Are You Ready?

Unless you’ve just emerged from a decades-long coma or have been recently paroled after an extended stint in the hoosegow, re-entering society has probably never been one of your concerns. Now, it’s all anyone talks about. Reopening. Going back. It’s the hottest topic of debate and speculation since “who shot J.R.?”

Many people are eager to burst forth from their quarantine cocoons. Others want to take a more cautious approach, dipping a toe before plunging back in. I get it. People need to work and to socialize. These are necessities as much as they are a part of human nature.

Then there are people, like me, who are simply not ready.

What’s the rush? There’s still so much more I need to accomplish in the shelter of my home. I want to paint that desk, organize those closets, finish learning how to play the guitar. So what if I’ve had the past 71 days to do it? I haven’t gotten around to everything yet, ok?

If I’m to be honest, this whole lockdown thing has had more ups than downs for someone like me. I like structure. Sheltering at home is right up my alley. I know exactly what’s on the agenda every morning when I wake up – nothing. Each day will be whatever I want it to be. There are no demands on me. I don’t have to be anywhere, prepare anything, or for the most part, meet any deadlines. I’m still getting auditions for voiceovers, but I can do them at my leisure and in my pajamas. If I do set a goal for myself or plan something, I don’t have to worry about any interruptions beyond Fluffy needing a walk or a grumbling tummy needing some sustenance. I can sit in a chair all day and enjoy a book and a cup of coffee without feeling guilty. The time is all mine and I can make with it what I wish.

All these perks make re-entering society, reopening, and going back a tad less attractive to me.

I have changed. Certainly we have all have. But have we all changed in the same way? Many people have gone back to their roots which, turns out, are mostly grey. I stopped coloring my hair a year ago, so in that way, I was ahead of the curve. But those kinds of changes are superficial. I know that I have changed in my core and I’ve discovered things about myself that I never knew.

Changes and Surprises

1. While watching movies, I cringe now when I see people shaking hands, attending large gatherings, meandering through stores… I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to that again and it’s hard for me to imagine what it will be like.

2. Long viewed by others as a “people person” who is the life of any party, I’ve discovered I’m perfectly content to be quiet. In the future, if you’re looking for me, check the backseat. I might be there, enjoying not talking.

3. I’m a hugger! This is huge. When meeting people for the first time, I’m always caught off guard if they come in for a hug and I stiffen up like a phone pole. Now, I want long and lingering hugs. Put a mask on and c’mon in! My arms are open.

4. I don’t miss eating out. I’ve been enjoying cooking and it’s become a creative outlet for me. I even started my own YouTube channel, At Home With Anita Rosner. It’s fun and satisfies my yen for cooking, performing and film making, all in one neat little package.

5. I forgot how to drive my car. The battery kept dying from lack of use, so after a recent jump, my husband and I went for a long drive to charge it up. For the life of me, I could not remember how to turn on the cruise control.

6. I’ve had renewed faith in humanity. For every bonehead who buys up all the flour, hand sanitizer and every package of toilet paper in the store, there is a person who offers you whatever they can spare. There are the friends who check in with you just to see how you’re holding up and to tell you they love you. And there are people like this hospital technician who gives a pop-up concert for his co-workers to keep their spirits up.

Michael Dolan accompanied by his son, Harrison, on piano.

Yes, there have been many lessons, revelations and adjustments in the past three months with many more to come. Are you ready? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

8 responses to “Are You Ready?”

  1. Are used to complain , BC (before COVID) , that each day I had a “Honey do” list as long as my arm. Well, since COVID, my to do list changed completely. I am no longer running around to all the stores to get what I thought were absolute necessities.
    I learn to deposit checks online, order food and groceries online, learned to ZOOM , ,communicated more with neighbors, and relaxed more at home.
    I didn’t do all the things that I had all the time to do but that’s OK.
    I feel less pressured each day not having to accomplish everything on my list.
    I still have a list but it’s so much smaller and nothing is urgent except life.

  2. I can really relate! I kept thinking yes, yes, yes to each thought…. this quarantine is really a pause in what was a too busy world. But I’m missing travel. I was newly retired when we shuttered and had to cancel a really amazing vacation. It sounds a bit selfish of me but now travel seems like the last thing that will reopen.
    On a sour note I don’t t like the way it’s divided the country. It’s sad that people can’t figure out how to be kinder….but you make us laugh Anita and that’s worth a lot!

    • Thank you, Debbie. I’m sorry about your vacation. But what a way to be fully immersed in retirement! LOL. And yes, there are some who seem to be showing their lesser sides. But in my neighborhood, people take the time to say hello and ask how you’re doing. Which is a nice change.

  3. In a strange way, we have been afforded a gift of time to just be our own authentic selves.

  4. Well, now I’m REALLY
    Famous!!! Anita you’ve been doing all this really cool stuff for so many years. (Don’t forget archery.) I feel so inadequate. All I’m doing is saving the world!!!
    Thank you for including me into your Martha Stewart/Oprah like empire!!!

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