Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Am I Allowed To Say That I Am Enjoying This?

Yesterday marked the one month point in The FerryBridge Farm COVID-19 Quarantine. The four of us are healthy, and we've each adapted in our own way. I was thinking this morning about each of  us, and the challenges of our individual adaptation. Because I get in trouble when I talk about the Kitten and the Kittens, I won't cover their situations, or to be clear, my perception of their situations. I'll stick only to myself. And I am here to tell you that putting aside the mental load that this virus has dealt me (worry about the health of those I love and other humans in general, financial and business considerations, more time to consider how corrupt, malevolent, and incompetent our President is, toilet paper and Shake and Bake supplies, no sports), when I sum it all up, I'm here to say that I am really, really enjoying myself.

Ok. I get it. You are reading this and saying "McGrath is an idiot. How can anyone enjoy being restricted to their home wondering where their next square of TP is coming from?".  Well, I have an answer for you. About four months ago, The Kitten and I had some married friends over. He lived in the same dorm as I did first year at UVA, and she was The Kitten's roomie at boarding school. During the visit, we began to talk about retirement, and I revealed that my plan was to work for no man's money after my 60th Birthday, and if things went right, I'd maybe even stop before then. Bertha (name changed to protect the innocent) seemed not to accept that I would be able to stop at such a relatively young age, that I would get bored, that I would need to feel more vitality to be happy. I contested her at every front. She then said, "ok, describe for me what your average day in retirement is going to look like."  And I did.  You know what?  It sounded a HELL of a lot like the way I am spending my days these days. With the exception of the actual paid work that I do in spurts throughout the day--either on the phone, skype, or at the computer--the Q-Life and the R-Life have a lot of overlap.
Don't tell anyone, but I am not unhappy.

I wake naturally between 0630 and 0730 after eight hours of (CPAP enabled) blissful sleep. I feed the dogs and grab some joe on the way out to my garage office/mancave. I spend a couple of hours reading the news/playing around on social media. I have some more coffee. I practice my trumpet. I write a few hundred words in my novel. I do 30 minutes on the treadmill at 17 degrees incline, 3.7mph.  I have some more coffee. I reach out to friends on Facebook video messenger. I read, professionally and personally. I walk the half mile round trip to and from the mailbox to check for mail.  I do Zoom meetings with other navalists. I do Zoom meetings with friends. I have been skipping lunch, but I go find my the Kitten/Kittens and sit around in conversation with them, sometimes while they are eating. I read some more. I record a trumpet piece on Facebook. I screw around on social media some more. I make a grocery order, or I review a grocery order already begun. I question myriad items on the list that are not fit for human consumption or that I have never heard of. I bother The Kitten.  I blog. Then I bother the kitten some more. I leave the ManCave/office/fitness center because late in the afternoon, my fitness oriented daughters each seem to need 2 hrs apiece in it. I sometimes nap. I read some more. I make dinner, usually only for myself but occasionally for me and the Kitten (the Kittens do not eat as they were trained, and now seem only to consume legumes). I have my last coffee of the day.  I binge some TV, sometimes in the ManCave (after the Kittens have vacated it), and sometimes with The Kitten. Lights out at 2200.

I am a man of routines and my days are nothing but a series of routines. What day it is, is almost immaterial, except for some days have routine items associated with them. It is blissful. I don't have to drive anywhere, but I do get to look at my lovely cars. I certainly don't have to drive 150 miles round trip to Washington several times a week.

I can honestly say that -- putting aside for a second the horrors of a global pandemic -- the sacrifices being asked of me to "flatten the curve" have not been sacrifices at all. They've given me a glimpse of my future, and I am looking forward to it.

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