You Thought Dogs Were Hard to Train

“April Fools!” was the familiar resounding words I used to hear on this day, all day long, year after year after someone tells some lie masked as a gag or a joke followed by the famous words, “April Fools!” Today, not so much. I haven’t heard or seen one mention of it, and it’s already afternoon. In its place, I have encountered a couple of mentions of masks. One reprimanding people for wearing masks cheating essential workers from getting the protective gear they need so badly. The other was a debate on whether wearing a mask was necessary or not.

Times have changed for sure. Today is a day that I would never have imagined even with a creative writer’s mind—in some ways, both good and bad. Who’d ever think we’d be forced to stay at home—stay at home! I often plan my weeks with a few hermit days to allow myself some much-needed recharge time or work on a much-needed project that I couldn’t get my butt off the dime to work on. In the latter case, it was more punishment because I must get the project done…prompto!

Remember the days when we weren’t really sick but just needed a personal day? Well, here it is! We are given this golden opportunity to stay at home and do whatever our hearts desire and take a personal day. True, some are working remotely, and I do remember those wonderful days of working remotely. You didn’t have to get up as early. You didn’t even have to get dressed if you didn’t want to. Yet, you got to do your day’s work in the comfort of your own home. Who could ask for better? 

Remember those days when we wanted to play hooky from school? No, of course, none of us ever really did it. (wink wink) Kids are getting that opportunity to do just that. Well, maybe not play hooky exactly, but they get to stay home from school. That’s kind of cool. I know, I know, not cool per se, but when you were in school, didn’t you ever wish you could have a long vacation or break from school? I sure did, but shhh, let’s keep that our little secret, k?

In general, people are always busy and on the go for work, for family, for events, for social engagements. Taking time for themselves have always been unheard of and greeted with the resounding “I don’t have time for that” to their unsung daily heroism. I use daily heroism lightly here because I know there are real true blue heroes out there. Still, in our daily lives, many people do so much just to take care of everybody around them on a day-to-day basis, but they never get credit or are shown the proper appreciation that they so deserved; thus, I chose to give them a moment to shine here. And with that said, now they are forced to take that downtime and even soak in a nice hot bubble bath if they desire. I sure hope they do. I hope everybody lives it up while they can and enjoy this personal day because one day soon this new norm will be replaced with our old normal and then it’s back to our busy lives. 

This stay at home luxury is temporary. We’re actually the lucky ones who got the job of staying at home during this Shelter in Place. We are safe from the fear of contracting Covid-19…as long as we stay home. This is our job. It’s an important job because by complying, we are helping towards the success of the overall plan to flatten the curve. There are so many real unsung heroes out there every day at ground zero serving in various capacities, protecting and caring for those infected or all those who are meticulously testing the potentially infected. Then there are all those other real unsung heroes serving in the foodservice; stores and businesses; delivery persons; city workers; and of course, all the medical workers, emergency workers, military men, and women, and the list goes on. They are risking their lives so that the rest of us could continue to live and live comfortably. Yes, for most of us, we are living comfortably in our own homes. We have homes, and if we did it right, we’ve got enough to live comfortably. Hopefully, none of us were among the hoarders, of course. The beauty of this is that we can go back out there and shop for more food and supplies as needed. We can still enjoy the luxury of dining out per se except for a little tweak in that we can enjoy restaurant fare but from the comforts of our own homes—not a bad deal. 

I saw a post on Facebook that said, “You thought dogs were hard to train? Look at all the humans that can’t sit and stay.” That’s hilarious but true. However, we need to sit and stay so that we are not in the way of the healing process that needs to take place in the world. I know everyone wants to get back to our old normal. However, it’s not going to happen anytime soon unless we all do our part to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by merely following instructions to stay home and be responsibly vigilant when we go out and for essential reasons only. When we leave our homes, be sure to wear protective gear and keep at least 6 feet apart from others. Keep off prohibited territory! They are prohibited for a reason! We need to trust the authorities know what they are doing. It’s for everybody’s own good! Wash our hands 20 seconds with warm water and soap. I know I am preaching to the choir, but some folks haven’t been taking this seriously and have no clue. If you know such a person, feel free to pass this blog as I hope to help people take this more seriously because this is life and death. This is not a joke!

Keep in mind that more extreme measures are being implemented simply because many people are still violating social distancing protocols and continuing the spread of the virus. If these people continue to ignore protocols, the shelter-in-place would only be extended out even longer, and there may be more restrictions impeding our freedom. This is a time to heed Mother’s warning to be obedient so we could all return to our old normal sooner rather than later.

I heard some folks are bored out of their skulls. I have always had endless piles of tasks and projects to work on, so I can’t imagine being bored. However, for those who are bored, maybe these suggestions could help. It’s Spring! How about Spring cleaning? Do a Marie Kondo through your closets, and perhaps if you’ve got the time, go through the whole house and take advantage of this time to go through everything. Remember the old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” There are always books to read, but there was never enough time to read. Well, what’s stopping you now? Who doesn’t love to veg in front of the TV? You can do all you want now! Never had time to watch those DVDs? You do now. Never had time to catch up with family and friends? Call them and kill two birds with one stone, catch up and check in on them. Write that letter. If you seriously need to get out of the house but have nowhere to go, maybe check with some shut-ins and offer to shop for them. If you’ve got a skill you can offer, see how you could get plugged in. Like if you can sew, maybe you could sew masks.

Always struggled to bond with the kids? Google creative and fun ways to spend time with them. Great time to do that. They can’t say, “Later, Mom, gotta go hang with my friends.” Miss your friends? How about starting a chat group with them and socialize virtually? Have you wanted to start an exercise program? Go for it. How about improving your diet? You got a whole month to learn and experiment. Or, how about this, maybe do something nice to pamper your loved one(s), and spend time getting to know each other better. We don’t have that much time together. Make the most of it while you can. 

You probably guessed how I’m keeping myself busy during this Shelter in Place. Yep, you are right. I’m writing this lengthy blog. Thank you for reading it! I was compelled to write because there are so many people who can’t sit and stay or they are complaining about how bored they are, so I had to speak up. If boredom is all that you have to whine about, then count your blessings. So many are worrying about making ends meet while trying to stay safe. I say staying at home and playing hooky is a real blessing considering the worries in the world. Friends, let’s make the best of things and enjoy this luxury of a personal day while it lasts and, at the same time, be helping by not being a part of the problem.

Be well! Be Safe! Be Blessed! Be kind! Be loving! 💜 🖖

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