Lois Goldrich
Lois Goldrich

Curiouser and curiouser

Hi, I say to my son. What’s up?

Nothing, he says. I’m pouring Naomi’s coffee, reviewing an IEP, and doing the hokey-pokey.

In other words, nothing’s new.

As hard as this is for those of us who find ourselves creating new feathers for our empty nests, our children have it much, much worse. (Or better, if you love the patter of little feet 24/7.)

Yes, there are lovely parts – and in truth, I sorely miss the days after my eggs hatched – but the challenge remains. Do your job, maintain your household, help your kids with virtual learning, amuse your kids for everyone’s sake, and repeat the next day, and the next.

I’ve noticed that time has become relative. The same two minutes that seem inordinately short when you’re trying to finish up the dishes to enjoy a zoom presentation by a noted scholar, seem inordinately long when that lecture will begin at 10:30 and it’s 10:28. Or is it just me?

After a burst of energy that found me making jewelry, working on adult coloring books, constructing jigsaw puzzles, and moving furniture, I’ve now realized why we labeled our pre-isolation experiences “normal.” It’s because having tried everything else – including the activities we now find so novel — we found stuff that worked, that melded together to form a satisfactory life.

So while I’m a bit nervous at the prospect of the state reopening, and hope it will not do so until the requisite criteria are met, I am starting to think in terms of revisiting my usual activities. Practicing my music (maybe nursing homes will let my duo sing outside), working online with my personal trainer, resetting my diet to healthier parameters, re-involving myself in the volunteer work I did previously, rejoining the drive-thru line at Starbucks. Also, when I’m convinced it’s safe, I desperately need a haircut, and there are medical check-ups that have been put off far too long.

It’s more than being creatures of habit, since I think we’ll probably hang on to those elements of the isolationist lifestyle that worked for us, and, as an adherent of Dr. Fauci, I’m more than a little concerned that we’ll be doing this longer, or again. It’s that much thought and work went into designing the lives we were living, and it’s at least worth seeing if they can be resurrected.

About the Author
Lois Goldrich, from Fair Lawn, NJ, is a writer for The Jewish Standard and a member of Beth Sholom in Teaneck. She served as communications director for The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for some 15 years, and her late husband, Kenneth Goldrich, created the Luah for the Conservative Movement.
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