Sparkling Isolation – Day 50

Fifty days.

It’s hard to believe that I am now sitting down to write my 50th post about this time of quarantine. More than seven weeks! I swear that it still feels like just a few days ago that I packed up my files and a few personal items and relocated to my home office.

In terms of anniversaries, fifty marks the “Golden Anniversary.” Thinking about that, I have tried to find a little gold in my day today. Not an easy task today. For some reason, today was a day in which I have been bombarded by emails with links to articles about the future of the performing arts industry. Articles about choral singing, about how and when people are likely to feel comfortable attending events, about the IL governor’s plan for phases to reopen the economy. On and on and on. And all depressing and enervating.

I reached a point in the day where I finally had to turn off the computer, power down the iPad, and silence my cell phone. I did not want to see another piece of bad news or dire predictions. All I wanted to do was curl up into a fetal position in my bedroom closet and pull a blanket over my head.

Instead, I gathered enough energy to get outside. Thank the powers that be I did that! It was a glorious spring day – sunny and cool, but that lovely mixture of slightly lower air temperature with intense sunlight. So it felt perfectly comfortable. I took a lawn chair outside and brought along some wine and my personal journal.

I sat outside for over two hours. I journaled, waved to passersby, and had a wonderful conversation with a neighbor who I haven’t chatted with in ages. The sunlight and human interaction helped to sooth my weary soul.

I cannot bury my head in the sand about the future. As a professional in the performing arts world I have to face the fact that our industry will not recover instantly. We are not going back to full theaters next month – or even in the next few months probably. Maybe longer.

My supervisor has asked me to work with my staff to create a phased re-entry plan for getting back to the office, bringing back some of our part-time employees, and then eventually beginning to offer live events. That request was the catalyst for my downward spiral today, but it’s a necessary element to moving forward.

I am not a “Debbie Downer” most of the time. But I am also not a “Pollyanna.” Somewhere in between those two polarities rests a midpoint where I can stay optimistic, but realistic. Where I can examine the worst-case scenario knowing that it is unlikely to happen but can offer me some insights into how to navigate the uncertain road ahead.

The golden lining for my day today was the time in the sun. I cannot change the facts of what’s going on in the world, but I can choose how I respond. And as I have said many times during these blog posts, I can only take things one day at a time. One moment at a time. It’s a worldwide exercise in mindfulness. And I have come to a place of peace with that reality.

That’s the golden lining on day 50.

It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.

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