sad woman

A week ago, I felt young. Well, not young exactly. The earth’s curve exposed my last sunset, but it was a good long way off. Today, that approaching sunset is brilliantly lit. A huge red sphere sinking into the sea, my feet already wet and salty at its edge. A week ago, I adhered to the recommendations to shelter in place so as not to endanger our vulnerable population — the old, the infirm, those whose immune systems are compromised.

Today, hunkered down in my one room house with Nickie, my giant, rowdy, loving dog, my son doing my shopping and running essential errands, I face a hard truth.  I may not get that last wisdom-filled twenty years on earth I counted on. A cold knot grows in my belly. The chances are good that I will survive this pandemic, but the virus has shown me my vulnerability and that will have longer-reaching repercussions than not going to lunch with friends or canceling that much anticipated vacation, or missing a performance at HSU Theater Arts.

Sheltering in place is not a big hardship for someone like me who can sit quietly most of a rainy afternoon and enjoy the antics of a common sparrow, someone who disappears between the covers of a book or into words flying onto a blank computer screen, someone whose favorite secret pleasure is an afternoon nap. For me, staying home is a logistics problem, not a psychological hardship. What is difficult is the realization that I am, in fact, part of the vulnerable population must susceptible to this virus, that I am not the strong, invincible old crone I believed myself to be a week ago.

Luckily I have lots of time right now to meditate on my new self-image, accept my limitations, if such a thing is possible.

What about you? How are you using this gift of time?

About Author and Speaker Pamela Foster

Pamela Foster is a speaker and author. Her first book, Redneck Goddess, is available at local bookstores and on Amazon. Her second book, Bigfoot Blues, will be available in August 2012.
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3 Responses to

  1. Jan Morrill says:

    Though I, too, have been slapped in the face with the thought that I am now in the “elderly” category, your post reminds of of the wabi sabi of getting old — the power of brevity. For me, the more aware I am of the limits of my time left on this earth, the more I appreciate every single moment, even if it is stuck inside my house. Beautiful post, as usual, Pam. Love you! Jan

  2. More than my creaky bones and reduced interest in exercise, this virus and shelter in place, pushes me into examining my own vulnerability. Daily. I take comfort in having lived this long, survived loss through the years, and had joy. There are still good days ahead.

  3. As usual, your perspective makes me smile. I tend to consider myself middle-aged (unless there’s a discount involved,) but I’m actually just an inch from “the most vulnerable.” I’m retired, and while businesses around here are closed or limiting services, the impact on me hasn’t been dramatic. (I just don’t look at my retirement savings 🤪) I am curious about what the new normal will be…

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