjusting to this new temporary normal. I would beg that at best, I am finding some form of contentment and adjustment to this confining situation.

I feel anxiety.

I am forming some robust and unhealthy resentments.

My heart races for a few panicked moments each day during this confinement.

I am fearful of what lies ahead.

Yet, I am sober. The minutiae of these 14 days offers a treasure trove of growth. Cherished time to dig deep and excavate more of my life that requires attention and repair.

I don’t want a drink. That is the strangest thing of all.

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