Scaling Back but Feeling Full

Nothing like a pandemic to make me thankful for what I have, and to show me just how much of my life falls into the privileged sphere. I am one of the lucky few whose routine has barely changed, and what has changed so far has been mostly for the better.

I still get to work! This alone is immense, as many millions of people will end up unemployed as a result of the pandemic, if they are not already. Just like some people may not survive COVID-19, I fear that many people may never recover economically from this crazy situation. But addressing the pandemic is much more important than addressing the economy in the immediate future, as difficult as that may be for many, many people.

Conrad gets a few more walks. I don’t think he minds. He’s not too happy at me about working from home and not paying more attention to him because I am at home. But my home office area has a couch he can nap on. He’ll figure it out eventually.

I am still able to go to the barn to see Eli. I know barn access varies from state to state right now and many people are relying on barn employees for all of their horses’ care. Lesson programs in my area have been suspended at many barns, but some barns are still allowing access to boarders.

So what am I scaling back? Driving — my commute either involves a drive in to work three days a week with little traffic, or a really short walk over to my desk at home. Running everyday errands — I am avoiding this if possible. I have a bracelet that needs fixing at a jeweler and a snap on a tall boot that needs replacing, for instance, that I’d take to a shoe repair place. But this kind of thing is on hold indefinitely. Riding Eli — Eli can be a bit spooky, as we all know. I am limiting his under saddle time to just a few rides a week when the weather permits it and keeping the rides at a walk or trot. I am going for low impact and minimizing risk. I do consider his exercise as essential pet care and it’s also my outdoor, socially-distanced exercise anyway, so I do not really feel like I am skirting any stay-at-home orders in my area with this. I understand that MANY people may disagree with my interpretation of the local stay-at-home orders. However, I am at the barn at times when few other boarders are there, and I am only touching Eli’s stuff, so I am minimizing risk in that way, too. Eating out — oh how I miss Mexican restaurants. I am not on a budget that allows constant take-out, as much as I would like to do that to support the restaurants around here that I like to go to. This does seem to have the benefit of cleaning up my waistline a bit, at least. Visiting friends — I don’t visit very many people, and now I am hardly seeing friends in person at all. I am not going to rule it out completely because when I do visit friends, it’s usually one person in a private residence and it’s to watch streaming stuff, drink wine, and catch up.

I find myself asking daily the question, “Is this really necessary?” A lot of the time, whatever it may be, it is not really necessary.

And here’s my last little editorial thought for the day: Even if inadvertently, COVID-19 is showing us a path to mitigating climate change. We are quite obviously capable of making many of these changes for the long-term, if there is even much of a long-term to look forward to.

That being said, I CANNOT WAIT for all the restaurants and bars to reopen! When that happens, maybe we could all consider tipping at 30%-50% for a month or so if we can swing it. I also want to go to ALL THE MUSEUMS and donate $$$ to their programs and collections. I miss having a Manhattan at Lamberts. I miss the Austin Opera. I miss meeting up with somebody for lunch downtown on a weekday. I MISS QUESO. But we could all stand to drive or fly a little less after all this craziness subsides, right?

7 thoughts on “Scaling Back but Feeling Full

  1. The new life is strange right? I mean I always worked from home but now find myself asking do I need to go out for whatever reason. Also, my barn is similar to yours. They asked me if i wanted a lesson this week. I havent answered yet. I mean it will be on my own and on my terms but…do i need to ride. Will Remus be hurt if i don’t (NOPE).

    Also my dogs snore so loud sometimes ihave to mute my teleconference so no one thinks it is me.

    Hi to Conrad and to Eli.

    yuummmm mexican food (Tho I made my own last nite and it was DELISH) i do miss me some mexican restaurants….

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    1. Who knew requiring mindfulness would even happen in America, ya know?

      I feel like I have to ride Eli a little bit because he can get back sore if I don’t ride. But if resources all over the country start to dwindle much more without getting replaced quickly, I am even questioning whether I should ride because of how inherently risky it is! I don’t want to be the jackhole in the ER because I felt like my horse just HAD to jump 3’6″ but I eat wood instead. I do feel pretty safe just trotting for right now, though.

      I am living on taquitos from the freezer section. It’s still not the same haha

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      1. umm yeah freezer ones never are…. I command you to make some fresh Mexican in the next couple weeks. You will thank me for it (We did some taco meet, with some tortillas, fresh cheese and fresh sauteed sweet peppers with some cilantro lime rice on the side. YUMMMY…..:) HAHAHA and yes on the ending up in the ER that is not worth it anytime but def not now! 🙂

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  2. I ask myself “is this essential” all the time now. I am enjoying living on one tank of gas for the month (maybe more, we shall see). I do appreciate the positive side effects this is having on the climate and people’s connection to other people.

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  3. I read your lamenting about Mexican food and immediately ordered a burrito for delivery . . . definitely going to be putting on pounds during this quarantine. It is nice to think about the positive outcomes from all of this. Hopefully some of the changes can be permanent or at least force us to reconsider what we call “normal”.

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