I woke in an excellent mood this morning. Some pain, nothing extraordinary. Head kinda stuffy, nothing more than any morning. I greeted my Traveling Partner before heading to a hot shower. Made coffee. All fairly routine morning stuff. It’s a Sunday morning. Not yet even 07:00 in my local time zone. I didn’t have to be awake yet; I woke when I woke, feeling rested.

The pandemic is beginning to slow… isn’t it? Is it? It’s not clear from the news. Some locales want to ease restrictions because restrictions suck. Other places yearn for the safety of continued masking and distancing, continued remote learning, and crowd size limitations. Individual opinions – both the well-informed science-based sort, and all the others – vary. There are a lot of voices that seem to have a stake in the decision-making (or at least, want to). Me, personally? I’m no expert on medical science or virology. It would be arrogant of me to make bold statements of fact based on my limited knowledge and unproven assumptions. Subjectively? I’m bored of masks, but I don’t see myself discontinuing the practice of wearing one in crowded public spaces, or during cold and flu season. I’ll probably keep doing it long after the pissing and moaning over mandates has ended.

The simplest of truths I could share from my own experience is simply that I’ve been more well more of the time through the use of masking, social distancing, improved surface cleanliness, improved personal hygiene, and not keeping company with folks who are symptomatic of any sort of obvious respiratory concern. It would not require even one hand to count the number of head colds I’ve had during the pandemic. I don’t like being sick with a cold or the flu, and it’s been quite nice to avoid so much of that. I like that sick people seem to be staying the fuck home quite a bit more; it’s rare to see someone with a serious cough in a public place. It has become uncommon to see someone come to work obviously quite sick (whether my own workplace, or out in retail spaces). That by itself seems a very healthy improvement in how our society handles being ill. We could certainly benefit by keeping that practice in place!

I’ve learned quite a bit during the pandemic about “getting on with living in spite of restrictions” – whether those restrictions are resource limitations, limitations on personal liberty, or some other sort doesn’t really matter that much, as it happens. I’ve learned to take advantage of those moments when my partner and I feel a tad “trapped here together” to take time for me. Writing, reading, listening to music, doing some fitness activity or another, learning a new skill – there are so many doors I can open in some moment when the space we’re in together feels confining. I love hanging out with my Traveling Partner. I could quite contentedly curl up cozy on the couch with him and just consume video content damned near endlessly. Truth. I suspect he generally feels the same about me. We’ve got an enduring love for each other, and honestly nothing much else going on that feels “more important” than enjoying each other. BUT – and this is true – sometimes I’m a bit much to take. Or perhaps he is. Sometimes, it’s a clash of wills or wants, and no amount of tenderness or humor really brings us into alignment for some little while. All real and normal and fine; I used to take it sort of personally. After two years of pandemic living, I think I’ve learned to take better care of myself – and us – by enjoying those moments of difference, to enjoy them with myself. I mean… it’s probably fairly obvious that this would be a suitable use of any time we spent really not quite so thoroughly enjoying each other. lol

I sip my coffee. My partner steps in and begins rubbing my shoulders while I write. Feels nice. I feel loved. “What are you doing?” I ask. “Nothing. Hanging out,” he laughs mischievously, “harassing you.” I laugh, too. Suddenly, my writing seems “second best”… I think it’s time to begin again. 😀