Cause and Effect = Pause and Reflect

Home. I love being home. My home is far from a palace or even worthy of a magazine layout, but it is my sanctuary. So, in many ways this “Stay at Home” movement is right up my alley despite the fact that the “movement” is the spawn of the COVID19 devil.

Much to my husband’s surprise I have become a source of humor in my weekday warrior endeavors. I have been the spackling queen, the spokesperson for primer and paint, and a puzzle solver for items that should fit in the confines of “as built” storage.

To the dogs I am the magician of mops. No matter what they present for me, I make it disappear. Sometimes I think they see this as a challenge they MUST accept. Dare I say I draw the line at the dead snake left on the front porch? That snake sent me to the great hall of knowledge…Google for quite some time.

Still and all I am enjoying some of my down time, finding I am way more productive working from home for the day job, and am saving money by not running my Jeep each day on a commute to the office. As a matter of fact, driving the Jeep feels somewhat foreign to me now that my Husband has taken it over to transport himself to work (yes, he is an essential, in hospital employee). I am instead a ripped jeans, no makeup, sweatshirt wearing driver of a jacked up, in your face, I can do anything pick-up truck. 17mpg means nothing to me…its only a few miles to the essential lumber yard and home center, to which a magnetic force pulls me at least once a week. Now I forgive my husband for all the times he can be found in the tool section of the home center picking up yet another utility knife or fatmax tape measure to add to the growing collection that are scattered about the never ending abis of “Some where” otherwise known as the garage or barn. I totally get it. I feel somewhat compelled to add a utility knife to my basket too…but I heed the compulsion, as I am sure if I open the glove compartment or one of the other nifty storage cubbies in the truck, one will be there…patiently waiting for me to free it from its packaging so together we can do great things.

But my extra-curricular activities are not just focused on home repairs and improvements (well they will be improvements when Marc fixes some of them 😊) I am also a kitchen warrior. I can whip something up out of something stashed somewhere in the pantry that I don’t even remember having purchased in the first place…don’t worry I check the dates before using (a fetish of mine anyway). And while my Google home serenades, I am in culinary action and deep thought about how this “Stay at Home” movement has created almost a role change in my home. My husband is now the one obsessed with the latest technology, while I am now the one obsessed with the latest tools to get things done. My husband is enjoying driving a trailrated SUV with all the luxury he could want. I am happy having to use the interior grip handle to hike myself up into the drivers seat of a truck that affords comfort and the realization that I am too short to see a blasted thing out of it, and too high up to reach the drive through bank canister for a deposit. Still I prevail and wonder….when the time comes that I will be going back into the office, will my work clothes fit me? Will my feet hate me for trading in comfy footwear for appropriate office attire, will I remember how to put on makeup, will I be able to see my colorist before heading back in so my at home attempt is corrected, will an N95 mask be the latest and greatest accessory well into the fall, and will I be able to function in that office looking at a few holes in the wall that I would love to hit with the spackle knife and some “mud” as the real pros call it?

Truth is, I kind of like my new persona. I feel oddly more energized and capable. But I know full well that our new “normal” will be an inevitable adjustment of sorts. I feel more in tune with myself and my issues. I am confident in the fact that I suffer from adult ADD as I go from one project to the other and I now see that despite my husband saying otherwise, he is quite proficient at technology thanks to his on-going passionate relationship with his new iPhone. My dogs are true artisans when it comes to redesigning the lid on the hot tub and carving the wood on the mouldings, and I have become resigned to the fact that although I am a home improvement warrior of sorts, I lack the true skills of the hubs. I cannot build something, I cannot load the pickup with an 8ft piece of marine grade plywood without the help of the guy at the lumber yard (why is there a sudden change in the wind as you begin to load?), and I cannot cut a perfect angle for the life of me, BUT I can make a mean frittata in the blink of an eye, build my upper body strength regularly thank to my pups, run a Zoom Meeting at the last minute and do a software migration with folks spread out in different states facing their technological challenges. But most important….I can look all business from the waist up in front of my computer camera, rock my comfy footwear and be thankful that we are safe, healthy, flexible and appreciative of the amazing and ingenious capabilities of folks when the proverbial shit hits the fan.

I live in an amazing community. One where we are under a shutdown but figure out ways to help each other, reinvent and sustain, as we negotiate a new life. That is what we are doing..we are negotiating and adjusting. No one is to go hungry in our community, no pet is to go without, no child is to feel anxiety over lack of social interaction. We invent, create, conspire to make things ok despite sometimes feeling otherwise. Above all we try to laugh, each and every day. Whether it is at the freaky and ridiculous behavior many have adopted in their hunting and gathering mode at the grocery or in the fact that now a celebrity singer is obsessed with putting his new found clothing folding aptitude on Instagram, we laugh. We feel oddly connected while disconnecting, and we feel proud. I know I am. Not of my mishaps and dim-witted achievements, but rather of my friends in this community who do amazing, thoughtful things. The nurses who after putting in long hours and double shifts, cook, shop and deliver to our shop food for a family struggling, and the other friend who picks up and delivers the food. To the ladies who work along with local farmers to coordinate purchase, pickup or delivery of the best local provisions. In health care we call this a GPO – Group Buying Organization. Here at home base we call this LOVE (no acronym or definition required). In our world of animal rescue and care, we have other groups coming together to help, transport, raise funds, compile donations of pet food and products we can provide to those in need. We are like a well oiled machine. We are warriors, whose ammunition is imagination, compassion and heart. I love where I live. I love my community, and I love laughing at myself, and with my best friend until the tears roll out cleansing our souls and fueling our desire to continuously live in gratitude and make life better, one mop swipe, truck loading, spackle spreading, egg cracking and video chatting minute at a time.

“Hey Google…how do I fix a…..”

xoxo - Janine

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