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What I’ve Learned & Hope To Remember

Claudia Hufham April 2020

Lifestyle Kuel Life Contributor: Claudia Hufham 

I am, as I suppose everyone is, a work in progress.

Continuously working on the reinvention of Claudia. But let me tell you, during this hunker down, stay in place, quarantine situation that we’ve all found ourselves in, I have learned a lot about myself. Not only have I had some things about myself come to light, but I have also discovered things about my fellow human beings. Maybe it’s not as much “learning”, but more like reaffirming things I had forgotten or put out of my mind.

First of all, there were lots of things I wasn’t doing before the quarantine because I was “busy”: yoga, organizing, cleaning out closets, learning to cook better for one, the list goes on and on. Now I’ve learned that, nope, it wasn’t because I was “busy”. I wasn’t doing them because I am lacking motivation, or maybe just plain lazy. I have all kinds of time to do things, I’m just choosing not to!

Started Out With A Bang

“What a bummer.”

Now don’t get me wrong, when this first started I did clean the hardwoods really well and cleaned out a few cabinets and drawers, but now, at 25 days and counting, I have lost most of the motivation. I have taken on the “Scarlett O’Hara” attitude. “Why do today what you can just as easily do tomorrow?” 

I’ve also learned that even if I have all the time in the world, cooking is NOT my thing. Do I love to eat? Heck yea! In fact, if I don’t social distance myself from the kitchen soon, I’m going to need a whole new wardrobe!

I can throw things in the crockpot with the best of them and eat it for a couple of days, but then I’m done with it. Leftovers are also, not my thing. So, I do my part for all of mankind and order take out! I gotta keep those local restaurants in business! It’s my civic duty. But I’d be lying if I told you that getting something, anything from the outside, doesn’t make me think twice. I wipe it down, take it out of the container and wash my hands and then wash my hands again.

Keeping Busy

I’ve learned that puzzles are great, but they are better when my family is around to help. I have some great memories of puzzle time with the family during the many beach trips that we’ve taken or when we were stuck inside during a snowstorm. The puzzle takes a lot longer when I don’t have them around.

Books are always a nice escape and I haven’t lost the importance of reading. I’ve read several and listened to a few on Audible. Anything by Mary Kay Andrews, Gabby Burnstein, and one I really enjoyed was Becky Kueker’s “A Classic in Clown Shoes”. If you’ve never tried Audible, they have a free trial and I would highly recommend it, I mean, who doesn’t love something free?

I’ve caught up on movies and shows that I would have never watched. For the record, Tiger King is not one of them I’ve watched, yet. I’ve watched lots of movies. I recommend “Life Itself” by Dan Fogelman who writes “This Is Us”. I’ve been watching Outlander and Virgin River. Both are pretty good.

I’ve learned that sometimes, quiet is good. Today, Saturday, I am sitting with the house completely quiet. No TV, no music, nothing but the birds. I like it. It’s peaceful. There was a day that I would have never let this house just be quiet.

Hunkering Down

I’ve learned that my kids will look after me when I need them to. Not that I ever questioned that, but it’s good to be reassured that when the going gets tough, they have my back. They go to the store for me and get me whatever I think I may need. Hence the reason I’ve only been out of this house four times, all less than an hour, in 25 days.

I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, staying at home. My kids are making sure that I don’t get this virus because they say that if I get it and end up in the hospital and can’t come see me, they couldn’t live with themselves. Ok, my daughter says that. My son the police officer says, “you’re going to be fine Mom” He’s not the worrier that my daughter is. She gets that from me.

Not High Maintenance and Unapologetic

“I’m alive, who cares what color my hair is?”

I’ve learned that gray hair isn’t so bad. I’m alive, who cares what color my hair is? I certainly don’t. For the record, I reserve the right to feel differently once I can go back out in public.

I’ve learned how nice it is not to have to “get ready” every morning. I brush my hair, my teeth, and off I go to the office which is approximately seven steps down the hall. No fuss and no makeup is great! I have realized though that even if I do go out to pick up food or a prescription, I no longer care what I look like. It’s kind of liberating. And maybe a little bit frightening.

I have a feeling that when we do go back into the outside world and put mascara on for the first time, I’m going to be like, move over JLo, Mama is back!

Not Easily Influenced

“I am praying that TP isn’t the thing that’s going to bring the world to its knees.”

I’ve learned that just because some people panic over toilet paper, doesn’t mean I have to. I have enough and when I run low I’ll get more. It’s funny to me that while everyone on social media is posting photos of the empty toilet paper isles, for a minute, it makes me feel like ‘oh my goodness I must go get toilet paper’. I am praying that TP isn’t the thing that’s going to bring the world to its knees.

I took a breath and realized that I was being influenced by all the rhetoric and I have enough toilet paper to last for awhile. After all, it’s just me.I am praying that TP isn’t the thing that’s going to bring the world to its knees.

I’ve learned that there are and will always be questionable people out there. The people who hoard TP not thinking of their fellow man (person) for a second. The people that buy all the baby formula, apparently to use in their coffee because it has a better shelf life. Not considering that are moms and dads that need baby formula to feed the baby. People who don’t buy into the whole social distancing thing and put the rest of us at risk. I am relying on the fact that there are more good people than bad.

Witnessing the Good

I’ve learned from watching YouTube that people are so resourceful! They’ve made up songs that make me laugh. Supported those around them with parades and signs. Applauded the healthcare workers and so many other things. Thanks to all those who restore my faith in humanity! Keep up the good work. There are very talented people out there! Wow some of the videos are spectacular. It’s those people that are getting me through this one day at a time.

I’ve learned that people in other cities, states, countries, are just like me. Trying to make the best of their time on this earth. I have seen this in a Facebook group that I am a part of. “What do you see from your window #StayAtHome”. People post the view from their windows from all over the world. When I see all these beautiful views, some of them much like mine, it almost makes me cry. No matter if it’s Istanbul, London, or Cario with the pyramids way off on the horizon. Everyone is sending each other love, good wishes, and showing us their view. We are more alike than we are different.

If you are interested, here is the link to the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/707296003356488/?ref=bookmarks

Things Change Quickly

I’ve learned that I am resilient and can make the best of most any situation. I am incredibly lucky to be able to work from home. I won’t take that for granted.

I’ve learned about the ripple effect. How we are all so closely intertwined. How our economic system is such a fragile balancing act and how quickly that ripple effect spreads and affects all of us.

I’ve learned that I have for all of my life, taken so much for granted. From our health care workers, to those that work in gas stations, and restaurants, not to mention my ability to get in my car and go to TJMaxx or Target.

The truck drivers; dry cleaners; delivery people; teachers; bank tellers; all those people that make my life better, I’ve just assumed they would always be there. Now that they are not, I realize that they are the people that make this world go around –  NOT the movie stars, the rich, the politicians, lawyers, just to name a few. It’s the hard working blue collar people that often don’t make the money they deserve. They are the ones moving this world along from day to day.

The New Normal

All of this had made me wonder, when all this is said and done and we can go back to our ‘normal” life’, what is the new normal going to look like? Am I ever going to be able to shake someone’s hand; hug; kiss; go to a restaurant; stand close to someone at the pharmacy; again without wondering what I might catch from them?

So Many Questions

Will our new “normal” include taking the time to have those silly dance parties with our family, write that book, play the piano or put a puzzle together?
Will we remember how important our time together is?
Will the world realize how important all those workers are that we take for granted and figure out a way to pay them what they are worth?
Will we remember to cut people some slack, everyone has their own stuff they are dealing with?
Will we remember the lessons learned and apply them in the future?
I hope so. I hope all those that were sick and those that have lost their lives and those lives that are yet to be lost will not be in vain. I hope we will remember. I hope I will remember.

“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

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About the Author
Claudia Hufham is a blogger, mom to two grown kids and a Boxer/American Bulldog, who found herself looking for a new career at age 59. In her quest to reinvent herself and save her sanity, she started a blog. Her humor and down to earth story telling of her life lessons have led her to be featured on sites like Feedspot.com. You can read more from Claudia at Claudiareinvented. You can follow Claudia on her Instagram and FaceBook Page as well.

Claudiareinvented is featured on Feedspot as one of the Top 10 Women Over 50 Blogs