Thinking of Life Outside of Elsewhere
When I woke up about a week ago I did my usual. I made coffee, opened my computer to write my musing, and as I always do, I did my daily early morning gazing of the city and Lake Michigan from my Condo in the Sky. My plan was to write a story about my several collections and then it dawned on me… the importance of my collection of friends and family! Nothing is more valuable than the people in my life.
Therefore, out of the blue, I dismissed writing about my turtle collection. I dismissed writing about my collection of Baccarat hearts and my special book collection. Instead, I began to wonder about your well-being. Obviously, I have not seen you so I began to mull my thoughts over and over and pondered, “What are you doing to keep yourself in harmony with the lifestyle in Elsewhere that is so abnormal?”
Pen Pals… a Novel Idea!
So, I sat down and wrote several of my friends the letter you’ll see below. And towards the end of writing that letter, I had a thought… we could become pen pals! And then darling, I thought of you! You might want to do what I did and become pen pals with friends, family, or the women you miss when you retired.
It is, for this reason, I am sharing my letter and I may share some of my responses.
The Letter I Wrote to My Friends
I woke up this morning and decided to write my musing for my Sunday Story on my ‘collections’ and the stories behind them. However, it changed course and I decided to write to you.
I have been collecting, not hoarding, items that peak my fancy since I was a little girl. One of my grandfathers, a world traveler, brought me a doll from one of the countries he visited and that began my passion for collecting items that brought me joy. These things include Hermes bracelets, turtles from around the world, Baccarat hearts, paperweights, books, treasured heirlooms from my mother, grandmothers, aunts, grandchildren, my daughter Jenny, my daughter-in-law Jami and sentimental gifts from a special card to beautiful gifts from girlfriends. I became overpowered with this thought… I have an exceptional ‘collection’ of women friends. You are one of the women. You peak my fancy and I am wondering how you are?
I think of you and miss you. Life today feels like we are living in a time warp; our normal way of living stopped in its tracks. I wonder about you and how you are handling this new way of life? How are you handling your health, the uncommon emotion of isolation, your method of staying productive and proactive, as well as how you are dealing with the lack of control over all parts of your life?
I would love to hear from you and read your stories because I must admit, as I pause and reflect, I am somewhat down in the dumps. I am feeling a mix of emotions… sadness, loneliness for my family and friends, fear of the unknown, an empty calendar robbing me of the joy of looking forward, and the knowledge that I have lost control over ‘my way’ of living an optimistic and normal existence.
Events and people outside the four walls of my Condo in the Sky are preventing me from leading a free and typical lifestyle and I question, “Will life ever be the same for my family, your family, and all of us?” As a woman who has always made sweet lemonade out of bitter lemons, I will never stop hoping that out of this chaos will come clarity.
How have you spent your time at home during the past 10 months? Please share. I’ll start!
I get up very early, make a pot of coffee, sit down in front of my computer, and write. A few hours later I get dressed and walk my pooch America, never leaving home without my Tom Ford Red Lipstick and a spritz of my favorite perfume, Baccarat 540!
During the day, I text with family, friends, and salespeople because I cannot stop shopping. Even though I have no place to wear what I purchase, I shop for gifts for those I love or care for; Shelly, my family, our pooch America, and friends. I take a private virtual yoga class twice a week, shop on Amazon for every possible need, watch series and Documentaries on Netflix, Prime, Sundance, etc…
With Shelly every morning, I write my musings. And, I recently started a new private women’s Facebook group, GRANDwomen with Moxie…where loneliness disappears, because women need women, and I love women group gatherings as some of you know.
Zooming has become part of my life and I belong to a movie group, a group with 12 of my cousins, and a group of women from my private Facebook group. I reread The Alchemist, Things that Matter by Charles Krautheimer, Gift by the Sea, and Walking the Bible.
We sold our home in California and naturally I brought home my ‘collections’; 84 boxes of treasures which I carefully unpacked. This project was marvelous because it gave me alone time to pause and reflect. I cook almost nightly, I hired California Closets to design space for my china and crystal and treasures. And, I have deep and funny conversations with Shelly and my will to stay curious is relentless, so I am never bored. I am grateful for everything, too. And, yet, I know that normalcy for the time has disappeared and I am nostalgic for the life I once took for granted. After all, who would think the Chinese or any country would let a virus escape and destroy the world population’s way of life. It should be classified in my mind as germ warfare.
I have such mixed feelings as I feel certain you have. I am feeling overwhelmed and overpowered by outside sources and yet I feel relief and gratitude knowing my family, my husband, my pooch, and you are fine. These are my blessings. But nonetheless, I still cannot help being sad and blue and angry.
I miss you and I miss the sound of laughter. I miss seeing and kissing and listening in person to the voices of my kids and grandchildren… I miss gossip. Darling, I miss cards. I miss the theatre and going to the movies and looking forward to exhibits in museums. As well, I miss window shopping, walking down streets admiring nature around me, nodding to strangers with a smile that can be seen, running into unmasked instead of masked friends, having lunch with a girlfriend. And, I miss travel and exploring the world. I miss looking forward…
I miss going to the market, I miss the feeling of awe because life is so sterile and even violent. My natural connections to the parks, the shops, the people in the shops are gone. The only positive feeling I have when I am outdoors is a face mask that keeps my face warm in the cold Chicago winter air.
As the sun begins to rise in the East, I stare out my window on the 71st floor of our Condo in the Sky and give thanks that my family is safe, that they have roofs over our heads and food on their tables. And, that I still feel a strong connection to you. I thank my lucky stars for Shelly and America and to all of you and to all the other women who have touched my life and my heart in a positive way. So, I smile…
I miss you and would love to keep up with you because I care. Please let’s be pen pals off and on. We need one another… women need women. I want you to know I am here for you by text, phone, Zoom, or email… to laugh, to learn, to help, to share, to love, and to gab about all types of information. Like searching for a resolve to find our personal inner paradise, or the right shoes for our bunions, or help with our computer.
Merry Christmas and a belated Happy Hanukah. I wish you a blessed sweet New Year filled with hope and lovely surprises for you and your loved ones.
Sending friendship and love from my home to yours,
A Letter I Received Back From a Pen Pal!
You are something else! Nothing bad. In fact, I always valued our friendship. In my bedroom, I have a chair with a little pillow that was a gift from you about friendship. Every time I see it I am reminded of you. Life has been interesting (ugg!) this last year. Sadly I’m not looking forward to 2021 as I don’t see much improvement.
The nice thing is, I found out a friend from many years has been quietly in love with me. I am treading slowly so nothing to report. The fact that you have achieved your dream has been an inspiration for all. I’ll be 88 in June so any aspirations I had are over. I wish you continued success and great health. Happy New Year.
To All of You…
To all my new friends at Honey Good, I would like to be your pen pal if you are so inclined. Do let me know with a letter expressing your feelings and what you are doing in Elsewhere and what type of coping skills you have invited into your life.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this blog at the bottom of this page! I look forward to hearing from you, future pen pal!
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