When I left my job on March 17th, we all thought it would be for a couple of weeks and it would all be over. Now, almost 7 months later, I still don’t have a “job”, my house is filthy, and I arrange my errands according to the alternate side of the street parking schedule. But I have a life I never dreamed of. Somehow, instead of the me that sits in front of the television getting only the amount of exercise it takes to click the remote or walk to and from the refrigerator, a different me has emerged out of this horrible time. A me that weighs 29 pounds less than when the quarantine began. A me that exercises every day. Yes. You heard that right. Every. Day. A me that took the reins of what I jokingly called my “business”, and actively worked. Every day. Building up inventory, getting professional pictures taken and redoing my website…”Cut! Caryn, that was great, really great! But could we try that again? There’s something missing, I don’t quite believe it. Ok, folks… Quarantine, Take 2. Rolling!” Ok. All of the above is true. I have loved being home. I have lost 29 pounds, and exercise every day and have reached my WW goal, and made my business a priority. But then I had to have my appendix out over Labor Day weekend. Minor. I’m home, recovering, taking it easy. Not working. Not Exercising. Just giving myself the chance to get well. And I find myself really anxious. And this anxious is very familiar. I had the same anxiety when I broke my wrist and was home for a week. Also minor. Not life threatening. But both of these experiences push some buttons. For “Get catastrophically ill” press 1. For “Get old, so no matter how healthy you are, you will be in and out of the hospital for the rest of your life”, press 2. For “Die”, stay on the line and the next representative will be right with you. Even before the surgery, there would be times I would be marching along with my Walk at Home program, feeling healthy, and the monkey in my head is chattering. “What’s the point? You’re old. Like it makes any difference, you’re gonna die. Well. As soon as the next representative is free.” I have always had a fear of getting old and sick and facing the end of my life. Even in my 20’s and 30’s, I would sigh happily and think, if I live until 85, I have at least this many years left. Can you imagine, how at 62, a nutcase like me is going to spiral with the knowledge that, barring a scientific miracle, I have less years in front of me than behind me? I get stomach pains when I catch an old episode of Gunsmoke. But, all of this angst doesn’t change the facts. I have enough spark to lose 29 pounds. To exercise. To create and exhibit work that brings me joy, and some people will actually spend money for. To make people laugh, to bare my fierce and flawed heart. So, it’s clear that I will just have to trudge through the anxiety. Allow myself this week or two to heal and then get back to work. Rolling!
Life. A Bracelet in 6 Acts.