Things Change

 

There have been some developments in the things I related in previous posts, so I want to update them in a somewhat rambling and random way, starting with:

Remasking

After a lot of speculation and delays, the government here has gone ahead and reinstated the national mask wearing order for stores, banks and post offices. Despite the starting date being set for today (Friday), many people began earlier – as in right away after the announcement, including us. Two days ago, we spent almost 3 hours in IKEA getting our daughters furnishings for their apartment. It was the longest time I have ever spent in a mask. I found it surprisingly suffocating. Then it occurred to me that long before Covid, just being in an IKEA with its massive crowds always made me feel that way, mask or no mask. Anyway, we don’t know the true reason behind or the end date of the current policy, but the general opinion among friends is that the government decided it was necessary to remind the population about how we should be behaving. With things opening up, we had gotten too relaxed about social distancing, etc.

 

Cure Continuation – With Conditions!

Speaking of opening up, the health center I went to for my cure can now start taking patients again. I just got the dates for my third cure week which was cancelled during the lockdown – it begins next Wednesday already. When the confirmation came, there were three extra forms attached about all the Covid restrictions and regulations. I had to sign them (i.e. basically swear to follow the rules) and send them back. I have to arrive there by 10:00 am on the first day in a mask, get a Covid test, and then self-isolate in my room for the rest of the day till the results come in (usually early evening the same day, they say). Masks are to be worn indoors at all times. I am not allowed to go to any other restaurants or cafes in the town. I can’t socialize with anyone who does not live in my household – so that means everyone – and I can’t have visitors. The list of rules goes on and on . . .

It is hard to imagine that this week will be as therapeutic as the first two were. On the other hand, I have been saying that I don’t know a single person who has been tested and now, in just five more days, I will know one person. (I hope they aren’t still sticking swabs way up noses.) I imagine y’all will be hearing my thoughts as I sit in my room alone waiting for the results. It’s a good thing, too, that this will not be the only travels of the summer.

 

Staycation

The onset of summer vacation was delayed this year as the first week included three somewhat obligatory social gatherings with my coworkers during which all the tensions and melodrama and plot twists of the school year were rehashed ad nauseum. So, instead of the usual end-of-the-year, 1-day system crash (traditionally spent on the couch in the company of a box of aspirin, a pukey bowl and the remote control), I went through a prolonged sort of joyless malaise with no travel plans and no energy to come up with ideas about how to fill the seven weeks stretching out ahead of me. I finally booted myself out of it a few days ago, starting with a call to the health center to schedule my cure week. That quickly led to plans to follow it with a visit to my aunt and uncle in Tyrol. After that, there will only be a week at home before taking off for our annual hiking trip in Carinthia. Then there will be just one more week at home before . . . no . . . it can’t be . . . don’t want to even think about it . . . Something seems wrong about the math here. Within a day, the summer went from being a long empty expanse to being all filled up with plans. I’m confused.

 

Clutter Box

I guess it is a good thing I didn’t plan any major projects for the summer. Instead, I dove into one of those little things that has been on the back of my mind for months. Everywhere you look in my house – on every shelf or piece of furniture or windowsill or counter space – there is . . . stuff. A small proportion of the . . . stuff . . . is actually put there for decoration. The vast majority, however, is supposed to be somewhere else, but just got left there by someone in this household. Every so often, I go on a decluttering rampage and begin sweeping all these surfaces clean, sorting all the stuff, returning some of it to where it belongs, throwing some of it away and finding new places to store the rest.

When I am done, there is always about a handful of undefinable things left over. I can’t throw them away. They look like they could be part of something, but who knows what? I imagine some future time when the husband asks me “Have you seen the gizmo for my gadget? It’s a small curvy piece of black plastic with some holes in it and a doohickey on it?” And I, having tossed it out, would have to avoid eye contact while saying, “I have no idea whatsoever what you are talking about! Never in my life have a seen anything remotely like what you are describing!”

So, instead, I throw these thingamajigs in the “Clutter Box”, just in case. I tell myself that one day I will make a piece of modern sculpture out of it all. I will title the finished product “Bob” (and then keep it in a plastic box in the basement storage room).

 

While doing the above, I also managed to somehow declutter my mind. I got rid of or stored away all the little pieces left there by other people during this crazy year. I cleared a path out of malaise and into the enjoyment of summer.

 

Hope for the Future

Not only is the future looking brighter now, it is looking brighter orange! On a whim, I checked my junk food website and was delighted to see my favorite thing in the world is back in stock and ready to be delivered. I pounced. With any luck, they will arrive before I leave for my cure. In the case that all the Covid regulations ruin the week, it would be nice to have a back-up therapy at hand.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Things Change

  1. This hit home: “Then it occurred to me that long before Covid, just being in an IKEA with its massive crowds always made me feel that way (suffocated), mask or no mask.” I get the same panicky shortness of breath when I’ve been in a store too long and it’s especially bad in super-stores. Our state has mandated mask-wearing in public areas and may lock back down if COVID cases continue to go up. What is a “cure” at the health center? Program for stress relief? A total colonic clean-out? Funny how seven long, empty weeks can fill up in the blink of an eye. A trip to the US is off the table, I’m sure, but at least you can visit local relatives and go hiking. Every house has a clutter box for gadgets, gizmos, and doohickeys. I call mine “the junk drawer.” Rarely do I figure out what the parts went to, but often they come in handy for something else, like leveling a short leg on the microwave. The minute someone called Twump a Cheeto, I couldn’t eat them anymore. Kettle Chips are my thing now. My hubby loves an Italian-made brand of tiramisu they carry in our grocery and was despondent when it went out of stock. It’s reappearance three weeks ago was almost as exciting as the return of Charmin to the TP aisle. Have a good summer, 227. X——X——X Sending socially-distanced hugs.

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    1. You must have been on your wordpress sabbatical sometime around February – that is when I wrote the seven or eight part “Cure Report” series. A cure is part of the Austrian health care system – it is a three week stay in a therapeutic health resort where you get an individually designed therapy plan based on whatever ails you. In my case, it included a lot of physical therapy, water- and spinal-gymnastics, nordic walking, fitness center sessions, radon baths and motivational lectures. (I specifically requested to have a minimum of relaxation or massage type therapies.) My doctor applied for me after all the experts she sent me to couldn’t come up with any explanation for my recurring bursitis attacks. The idea behind the cure is preventative – help people change their lifestyles and physical habits and you will ward off problems (and costs!) down the road. It was a great experience for me and I learned a lot.
      So now that you know what a cure is, let’s get to the more serious topic: Cheetos. Twump’s original victim. Don’t you go blaming and shaming Cheetos! Not all artificial orange colorings are equal! Remember! – even when Twump puts them in his mouth, the Cheetos refuse to nourish him! So keep eating them as an act of solidarity with the resistance!

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      1. Well, that answers that. I guess I should go back and read the Cure Report series. I think I would benefit from just going to the resort and doing nothing but being away from my daily chores and responsibilities. Letting someone else do the cooking and washing up and dog walking while I sit at a desk, pen in hand, and write to my heart’s content. I think that would cure what ails me. As for the Cheetos, I think the person tweeted that Twump was a “reject Cheeto” which led me to reject all of them. I simply cannot rethink it. Just like David Sedaris forever turned me off to Fritos when he said his mother’s gnarled, misshapen toes resembled the “Frito nuggets” left at the bottom of the bag. Yech! About as appetizing as reaching into the toilet tank! 🙂

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  2. Locked up alone in the mountain hotel, with only the fitness and health staff to relate to – hmmmm. Hope, you will be allowed out of the house to at least enjoy the alps in summer. And I sencerely hope, the little hut at the balcony won’t be off limits and out of use…

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