Everything is opening up now. Last Thursday, when temperatures climbed into the high sixties, I sat in the courtyard at the picnic table in front of our building and worked on my proposal. As my neighbors came and went, everyone masked, they stopped to chat, as it's been so long since we've all seen each other, what with covid lock downs and the walkways of complex where I live having been under construction all year. But now the courtyard in front of my building is partially reopened, with pristine new surfaces and brand new benches on which many neighbors sat with their masks on and faces turned to the sun. It felt wonderfully communal, and very conducive to working, the intermittent conversational distractions socially nourishing. Almost everyone reported having already gotten vaccinated with at least the first dose, or having imminent appointments to do so.
There was some sad news, an upstairs neighbor whose wife got the virus and brought it home. She recovered, he did not, and he passed away last week. The only grace is that because she had already had covid, his wife was allowed to be with him in the hospital at the end. Such a lovely, warm couple, both with iron gray hair and a marriage of decades. He rode a motorcycle, and always looked rock and roll cool with his helmet and black leather, while her style was Earth shoes and Woodstock, no makeup or jewelry or anything fussy. If you didn't know, you might not have put them together, but they were clearly simpatico and very in love. And now she is alone. I wonder how many more such stories we will learn as we all slowly emerge from our homes.
On my proposal, I'm done with the overview and sample chapter and am now halfway through the chapter summaries. My cousin Helen, who is a gifted life coach, held a free online "Refuel" workshop a week ago, and my daughter tuned in from Boston and I tuned in from New York. Helen was wonderful, and so were her fellow presenters, including one woman who had me out of my chair and dancing exuberantly to her rousing playlist, as she guided us through cleansing our spiritual energy.
At one point, Helen took us through an exercise in which we were to identify something in our lives that was feeling hard, and she helped us reframe our perspective about it. I chose the book proposal, and realized I'd been telling myself for weeks how hard it was, and I could actually spend the same energy telling myself that I am fully equal to the challenge, and could even choose to enjoy the discoveries along the way. This is not a new lesson for me, yet it seems I have to keep relearning it. But it works! That consciousness shift changed everything about how I approach the work, and while it still challenges me, it no longer feels painful. Thank you, Helen.
It's been a while since I've posted a photo of sweet Munch. My daughter's puppy will be a year old next month, so maybe he's no longer a puppy. My girl sends me pictures of him almost every day. Here he is yesterday.