On March 23, I had a job and went to work, even as others around me lost theirs.
Restaurants closed for dine-in service. We obeyed social distancing. Toilet paper was a scarce commodity. States and counties implemented Stay at Home orders.
But I still worked.
At least that morning I did. That afternoon our corporate office shut us down. The Coronavirus hit my life with more than a TP shortage.
When I left work, I sat in the car and emailed my friend in New York.
My work shut down for two weeks. Next email will be sent from my luxurious vacation resort. I found a place with a great deal. They have lots of cat companions there!
Knowing we have a houseful of cats, she replied:
Oh, your resort sounds WONDERFUL! You like cats, right? Do send a postcard if you get a chance.
I hear the protestors in the background. “This isn’t a vacation!”
They’re right. It’s not. There are hundreds of thousands of grieving families, with more on the horizon, that attests to the fact that this isn’t a vacation.
Yet, I’m a firm believer that our attitude has a huge impact on our life. It’s not a vacation. But that also doesn’t mean I’m going to moan, groan and complain.
Life has changed for everyone right now, not just one nation. The world has turned upside down, seemingly overnight. I’m not going to bury my head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening. I am going to take every precaution I can to be safe.
And, I’ll admit, I do have worries. I worry about the long-term impact on my job. Will I be able to pay my bills over the next few months? Will my family and friends remain safe and untouched? What will our country be like when this tapers down and we settle into a new normal?
Despite the concerns about the effects of this very real life-threatening disease, I intend to remain optimistic and encouraging. And, if being playful about the situation is what it takes, then that’s what I’ll do.
The next day, after spending hours cooking Chicken and Dumplings from scratch, I reported on my vacation status. Knowing my friend’s Italian heritage, I looked up the Italian word for kitchen.
Today I went to an exotic Italian location for vacation – La Cucina.
The following day I spent hours in my backyard, basking in the sunshine. Truthfully, I stuffed far too many trash bags with weeds. But ‘basking’ sounds better. When I checked Facebook later that afternoon, I had a message from my friend, Cindy. Graceful palm fronds framed a background of blue skies. The meme read: “I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to Puerto Backyarda. I’m getting tired of Los Livingroom.”
I laughed as I answered:
Perfect timing! I just pulled back into port from there!
A few days later, rain interrupted my plans. I wrote:
My trip was cancelled due to weather. I’ll spend the day at a new exhibit in town – DESK-o-rama.
When the rain ceased and the sun came out, I reported:
Hooray! I got a call – there was a break in the weather and the cruise to Puerto Backyarda was back on. There was ONE SPOT left! One spot!! Can you believe it? And….they offered me the trip FOR FREE!! Can you believe HOW LUCKY I am?
I’m going to laugh and joke about my “vacation,” which, incidentally, was extended.
We’re not returning to work this week after all. We were told to file for unemployment. It’s not a surprise. I’d expected it. To be honest, as much as I love my part-time job and my employer, I don’t think that greeting cards are an essential business. Not right now.
Family is essential.
Friends are essential.
A roof over our heads. Food in the pantry. Toilet paper, when we can find it, even if it’s the cheaper scratchy versions.
My own attitude and outlook.
These are essentials.
I remembered that my friend requested a postcard if I got a chance. To avoid shopping I thought I could find one in my “piles.” I rummaged around and found a postcard from the Queen Mary that I’d picked up years before. I signed it with a flourish before dropping it in the mailbox –
Having a great time! Wish you were here!
Mindset does matter. Our attitude affects our outlook, health, relationships, and so much more. I’m going to keep mine. Even when my unplanned vacation extends a little longer than I’d anticipated.
If you need me, I’ll be at my favorite vacation destination – Puerta Backyarda.
Trisha Faye writes from Texas.
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