I am an only child, because my parents had me later in their lives (plus, they said a colicky baby was an effective form of birth control). Growing up, I spent a lot of time creating my own fun because there were few kids in my neighborhood and eventually they all moved away.
As a natural born storyteller, I’d make up stories and subject dozens of stuffed animals to become characters in those stories. Too, I’d like to pop in a cassette into my stereo and dance to Destiny Child’s “I’m a Survivor” while pretending to be a member of the group.
Even with all that experience of being by myself and finding ways to keep entertained, living through a pandemic has been tough.
Like everyone else, I thought the coronavirus pandemic would last a few weeks. I thought living through quarantine would be a breeze and we’d all get back to normal life in no time at all.
At the beginning of the quarantine when “Stay at Home” orders were sent out, the Enquirer-Journal office temporarily closed and most everyone there began working from home. I enjoyed working from my apartment, because I could roll out of bed and within ten steps be at my kitchen table/new desk where I could write articles with a new colleague at my feet — a huge, fluffy creamsicle cat named Tate.
For this introvert, spending more time at home was like a gift. Using coronavirus as a reason for not having big plans over the weekend was easy, because people could no longer judge me for not having a social life.
Ironically, as the pandemic continued to overstay its welcome (not that it was ever welcomed to begin with), a social life is the one thing I craved.
Going out to dinner, the movies or summertime events like festivals — stuff I dreaded doing — turned into stuff I’d chomp at the bit to do. This homebody wanted to become somebody with weekends packed with activities, but there was nothing to do as most places were still closed or events were canceled.
As restaurants, shops and businesses open back up I take every invitation I’m given to go out. Last weekend, I went with a friend to Top Golf in Charlotte. Both of us had never been and the only “golfing” experience either of us had was putt putt. We were terrible, but it was the best fun I’ve had in a long time.
It’s funny how the coronavirus pandemic, something that kept people indoors, taught me how to appreciate getting out and enjoy spending time with friends and loved ones — face mask and hand sanitizer in tow of course.