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. 

4 thoughts on “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me …”

  1. I agree. I am so tired of my days all being the same – staying at home. I do what I can to vary them, but it is hard to be here all the time.

  2. Substitute plants/flowers for birds and that’s me 100% I love your comment about fellow birders, my only problem is my wife is a chatter.

  3. This is powerful but you speak little of the fear of encountering the virus. How lucky you are.

    As I listened to the scream of ambulances all day and night – thankfully less prevalent these days here in New York City – this is a palpable reality. Every day you hear of someone infected, dead or who tested positive but did not exhibit a symptom as they merrily shed the virus in a subway or a bar. So home is a necessary sanctuary as negotiating the stress of the outside world is not worth going out as you sweat into your mask and glower at the non-masked jogger who pants by not respecting the six-foot requirement.
    Framing the equation as freedom and liberty is infuriating in these situations and I resent it mightily. Why should I pay for the ego, vanity and incompetence of those in charge of this human misadventure? I have a responsibility to those who rely on my staying alive – my pension supports four lives. So I welcome the caution and humanity of Andrew Cuomo – it is a little pool of lucid sanity in this sad country.
    Be still for a while and let us breathe a while longer, unfettered by the prospect of ventilators and quack cures. Please… why be in a hurry to die. It’s the only guarantee in life. Even taxes seem to have lost their lure, so enjoy the respite!
    So glad to have begun reading dystopian fiction – it helps, as does a whole load of Shakespeare – highly recommend James Shapiro’s ‘the year of Lear’ I rarely comment publicly. So Loren thank you for this opportunity.

    1. Thank goodness we have Governor Inslee instead of Trump running our state. While Trump was dismissing the danger, Inslee enforced a Stay at Home order.

      I have too many old friends (my age) to risk spreading it to them, so I have been following all the rules and will certainly continue to do so for the benefit of all.

      At 78 and suffering from mild COPD and mild heart problems, I don’t want to contract the virus, either. I’m not ready to die, but apparently that doesn’t make it easier to stay within a half-mile radius of home for two months now. Confinement brings its own stresses and I’m certainly feeling those now.

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