Too busy for introspection?

Honeybees swarmed these purple flowers at a local park.

Patience provides a running joke between my husband and I. He says I have more than he does because I homeschool the kids, and if it were up to him, he would have put them back in a formal setting years ago. On the flip side, I lose my patience, and my cool, much more frequently than he does; probably because I do homeschool those kids.

Hanging out watching the bees and other insects helps me cope. Their tiny world is new to me. They work whole-heartedly.

Just like everyone though, this quarantine is causing me to develop another type of patience. I’m sorely lacking here. I thrive on variety, going, trying new things, seeing new sights. When I stay in one location too long, I start to feel imprisoned. Obviously, I am not, but my mental health starts to decline just the same. Years ago, I figured out if I could leave for a weekend away every two months or so, I’d be all right.

Uh oh.

Look at the pollen this fellow collected!

I was paying attention to that new virus in China when it first hit the news in December. I followed it across China, Iran, Italy, before it arrived in California. So when spring break came, I visited my parents in the northern part of the country, hoping it would not be the last time.

I returned to Dallas on March 21. We stocked up on groceries and art supplies on March 22. Our local judge announced the following day that we would be “Safer at Home.” No more grocery store visits, play dates, or field trips, much less weekends away or middle-of-the-week sneak camping trips.

The bees climb way in these flowers to sip their nectar.

Almost two months later, I’ve watched my prime camping season dwindle. I’ve pasted a smile on my face, and tried to be kinder, gentler, happier that I otherwise would, because there’s no escape for anyone from my nasty moods. I’ll admit: I have nasty moods. I try not to inflict them on anyone. I’ve tried even harder, but it is exhausting.

I’ve sought refuge in the yard that I normally do not like, but as a result, it is starting to thrive from my daily attention. I’ve worked out and walked to the point that my achilles tendon has pulled the plug. No more than a mile at a time, it says.

I’ve taken up bike riding with my youngest son almost every day. I’ve tried to teach him a bit of tennis in an empty parking lot on our block because all the tennis courts are always full. I try to stretch and foam roll every day in my new garage gym.

This flower looks cuddly. I didn’t see any bees snoozing on the job, but this would be a great place.

I’ve lost interest in writing. I finished the first novel in my trilogy in December. I’m ten percent through the second one. I got lost trying to tell the story. Now I know where to go, but I don’t even want to research. This is not me.

I’ve tried to be as gentle with myself as I’m trying to be with my kids. We are all out of our comfort zones, except for my husband. He is like one of these bees: Busy at work at home and loving it. The rest of us fight episodes of depression and anxiety. Going outside helps.

This bee’s face isn’t as cute as I thought it would be. At least he wasn’t as grumpy as I’ve been. I wish I could have gotten the camera to focus just a bit better.

I take my camera everywhere now. I very much enjoyed my middle son’s college photography classes. I learned a lot reading over his shoulder and taking him on photo shoots. Good thing it wasn’t an in-person, video class. I would have been left out!

I find sitting quietly, watching the minute, looking at the details, focusing on the now, helps me process and relax. Taking photos of movement takes a different type of patience.

I cannot figure out what these beautiful flowers are. They aren’t Mexican petunias, which are also beautiful, and I do not think they are salvia, either. The little insect amused me. I hope it wasn’t a bad kind.

I hope you are finding peace and comfort and something to do as we figure out our new normals. I believe it was former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz who said that people need something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to. The last two months have proved this to me. In the meantime, my patience is till growing, even though it sometimes hurts.

2 thoughts on “Too busy for introspection?

  • I love the flowers and the bees! I am spending time in the yard every day too. Trying to stay off electronics – my eyes do not like screens anymore. I planted watermelon seeds today and morning glory next to the chicken coop. The watermelon are in pots till they get a bit bigger. Someone sent me hyacinth bean vine and texas star hibiscus in the mail yesterday. I cant wait to grow them. Glad to hear you are spending time in the garden. The rewards will be great even after we return to our regular schedule!

    • I’m trying not to be disappointed that I haven’t had hummingbirds or many other birds in my yard. I do have two pairs of chickadees that come to my feeder, but that is it. I do have several sparrows who love to dig through the compost in my vegetable beds. I am with you about the screens. I’m on A LOT, but I try to stay off from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. as a good example to the kids. I regularly fail. I love my flowers though. It is cool that you received seeds or starts in the mail. That’s a fun way to trade. I met a neighbor. She offered me a few iris roots for Halloween. I’m excited for my plans for that new bed.

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