The longer I stay in my house, the more I want to never leave. I recognize that this is probably the opposite of what everyone else in the world is feeling.
I have officially given up trying to pretend that I want to see anyone else but my cats and pet praying mantises. No, I don’t want to go to some socially distanced painting party. No, I don’t want to Zoom with people from my high school. I don’t even want to go to the grocery store. I want to stay home, read, write, and eat my kid’s Halloween candy.
To be quite honest, the idea of going back to “normal” scares the sh!t out of me. And the fact that it scares the sh!t out of me . . . scares the sh!t out of me.
Do I have some kind of weird Stockholm Syndrome situation with the pandemic? When the virus captor has disappeared, will I still behave as if it’s here?
I used to be a social butterfly. I used to dine in all the new restaurants, run 5K races with my girlfriends to raise money for charity, and go to the Renaissance Faire and Beer Festivals. I consistently had a packed social calendar and a fantastic wardrobe. My friends called me the “cruise director”.
But, after eight months of staying inside, I am a completely different person. The only thing I can do right now is sit for hours per day at my computer writing story after story. And reading. Reading makes me happy. When it comes to wanting to do anything else, I’m pretty much useless. I stare into space. I have gained 15 pounds since March. I wear the same five pairs of stretchy leggings and my husband’s tee shirts.
Heck, I quit my job so that I didn’t have to talk to anyone anymore. I don’t want to call anyone. I don’t want to post to social media. I just want to read. And write. (I have one or two things that I’m forcing myself to do simply because I’m using myself as a guinea pig for future articles that I plan to write). But, that’s it. Reading. Writing. Sleeping. And maybe watching CNN.
I’m currently sitting at my desk watching my husband pull weeds from the garden. I watch families stroll down the sidewalk. My friends invite me to dinner at open-air restaurants. I don’t care. I have gotten used to this only-staying-in-my-house situation and I don’t want to change it. I’m going to hunker down until, well, until I’m sick of hunkering down.
I remember when I was a kid, I was prone to finding the smallest possible space into which to shove my body, a flashlight, and a book. I would sit for hours in the dark until I got a crick in my neck from holding the flashlight. Today, right now, I want to do that. I want to squeeze into a small space with a good book and ignore everything else.
If you’re still reading this, thank you for listening to my rant. I think, though, that I might not be the only person that feels this way. Maybe there are other people who have found a side of them that they never knew. A side that is happy to simply move from chair to chair throughout the day, traveling only in our minds.
Either I’m a highly adaptable individual or I was living a lifestyle previous to this pandemic that was not aligned with my personality. I don’t know. Maybe it was both. But, what if the world eventually goes back to “normal” and some of us are left behind voluntarily remaining housebound?
Who knows. Maybe it’s just today. Or it’s just this month. Or it’s just this year. Maybe one day I’ll want to go out to dinner and go hiking. Until then, though, you’ll find me in my favorite corner curled up with my laptop and a book.