Give Me Liberty, or Give Me …

Governor Inslee’s Stay at Home order should have been relatively easy for me to follow.  After all, I am an introvert who has been retired for twenty years now.  If anyone should have learned how to adjust to staying  home, it’s me.  Most of what we are required to do under the declaration is precisely what I’ve been doing the last twenty years.  

As a teacher who refused to work summers after finishing seven years of college, I found numerous hobbies that quickly filled my summers.  Those same hobbies have expanded to fill my days during retirement.  I don’t think I have ever been bored a day in my life. Instead, I’ve always had the opposite problem. I’m more apt to be stressed because I can’t fit all the things I want to do in the time (this lifetime) I have available. 

Reading has been a life-long hobby which became a vocation when I became a high school English teacher, and, though I’ve spent considerably less time reading since I retired, I still average at least several hours a day.  Admittedly, too often, much of that is spent browsing the internet, but I still manage to have one or two books going at the same time and a very long list of books waiting to be read on Amazon.

When I’m not reading, I’m most likely to be outdoors hiking or birding. While I have occasionally birded with others in the past, I’ll have to admit that I much prefer to bird with one, or, at most, two other people.  I may stop and talk to another birder, but it’s usually a brief conversation.  This time of year I probably spend less time birding than I do reading, but not much.

I don’t know if I can actually count computers as a hobby, but I spend much of my day at the computer trying to create entries for my blog, which largely consists of trying to make my photographs look as good as possible by refining them in Photoshop, On1, or Topaz.  I’m also forced to spend time trying to optimize my blog or correct problems Google regularly points out.

Surprisingly, even I am beginning to chafe under the restraints of the governor’s Stay at Home Order.  I can only imagine how extroverts who are used to being constantly out-and-about must feel.  I miss eating at a favorite restaurant after birding locally while wondering if they will still be in business when it’s safe to venture out again.  Most of all, I resent having to stay near home and avoid trips to Belfair, Port Townsend, Malheur, or, even, Salt Lake — all places I should have been by now.