Humpty Dumpty

I still have not come to terms with the pandemic. During my siesta a week ago, I dreamed I had been felled by COVID 19. The nightmare felt so real, and half an hour later, I still questioned whether or not it had actually been true.

The total number of days between Wednesday, March 11th, and Saturday, October 24, 2020 is 227.

This is equal to 7 months and 14 days. And unless you’ve been in a coma, you realise I’m referring to the length of time since the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization. These are the stats compiled yesterday, Friday October 23, 2020:

Worldwide number of persons infected with COVID 19             42.2 millions

Worldwide number of deaths:                                                               1.14 million 

These look like scary numbers – that’s because they are scary numbers – and they’ll get scarier and scarier until a vaccine is developed.

From time to time, my hopes are raised by reports of positive clinical test results and I fantasise with visions of myself waiting in line with my sleeves rolled up, my butt cheek exposed, or my mouth wide open to receive the miraculous elixir that will be the first step towards reclaiming my life.

But nothing is a sure thing. We do not know when (if ever) the vaccine will be ready for safe, fair, wide-scale distribution. My best guess is that this is still at least a year away. And if this is true, I just have to get my act together.

For the past 227 days, the performance approval rating I give myself is somewhere around 5. That is to say that half my days have been what I would term, productive. The rest of them have been varying degrees of wasted. And as a member of the seniors’ population, I should not let any days slip through my fingers. I need to fully appreciate every one of them. After all these are my “golden years”, right? 

No they are not. That is a myth we’ve all been fed. I think my best years were between 40 and 60. Then I was old enough to have some sense and experience, but still young enough to have plenty of up-and-at-it.

Since the BIG – 6-OH, my life has not been all I wish it was. Fatigue at the end of the day is pretty-much assured. The energy to complete many tasks that once seemed easy, has dwindled.

I do what I can to rally the troops (AKA my different body parts and systems) But really, I’ve had just about enough of this domino effect. My patience is running out with the mutinous members of My Body. They seem to think it’s OK to sluff off. Both the knees continue to be the Number One offenders. Sleep patterns are off. And with the high humidity and heat indexes, my ability to keep my body and my temper cool is severely taxed.

My Brain must also accept that her performance is less than stellar: What is with this forgetfulness and this inability to force My Body to keep on keeping on? My willpower has reached an all-time low. All the positivity I summoned at the beginning of the pandemic seems to be depleted.

All this non-optimal functioning weighs on My Mind. COVID 19 is going to be our undoing, it warns. The Mind is tired of watching so much negativity unfold, internally and externally. Politicians are not Leaders. Good Deeds seem to expect immediate pay-back. We have meddled so much with Mother Nature that she has come unglued. Come on – we need to get back on track – enough is enough.

Whine, whine, and whine some more: As already mentioned, I have got to get a grip. So I am going to put myself on structured plan. I have a list of all I MUST force myself to finish by the end of the year. The procrastinating has to end.

I do give thanks that I have been spared a lot of the huge problems many others face. I am relieved not to have little children whose distance learning I have to supervise. I don’t have to work from home. I have no mortgage or car payments that must be met. I feel so sad for those who have lost their job and can’t find a new one. So many people are working at reduced salary, and they are getting desperate.

And how are YOU doing? Is being shut in all day and all night getting to you too? And when you do venture forth (with your mask on and other precautions) do you feel paranoid? After 227 days, is your self-discipline crumbling? Or did it do that a while back?

How are you managing to keep Humpty Dumpty from falling off the wall?

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include spending time with freinds, reading, painting, cooking and travel.

14 thoughts on “Humpty Dumpty

  1. Since you asked, I may as well answer. I too have always been an achiever and an active person, but at the age of 78 this year, I have learned to just go with the flow. John’s father used to say,” If I had known what getting old would be like, I never would have done it.” I used to think 30 was old, until I turned 30 – suddenly 50 became old, then 60. When I reached 70 I was shocked. How did I ever make it that far? My doctor says it’s not a miracle, but to expect I can still do what I did and feel the way I did when I was 20 and 30 – that would be a miracle. I don’t whine because my own father taught me to face and accept the things I can’t change and to learn from them.
    COVID19 has changed the entire world and as long as we are in this world, we must learn how to accept these changes. It has forced us to remember and truly appreciate so many of the things we took for granite. Civilizations throughout history have developed and moved ahead with changes, accepting bot the good with the bad. There were plagues, viruses, epidemics, climate changes, starvation, floods, wars, and pandemics, etc., etc, but civilization has survived. It’s human nature to want to survive even if we must be forced to slow down and smell the roses. That in itself is the miracle.
    I wish I could convey these thoughts to everyone who is frustrated with following the rules and regulations we are currently faced with. I don’t come from a strict background, but we were raised to obey rules and regulations. They have been part f life since I can remember…and my memory at 78 is still very good. So that is my lesson for the day. Take it with a grain of salt or try to understand. Be like a willow and bend with the breeze. Life is still beautiful.
    D.G. Heath

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    1. Hello David… thanks for your cheerful perspective. I know I want to feel positive and upbeat. I don’t mind following rules. I don’t mind staying home, in fact I quite like it… except when I want to go out! It is partly the fear of “What if…” that adds so much tension to my days. The uncertainty is another big difficulty for me. I am good at smelling roses… I try to take things as they come, but I miss my daughter in Los Angeles, I miss my granddaughter in Norway. Not being able to see them is hard. As it is hard not to see my friends and family in Canada and right here in Merida. But I do appreciate not having the worries that many face. I am grateful. Some days are easier than others. “We go slowly” says my good friend Jose… he’s right, it is the only way. Ah and one more thing to be grateful for… we have our writing and can always keep busy, no matter where we are.

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      1. Oh my! LOL, Joanna…I don’t mind doing this and I don’t mind doing that – except when I don’t want to! You bring a smile to my face. I’m holding my sides right now. Hahaha – Hohoho. The fear of “What if…” ? —- What if you were hit by a bus crossing the street? What if you fell climbing on ancient ruins? What if your plane crashed while flying to Norway or Canada? What if a bear attacks you while walking in the Canadian countryside? I could go on and on. However, I think you will agree with me that we all live with uncertainty daily, and truly have most of our lives. No one really wants to think about death. Although it’s always just around the corner – unless we keep making detours in the oposite direction. Being diabetic, I used to worry about a lot of health issues – then it dawned on me, “worry” was one of those issues – so I stopped. As you know, I live life in the “slow lane”. I travel through my writing and my research. We used to entertain anywhere from 20 to 50 guests every day of the week for 20 years while running our country inn and restaurant – I love people. I now write 6 hours a day (more or less) and as a hermit writer, I’ve come to embrace the solitude and the sweet sound of birds singing in the trees. With less traffic on Calle 58 and no noise from the local bars, Centro has once again become a pleasant place to walk in the evenings. Was Merida really like this30 years ago? The Land of Poco Tiempo … I like that.
        Cheers!
        D.G. Heath

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      2. Dealing with COVID is like anything else I suppose. If you can’t manage one way, you try another. It will be interesting to see what all of us do once the gates are thrown back open. Will we find we have gotten used to a more laid-back lifestayle? Or will we be on the road running? Time will tell…

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  2. Thank you Joanna. We are all trying our best and yes, we will have an art rendezvous. People are making plans. And yes, I feel the same as you. Trying to not feel guilty for not being productive and then shrugging it off. And we will make it through this. Keep being safe. Hugs.

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  3. Unless I read something about the virus, I do not give it any thought. I have slipped back into my usual routines prior to the virus’s appearance. That means I usually stay home alone reading or writing. I go out now and then for a meal. On my four trips north to Oregon, I have pretended I was once again traveling. And it had a bit of truth to it.

    Because I have never completely isolated myself in my house, there are no pressures. In fact, I am living a stress-free life. I have even started planning trips. When my Madrid trip was canceled (by me), I set up one to Armenia that I also canceled. Then I booked a trip to Argentina and Australia, but it was canceled before I could make my payment. I now have only two trips on the agenda. Cruises from Vancouver to Tokyo and Dubai to Cape Town.

    I suppose I am putting Viktor Frankl’s analysis to work in my life. By keeping focused on the future, I can transcend present circumstances. It actually works. But, then, I am someone who believes that everything always turns out for the best.

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    1. I am glad you can venture forth with relative calm, but I can’t. Nonetheless most days I do quite well but then there are the ones like this week. After the heavy rain that came to us courtesy of two hurricanes…we have greasy black mold growing over our walls inside and out. We have it all over the backs of our paintings and framed photos… in our shoes… and lots of other surprise spots. I have spent most of the week with bleach wipes or in the case of the walls, tubs of straight bleach and a hand brush. It is so hot and sticky too. Makes us long for the temperate Pacific coast climates we come from, doesn’t it? And BTW if you need to get away but can’t go too far afield… a trip to Yucatan is always an option. You’d be so welcome.

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  4. Oh Joanna, you have said it all !! I, too, have nothing to worry about, in terms of security and the ability to stay focused on ‘following the guidelines for Ontario’ but there is always a worry, in my heart, for all the individuals and businesses who are losing their livelihood because of this awful pandemic.
    I do have those down moments when we cannot have the family gathered together for special events. We had many major milestone birthdays this year that were ‘celebrated’ in minimal ways because we are seventeen, when we are all together as parents, kids and grandkids, too many for the ‘bubble’ !! Thank goodness for Zoom and WhatsApp that keep the notes and jokes going back and forth from time to time. It is very difficult to not have ‘visiting time’ with family members who are in ‘lockdown’ in Retirement Homes. Our numbers are up again and we must do what is necessary, but it’s not easy to put on that mask and do what is right.
    Thanks for sharing, from your perspective, as….those of us who long for the sun and warmth of the Yucatan, but dare not take the chance, are able to hear your words from beautiful Merida and yes, that bus ride to The Beaches of Progreso and Chicxulub!! Stay well…that is paramount ! Sending …Love in the Time of (Covid)…!!

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    1. Yes Deanna we are like-minded. Not seeing our loved ones is the hardest part… And not traveling is also a real stinker. But we carry on, right? Not much else we can do… Miss you and I pray that 2021 will see us together,,, enjoying another of our epic conversations with coffee, tea, wine, margaritas… whatever… Love you and miss you MUCH!

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  5. Humpty Dumpty is going to fall off his wall from time to time. The important thing is to help him scramble ‘ back up quickly. I have found that short term goals work best. Tomorrow we do the Dorcas packing to send north to the Diocese of Caledonia. That is my immediate focus. Usually this is a very social occasion, but Covid has restricted planning to two shifts of fewer than 8 people working in a large church hall.. Mark and I will be on the 6 am ferry to get to Duncan before 7 am. The rest of the first shift will arrive by 8. Mark has never helped before in the 18 years since I inherited this position, but he has agreed to man the door and make and serve tea and coffee. Different times require different deeds. Humpty will remain firmly on his wall during the morning shift, and I have convinced myself not to worry about the second shift. If they follow my ‘agenda’ sheet, they will be fine. If they don’t, Humpty will fall and the team could be there until 10 pm! Once I track the boxes to their destinations, I will have to take up another project. On-going, the knitters who signed up for the Retreat That Didn’t Happen in 2020, have a Zoom session on Saturday mornings with the network stretching from British Columbia to LA, to Merida, Oklahoma City, Boston, Ottawa, and points in between. This has helped mental stability and friendship, until, hopefully, we meet again in June 2021. Everyone agreed to come. next year, which contributes not only to my Humpty staying on his wall, but also theirs. It’s normality to look forward to. Some had the bright idea that they could come, quarantine,. and knit for two weeks on Pender Island and then go home again! Can’t you just imagine the amount of food I would have to organize and transport to Pender for Two weeks! Now I must go and tick off items on my white board – great satisfaction. Small pleasures go a long way to keeping the wall strong. Keep safe everyone!

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    1. You are so right. A week ago today I “gave myself “a good talking-to” And that’s just what I decided to do. I have to go for my walk and I have to accomplish one task every day. And I have managed (except for the days the hurricane was with us and the rain was extra heavy) But those days I did my Yoga tape. As you have reminded me, the important thing is not if Humpty falls off the wall… it is whether or not not she can put herself back together again. Good job with Dorkas this year and Mark has turned into your white knight… wonderful! That all the knitters ready to return to Pender Island is great news too. So, all in all… I think Aunt & Niece will hang in for a while yet.

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