Life in These Strange Times

Down The Quiet Path originated as my agility blog. One spot for lesson recap, videos and trial results. Easy to search. All in an accessible spot. Look at the date of my last entry. March 15! Two months ago. So much has happened in two months…but the writing on the wall was between the lines in that entry.

What was between the lines? Stay-at-Home orders. Out of the shop for 5 weeks. Masks. Still don’t know when I’ll actually be able to see my family. And on and on and on. I’ve Zoomed with Enneagram Lori three times. Safer-at-Home went into effect the end of April. I worked 13 out of 17 days to get my clients back on track. Still don’t know when I’ll actually be able to see my family. And on and on and on.

The new normal. That’s the catch phrase of the day. I don’t like the insinuation! Never returning to life as it was. It puts fucking covid front and center. Which, of course, it is as humanity navigates the little tiny virus that has stopped the world. Colorado has started to open up, move along in These Strange Times. Nothing is normal, but it feels good to begin to return to life.

Normal, for now. That’s what I’m going to call it. Normal, for now. I’m learning how to live Normal, for now.

See this thing?

That’s called a course map. 😉 Lori started ‘classes’ this past week; more like private lessons with each student having a certain amount of time on course and never more than her and one student in the building at a time. All masked. Only she touches the bars. And on and on and on. She said it went well. Zopa, Tanner and I are back in ‘class’ this coming Friday. Yes!!

Until I could return to work living in the moment was the extent of my vision. Being present in the moment. There really wasn’t a choice. Then, until the end of my workday Wednesday, my focus had been myopic. Get ‘er done. Take good care of myself and get ‘er done. Worked 13 out of 17 days. With the exception of a handful of dogs whose two owners aren’t leaving their homes yet, all dogs have undergone damage control. I got ‘er done! Normal, for now up next.

Normal, for now? Adding things back into my life. Although I saw Jason a time or two during #staythefuckhome, I’m back to my weekly adjustments. This past Friday, massage from Harry for the first time since the end of February. No more pedicures from Shannon, but Saturday? A manicure. Masks all the way around.

Still don’t know when I’ll actually be able to see my family. Normal, for now is at least moving in the right direction.

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Deja Vu

Deja vu. Spring of 2018. Deja va.

That spring I battened down the hatches preparing both my immune system and my wallet for three upcoming surgeries that year. Those two things were top priority. I went to class, but didn’t trial. When I had post-op restrictions I audited classes. My weekends were spent simply, laying low with very few obligations.

Here I am today. Deja vu. Top priorities? My immune system. My wallet. I haven’t been 100% for a week and a half. I’ve laid low. I’ve gone to work. I went to class this past Thursday, not the previous Thursday. I skipped the agility trial. I skipped dinner at Mitch’s.

Surely my body’s usual response – respiratory creepin’ crud – when it steps in and tells me to slow the fuck down. One spring it took weeks for the crud to vacate. If it wasn’t for COVID-19 I wouldn’t think much about it. Now? I’m making decisions to protect my working-overtime immune system rather than telling myself, “soldier on, you can get through the day.” Self-care. Go to work.

And. I’m giving others the choice of being around me. Lori said, “come on down for your private lesson with Orla. Bring Zopa and Tanner too.” Shannon said, “please reschedule.”

Kelly still goes into Children’s Hospital because she’s an essential employee. All surgeries have been cancelled. The hospital is in full pandemic mode. CRAZY is how she describes work. Boyd and Nolan have a desk set up for off-site school. Arvada has shut down all rec centers so Nate isn’t going to work. Almost all public entities in the metro area are closed for several weeks or until further notice. Even the Jeffco Libraries book drops. No gatherings over 250 people. And on and on.

We celebrated Boyd’s birthday via FaceTime, watching him unveil the coolest kitchen. I told him we’d go to the museum for a picnic (he requested this weeks ago rather than a book-buying lunch date) when the museum reopens. He chose to have me show him his present rather than wait to unwrap it in person. I loved that he immediately recognized Blue’s little brother.

FaceTime. Right now, so grateful to have that curious substitute for personal interaction. Nolan and Boyd are familiar with it and call often. However! It made my heart sing when Rowan recognized us immediately and smiled! “Nana”, he said. 🙂 He hugged his bunny. Again! My heart sang! Bunny, a little Jellycat, was a birthday present. He was hanging out in the same bin with Little Dexter Dragon. Both left the store with me.

Work, come Tuesday, will be welcome. Wouldn’t ya know, just when I’d really like to be at work for a semblance of normalcy in this toilet-paperless world, tomorrow is my every-4th Monday off. Maybe I’ll go in and groom Vincent and Elliot…

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Down days or…

Guess I hit the wall yesterday afternoon. A three-hour nap yesterday. Laid down at 3:45. Woke up at 6:47. Just in time to have a Celebration, read a book – a real book – before heading to bed.

Sometimes you have to return to the place where you began, to arrive at the place where you belong. It’s the early 1970s. The town of Ringgold, Georgia, has a population of 1,923, one traffic light, one Dairy Queen, and …

…that was a week ago Friday. Can you say sitting in the draft box? 🙂 The whole weekend was a down weekend. Much needed after weeks of an irregular schedule due to the holidays. I’m more routine oriented than dogs! Yikes! I’m committed to finishing the 2020 mile challenge and need to learn how to build in down days without putting me off track. 3.43 mile and 1.62 miles on a weekend won’t cut it…unless I’ve walked 8 miles Monday through Friday. That ain’t gonna happen either!

I’m figuring out ways to build the miles into the rhythm of my life. This past week I made sure I hit 5.5 miles daily before heading home. Thursday and Friday agility classes set the stage. On workdays, walking my deposit to the bank does it. Friday I added a loop to the dam before seeing Harry. Amazing that little extra put me at 7.27 miles.

Unless I’m at an agility trial weekends are a motivational challenge. Weekend Warrior with Chico made the difference over the past weekend. I was even in the lead until late afternoon Saturday. 😉 He kills it with steps getting in over 120,000/week. Weekends are his hardest time too. I could have reclaimed the lead for a few hours Sunday morning, but decided to call it good when I hit 40 miles for the week.

Whodda thunk Chico – Chico!! – and I would be doing this together?!! My RTY team consists of Kathi, my sister Lori, her friend Bev and Kathi’s massage therapist. It’s fun, but not the same as ‘walking’ with Chico. Having lost nearly another person in body weight Chico inspires me – in his words – to ‘just move it’. He had lost some weight over the past couple of years by cutting out soda and packing a lunch for work. The change from September when we went to Al Di Meola to New Year’s Eve dinner was astounding. I wouldn’t have recognized him on the street!

Three of his cousins died in their early 50s from heart issues. He’s committed to doing what he can to prevent that from happening to him. Besides walking, logging calories, and not eating fried foods he’s also working out at the gym. I won’t be ‘joining’ him there. Haha.

He checks in almost daily…which has been a fun surprise. Like I said, whodda thunk?! We’ve done a Daily Challenge and Weekend Warrior already. He keeps me motivated as I continue to weave increased miles into the rhythm of my life. I’m happy to walk alongside my friend as he journeys to health and fitness.

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RTY 2020 – 100 Mile Bib

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Dance me…

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