Toilet Paper for the Soul

Take a look around. History is now. The Covid-19 pandemic has altered our daily routines in a way few other events in recent memory have. Like the week after 9/11, the skies again belong to the birds, but unlike that tragic week, we cannot gather together at our local restaurants and watering holes to discuss events. Also, our most senior of citizens recall the rationing, travel restrictions and shortages of World War II. They, however, were at least allowed to move about the country; to kiss and embrace their loved ones. While those events, have likely left a greater mark on our civilization than will this current test, it does not change what we are experiencing as something unprecedented. And though this pandemic has wrought many challenges, it also has, tucked in its silver-lined pocket, a gift. Do not waste it. It is a precious gift – the gift of time.

Found Time

Our routines are broken. We are isolated. The Covid-19 pandemic has the feel of a blizzard snowstorm. What do we do when the weatherman calls for heavy snow? We stop on our dash home to buy bread, milk, eggs, pizza and booze. For a day or two, we binge watch movies and eat to our hearts content. It’s good stuff; an unscheduled respite from the bustle of life. But, what about a “storm” that lasts for weeks or, heaven forbid, months? Can we afford to waste so much of our time in the same way? For the sake of our waist lines, I would hope your answer is no.

Most of us are awash in a newfound abundance of time (what seems almost an eternity if you have children forced home from school). I have, in the last few days, heard much on T.V., and read much on social media, a statement that goes something like: “I’m bored.”

What?! I find such a statement an offense to the universe or at least to life (but what is one without the other?) Make no such utterances. This is what you have all been asking for. This is what you all have wanted. I’ve heard it for years; for my whole life. “I have no time for exercise” or “I’ll fix the gutter when I find time.” “Where am I supposed to find the time to…?” You fill in the blank!

Attack That List

Fill in the blank, but realize the time is now. Time is extended to you on a silver platter. Take it. Love it. Respect it. Use it.

Who doesn’t have that drawer or closet they’ve been meaning to clean and organize. Plow through that Honey-Do list and be the hero. Download the pictures from your phone and build that scrapbook photo album you’ve been meaning to. Go back and read all the past blogs and short stories on my website (You know the ones you missed). Write your own short story. Write a poem. Paint or draw a picture. Fill out your U.S. Census forms. Try yoga. Practice mindfulness and experiment with meditation.

If television is your thing, fine. However, don’t just sit there on the couch, shoveling a bowl of pasta into your mouth, while watching old reruns of Seinfeld. Instead, pop a bowl of popcorn, roll out a blanket on the floor and lay on it with your kids, and watch a family classic. Try a movie made before 1990. The older the better. I recommend The Wizard of Oz or The Sound of Music. Now, if your children are older, or if you haven’t yet seen it, but have always meant to, watch Gone With the Wind.

Sculpt some clay or, perhaps, Play-Doh if that’s all that’s around. Make your own play-dough. Clean off your workbench and build a birdhouse. Make a dent in that stack of books I know everyone has that keeps getting taller and taller. Read Chapter One of my book: Dawn of the 20th. Begin a foreign language course. Practice that musical instrument you put down in the corner years ago that has been collecting dust. Call an old friend.

This Too Shall Pass

We ran to the stores for canned and frozen foods. We ran for toilet paper to cover our asses. Buying wine was a top priority (In our defense, the kids are home from school!). We cleared the store shelves of disinfectant wipes. Perhaps, though, some of us should have made a Black Friday-like run at Michael’s craft store or at Lowe’s Home Improvement, as well.

Hopefully, we’ll wake up tomorrow and this pandemic will have passed. Sooner or later, this thing will pass. After all, it’s not the Bubonic Plague, and even that passed. But, if this thing persists on for a spell, don’t miss out on the gift in it’s silver-lined pocket – the gift of time.

April 1st, will be the one year anniversary of my first blog post. That blog was titled: Time is the Fire In Which We Burn. While the general efficacy of that title remains, you are a log which has temporarily rolled from that fire. Make the most of your new freedom, banish all thoughts of your impending financial bankruptcy, stop binge watching Netflix and get RARE-things done – before you get tossed back into the blaze.

3 thoughts on “Toilet Paper for the Soul”

  1. Christopher Franklin!
    Loved this! Just read it, but Jaime & I cleaned & reorged 2 sheds this weekend & found time to play with all the kids. I still have to work remotely, but since we can’t really go anywhere, we’re hitting project after project, & beginning to plan our spring garden.
    Your shit’s inspiring brother!
    Keep it up!
    Never quit!
    You’re a rock star!

    1. I’m grateful for your kind, yet overzealous praise, my friend. But, rock stars have thousands of followers and I am but shouting at the Universe at large. Perhaps,someday.

  2. It is true. Gift of time to get all those things accomplished. However, nothing replaces family and friends. But, now is the time to follow the 6 foot rule so we can have all of the above.

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