I’m not even sure where to begin this post. Over the last month I have been “quarantined”. Okay not really quarantine but laid up in the house recovering from cancer surgery. I had what is referred to as a radial neck dissection (large L shaped incision on my neck followed by the removal of 16 lymph nodes) and basically what amounted to a right side tonsillectomy with some biopsy on the base of my right tongue thrown in for good measure. The tonsillectomy or should I say the recovery from the tonsillectomy was some of the most pain I have ever experienced. I am sure there are things that hurt worse but I have no desire to discover them.
I was just a week away from returning to work when I got the news that my company was shutting the doors through March 27th. While engrossed in my shut-in, the world went bat shit crazy and I find myself with millions of new roommates only we can’t share a room much less a work space, a pint at the local bar or even a hand shake.
I wish at this point I had tons of wisdom to share after my 30 days of being homebound but I am afraid it’s really just what has worked for me and hopefully you will gleam a couple of nuggets from it…
- Yes, stream Netflix, Apple+, Amazon Prime and so on and so on but do it with intention. Just like beer sometimes you can have too much of good thing. Take a break with the intent of learning, discovering and growing.
- Trade your favorite stream for a book or two or three. I have always loved to read but this hiatus from real life has made me realize how little I had been reading the last couple of years. I just finished books number seven and eight yesterday. Yep, I now find myself reading more than one book at a time.
- Write a letter or a postcard. I was besieged with generosity from friends, family and co-works while I have been out. After I began feeling better, I sat down and wrote them all thank you cards (Yes, the old fashion kind made from paper and you put them in an envelope with a stamp). It felt good and I am sure that at least some of them enjoyed the surprise of getting something other than their 2020 Census form in the mail. I enjoyed it so much I am continuing to send out cards to folks to just say “hi” and let them know I am thinking of them.
- Take naps. I’ve needed naps as I heeled from surgery but now with my strength and energy returning I still find naps a wonderful thing to revive me midday. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/napping
- Get outside. Go for a walk, take a bike ride, or get to know your neighbors from a far as you practice social distancing.
- Work from home. Strive to be productive and get everything done a quickly as possible. I bet you will begin to realize that so much of your time at work is spent doing things that are unproductive (e.g. meetings, office politics, herding cats)
- Online courses. Maybe reading alone is not doing if for you. There are tons of fee and paid classes online.
- Cook. I have made so much bread lately. Warm bread with butter never gets old
- Plan your summer. This won’t last for every. I have been having a blast pouring of maps and articles on the Colorado Trail as I get ready for my bike packing trip this summer.
- Spring clean now. I rescued an entire room in our basement. It’s organized and I repaired a vacuum cleaning that had I had squirreled away down their two years ago. I now own two working vacuum cleaners. I guess you could say “Life doesn’t suck.”
- Stay informed but don’t get sucked in. Just because your friend repost something doesn’t make it true.
- Resist the urge to panic buy and horde. Remember Y2K?
- Support your local food bank with a monetary donation. Most of these food banks are short on volunteers to process and sanitize food donations. It is much easier and safer for them to leverage your cash donation .
- Give blood if you can. Call you local Red Cross or blood donation center for details.
- Start a blog or a journal. I did. It doesn’t matter if anyone reads it. Sometimes it helps to just get things off our chest.
- Take another nap and then go outside again. Sunshine and fresh air are free.
- Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegatables. Challenge yourself to cook some healthy meals. It’s safer than take out. https://www.thugkitchen.com
- But, order take out from a local restaurant to support your local business.
- Do push ups, jumping jacks or body squats. Your gym ( you know the one you never go to) is probably closed. Working out at home is easy and you will be amazed how sweaty you can get even with out that fancy gym equipment.
- Meditate, read the Bible or Koran. Strive to bring some peace back into your life. Be patient with yourself and others.