March 27, 2020 – Day 10 of my quarantine

Lots of glass and crystal along with 6 new power strips,  the pegboard kit, soundproofing for the air compressor AND my new laptop have arrived. So I’ll be busy for a few days for sure.

Right now I’m on a little break – my life has changed so rapidly lately that I have not realized I need to catch up to all the new and different ways things are now unfolding and how I am feeling about them and adjusting.

When I left the virtual world I was so focused on my frustrations about what I was “doing” there that I totally overlooked the social contribution it played in my life.

Solitude vs Forced Isolation

I have been a recluse all my life. I was raised alone as an only child in the forests of the Adirondacks, no playmates, no siblings, no neighbors. I learned very early how to adapt to solitude. In fact, I believe it was my childhood that afforded me the gift of my massive and hyperactive imagination.

But my recent isolation is a different thing. In forced isolation, one has no choices. I can’t pop down to the coffee shop or the library, etc. And now with no virtual world to visit I am even more shut-off from humanity. But when I closed that door I had no way to foresee my current isolation.

I get one phone call every weekday first thing in the morning, it lasts anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes and that’s the only time I actually use my voice to speak to another human being. I text briefly throughout the day with someone on messenger. Unless I catch the UPS Delivery Guy on my porch and we say, “hello”, there is no other verbal communications.  I have no one else in my life who I feel comfortable talking to. I accept complete responsibility for this situation as I have not taken the time to cultivate any other relationships since I retired.  There are no phone calls on weekends, and so they seem to drag on longer than before.

The irony of this is I had JUST started venturing out into my local community when the shit hit the fan with this pandemic. I guess I started too late.

The odd thing (which is a bit concerning) is that this period of isolation is having the opposite effect than one would think. I am becoming more and more withdrawn. Less willing to communicate with anyone, in fact, last night I unplugged my phone.

I guess I will need to read up on the effects of isolation in older adults and see if there is anything I can do to regain my emotional balance and sense of connectedness.

For now I have lots of work to do after I get done with my break.

Until next time …