Now, I must confess: my mother and I broke our own creed to stay home today. We went to the grocery store to grab a few items to last us a couple weeks. We really did not need too much, just a couple cans of soup, a loaf of bread, and some mashed potato mix. (Unfortunately, there were no potatoes; good thing we had some from the beginning of the month for Tuesday.) There were a bunch of emptied shelves of things like cleaning products and toilet paper (so what else is new?), but we ourselves felt no need to panic. After all, we have plenty of food here at home. I think my mom had a Filet o Fish craving. That’s why we went out. So we got our Filet o Fish lunch – through the drive thru like everyone else – and came home to eat and hopefully self social distance properly.
About social distancing: you can’t do social distancing properly if you don’t enjoy your own company. I think I have an advantage in this instance. Being autistic, I learned to enjoy my own company realt fast, because it seemed no one else did. I still marvel at the fact that people are my Facebook friends, by their own choice – that’s how lonely I was through childhood. I have another advantage to talk about. In case you did not know, I was born in 1977. I am a member of Generation X. Most of us were latchkey kids, who also learned to enjoy their own company. Another advantage of Generation X? We are the ones sandwiched between the young and the old, caring for both. I, for example, have a physically disabled mother. She uses a walker and leans on furniture in the house, and uses a cart out of the house. We are not going anywhere anytime soon. We are hunkering down (I hope), and I enjoy my own company. In my case, I had no choice.
I have a few tips concerning your own company:
1 – Schedule Some Moving Around. This is easy for me, because I have a weekly schedule of household chores to do. As I said before, my mother is disabled, so I am alone in doing these. I might even do early spring cleaning and organizing if I get too bored. You’re going to get restless anyway, so why not plan for it?
2 – Get a Hobby. Example: I crochet, and have offered a blanket to a new baby coming into the world. All I need to know is what color yarn to go get (or get delivered), and I will start – hopefully soon.
3 – Entertainment. Find some music to play, or get some background noise to put on. Find some radio or make some playlists. I have recently reacquainted myself with Van Halen (all forms of the band), and am hopefully going to expand my band repertoire, because I’m sure most metal music scares my mother. (Van Halen doesn’t, I hope.) Of course, let’s not forget all those DVR recorded shows you can catch up or binge on. I have a few on retainer. If those bore you, take a cue from the Waltons and gather around the TV or radio and chill.
4 – Meditation and Spiritual Things. Obviously, when you are denied something, it creates stress. Spirituality and religion are actually helpful in this case. Solace and meditation are a part of the spiritual diet. Judaism and Christianity are no exception. (You can meditate on the things of God, for example if you follow either of those faiths.) I am going no further in mentioning faiths, but all of them have this in common.
5 – Just Chill Out. This may be the California in me talking, but in case you haven’t noticed, the world has no chill. Our lives have been way too busy and drama filled lately. Maybe we all need this mandatory staycation to just chill out and embrace the simple things in life, like rest. And chilling out. Maybe you need to be bored for a little while in order to appreciate the spice in life.
6 – Face Time / Skype. There is such a thing as video chat. In case you haven’t noticed, the original Blade Runner movie takes place last year. They had video chat in there. If you’re feeling extra lonely and need human contact, just use it.
7 – Humor. I have recently changed my phone alert sound to Babu Frik saying “Hey Heyyyyy!” for laughs. Sometimes it’s annoying, but more often than not, it gives me a little laugh when I need it. It helps to have a sense of humor about these things. I knew a stranger would be my kind of person when I saw, in the parking lot at one of my grocery stores, a Volkswagen New Beetle with what looks like a giant toy key on top. I also somehow got close enough to see that it had a dinosaur eating a stick figure family. My point is, humor is there to help in tough times. Get that funny picture as your desktop background. Go visit the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards site. (Better than Facebook, I say.) Pass those silly jokes around on Twitter. Just a hint: Make sure it’s at the expense of someone who EARNS their expense. Not things they can’t control, like skin color.
Maybe I’m imitating Ace Ventura in my talking here, but some of these things need to be said. You may even learn to enjoy your own company at this time.