Life and How to Live It

How did you live your best life before all the craziness of Covid and how do you live your best life today, as we try to get back to some sort of normalcy?

For me, I can’t even envision my previous life of no care, doing exactly what needed to be done, or whatever I wanted to do without a thought of how my little sniffle might impact others, or how my behavior might impact others. I’ve always been that person in a grocery line though who will talk to you because ‘we are all here on this planet and are not a single unit.’ So that has not changed between pre-Covid and Covid and now.

During Covid I found that I lived my best life being where I wanted to be which was to not interact with anyone. I’ve always found in person socialization exhausting. More happy to be the observer.

With that though, and the reason I am back in South Carolina, was to spend time with my mother who I had not consistently seen for the previous 20 years. I’m happy to say that she is still with us about 74 miles away. With Covid I’ve not been able to visit her as often as I wanted to. When I do I go through protocols (for me) to quarantine, get tested, go visit, come back, quarantine, and get tested again so I know I’m not impacting anyone else.

Four months into Covid, with all gyms closed, a Pilates studio nearby opened back up with reformers 6 feet apart. That was a godsend. We are back to 3 feet apart and careful still not to breathe on each other. Pilates has been a respite.

I will say I am still wary of going into a movie theater or into a restaurant. I’ve been to a barbecue place in Gaffney, South Carolina out in the country where you have to read the room. I’ve gone in and not put my mask on knowing what ‘color’ of the country I’m in. I don’t want any debates in that setting. I did have a server once who said in her most southern drawl “I ain’t scared of no Covid“. :roll_eyes:

Any how …

How did and do you live your life?

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COVID hit at a very weird point in my life, where a lot of work was about to pay off, but then the rug was semi-pulled out from under us. It all ended up fine. We moved, and have been enjoying our new house.

I think the biggest pre and post COVID is just how much time I’m around for the kids right now.

We’re trying to get back to some normalcy though even while realizing some things like going out to eat aren’t as necessary or fun as it once was. One thing we’re doing is forcing ourselves to go on vacation this year. There was always an excuse for the past two years, and while our house is big, and yard is like a mini-hotel basically, we need to get out of dodge.


Due to my job I do have close contact with Covid, have to use the weird suits, FFP2 and surgical masks at the same time and all of it. It’s still so strange to me and at the same time familiar to see everyone wearing a mask that sometimes when I’m watching a movie catch myself thinking for a few seconds “why aren’t them using a masks?”. In my country we always shake hands with men and kiss women on both cheeks but no anymore, so it’s kind of awkward and also miss seeing people’s faces and smiles. Well, in fact I still see: in my practice people have to remove their masks otherweise ot would be impossible to do the job. And miss a lot kissing my nurses (in the cheek) all morning and take a break for espresso and a smoke (I shouldn’t have said this…).

On the other hand, deep down have always been painfully shy, so using the mask helps to hide me better, even thought the eyes are the mirror of our soul.

Not happier or unhappier than I was before. I was never a really happy person. Kind of a dark and reflective personality with some peaks of happiness. And I relate a lot to a song Stipe sung in 1999 with Rain Phoenix for a movie called precisely ‘happiness’.

Well, like Vedder once sang, hope someday will be a star in somebody else’s sky.

Murmurs returning made me open a lot and talking about many things I avoid doing with people close to me.

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Ah, vacations. That’s great.

My vacation this year will be to go visit my boys around their birthdays which are, while three years apart, close together.

Aron lives outside of Baltimore and Evan in New York City. I will consider that my vacation. It’s been 3.5 years since I’ve seen E and slightly more for A. We had plans to get together in 2020 around their birthdays. But we know what happened there.

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I know what you mean.

Movies, TV shows: Where are the masks? LOL.

Although I would not want my favorite cowboys to be masked (Yellowstone).

Even today, not knowing what setting I’m going to be walking into, I feel naked without my mask on my wrist.

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The where are the masks thing started scarily early with me. I remember at some point in early summer 2020 I suddenly found myself thinking of a party I’d been to in high school, where we were all squeezed in around a table in someone’s garden shed and my first thought was WTF weren’t we wearing masks. Well… Because that was 30 years ago and Covid didn’t exist, but it took me a minute to realise that.

As for life since this whole shitshow started - I’m no longer commuting and that alone kinda makes it all worth it. Having those three hours a day back that I used to spend on the motorway has honestly changed my life - even my allergy symptoms have gone from barely manageable to barely existent since that stress factor has been removed. I originally considered going back to the office twice a week, but at this stage I’m thinking about going fully remote because I never, ever need that forced twice daily drive again.

Besides that, lockdown in general suits me. I’m a natural hermit and have been quite happy here with my music, my books, my cooking, and my local beaches. The only thing I miss like fuck is live music, but that’s coming back now, too, so that’ll be me back to enjoying myself properly soon. That, and proper travel, which I’m also hoping to resume come summer.

tl;dr: As disastrous pandemics go, my experience of it could be a lot worse.


I am totally remote. This old body is still working (digital space), but remotely. Thank God I am in a situation to be able to have that luxury.

A topic of discussion: I actually do get dressed to sit in front of my computer AT home. Mind you, the bottom half is probably in Pilates pants. But “they say“ that the way you dress, even remotely, can impact the quality of work done.

What do you think?

During the first few months of this I dressed in full office gear every morning before logging on (well, the tech variety of it), but at this stage it varies from day to day, sometimes it’ll still be a skirt, nice top etc, other days I’ve started in my dressing gown and only showered during my morning coffee break. I think at this stage it’s pretty much averaging out to jeans and a relatively nice top (or t-shirt - see profile pic). I can’t say any of that is making a difference to the quality of my work, though.

Yes!!! It really does depend on what meetings I have on that day and whether I might have to appear on camera. Then it’s full make up and hair blown out. I know - sad.

I wish I could say that meetings make a difference for me. When I feel I’m not up to generally acceptable sartorial standards, I just leave the camera off. :wink: And then of course there was that one time when I had totally forgotten that we were supposed to introduce ourselves to a new team in the Tokyo office at sparrow fart in the morning and they got to see me in the fully glory of my bed hair and dressing gown. OOPS! :flushed:

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I couldn’t stand working remotely even if it was a possibility to me, wich it isn’t.
In the first lock down I was basically working only on emergencies, so I was at home waiting for the phone to ring. It was a nightmare… due to my personality I need to get out and have direct contact with people, even thought I’m a pretty shy and reserved person.

I do think human beings were not made to be locked at their homes, we need to socialize. Sure, we are all different (thank Good, ortherwise the World would be quite boring) but when I was locked down in one room for 14 days because of a quarantine, almost went crazy.

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Love it!!

As we, especially me which is who I refer to when I say this, are not spring chickens, I need all the help I can get when presenting myself on camera. I work in a younger person’s space in a senior role having grown through the exponential growth of the internet moving from print to digital. I am still lucky to be working within the space. I want to decide when I leave not someone else. So I take care.

I am in my happy place not having to play footsie with people in public and saying the right thing. I am more of a person behind the curtain. That IS my happy place. I do socialize in stores or while exercising at Pilates, but always being out amongst people would be exhausting. But that’s just me.

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I can understand that. Sometimes at the end of the day, I say to myself “I’m tired of people”, always complaining, crying and whinning about everything and especially when they see a needle or listen to my drill. Also have a serious problem: I’ll never understand women and all the people I work with are women (love them all, but get tired of their dramas and will never understand why they tend to say yes when they want to say no and say vice-versa). So, often I get fed up.

But next morning wake up and get excited to go to work.

So, like I said, every person is different.

Note: nothing sexist about what I said, simply not understanding how women think is a disability of mine.


We tend to say yes when we really want to or should say now because we’ve been socialised from babyhood onwards not to ever disagree or rock the boat. It sucks. :frowning:


Got it, didn’t take it that way. By the way I have a semi grown son who is dramatic as well.

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Get it, but why do women say no when they really want something and want to say yes?

A simple example: a woman want something, when I give it to her she says: “why did you bothered, don’t need to spend your money with this”. And then says to a friend: “really happy he heard me and was kind enough to offer me that”. And this is just a simple example, not talking about more complex things.
At times, looks like they are acting in kind of a mystery way just to let men thinking.

I have always been an introvert. There is a misconception that introverts are “anti-social” or that we dislike people, but that is not the case. It is all about energy expenditure. Extroverts draw energy from social situations, whereas introverts give energy during the same situations. I love my friends and I love social events, but I have to “recharge” by myself afterward or I get tired. Even during the amazing AthFest meetups years ago, where I was in the company of Murmurs people for days, I occasionally had to venture off by myself to check out record stores and such as a way of recharging from the constant company. I secretly do not like it when people visit from out of town and stay at my place, because I have to be “on” at all times of the day.

As such, I handle solitude wonderfully well, but I also crave social outlets in sporadic doses…concerts with friends, local running races, my weekly running group trail run, etc.

When COVID first hit, and we went into total lockdown, I thought that the effect on me would be no big deal, since I am an introvert who lives alone. Over time, though, I realized that the absence of certain social outlets was corrosive to my well-being. Concerts, in particular, are psychologically beneficial, because of the cohesion-adhesion phenomenon where like-minded people are singing together and cheering at the same things.
I also missed movie theaters. I live one mile from a local theater that I would visit three or four times a month before COVID. For me, the experience of being in a darkened theater for a movie is like church. Even if a movie is bad (Moonfall…lol), there is still an inherent emotional catharsis to seeing it in a theater atmosphere.

I volunteered for the Pfizer vaccine trial in the summer of 2020. Being 48 at the time, and unmarried with no children, I figured that I would rather put myself though the study than let someone’s husband or father do so in my place. I received two doses in a double-blind study, then found out six months later that I was one of the 50% of participants who had been given a control group placebo. After being “unblinded” in February of 2021, I was moved over into the actual vaccine study and given the vaccine.

After I was vaccinated, I started going to movies, concerts, and running races again as they respectively reopened, although I still masked and exercised vigilance. Even while living the “good life of the vaccinated”, I quarantine myself after such events and do not visit my elderly parents unless I test negative. I went back into hiding during the worst of Omicron here in my area, but still ventured out to an occasional movie.

Some friends and I went to the three-day Shaky Knees Music Festival here in Atlanta in October, an event that mandated vaccination proof or negative tests. It was daunting, being surrounded by 60,000 others in front of Run the Jewels or Foo Fighters, even with masks, but all went well. On a psychological mental health level, that weekend was an amazingly beneficial shot in the arm of feeling normal again.

For work, I drive around for field inspections three days each week and telework the rest of the time. I am more productive, and I hope that we never go back to the old ways of being back in the office full time.

I realized during the pandemic that I do not miss handshakes, but I do miss hugs.
In late 2020, I got together with a woman whom I had briefly dated and with whom I am still friends, for a day at an Atlanta park. She is an ICU nurse at Grady Hospital in Atlanta who also participated in the vaccine trial. We hugged when we saw each other, and I realized that it was my first hug in eight months. Seemingly little things like that became big things during the pandemic.


Love this.

I have no desire to get back to normal although I would take my vaccinated boosted self to see Hamilton again, and would travel more.

I used to travel to movie theaters all the time. They were a haven. A place where I could be transported by a movie if it was good. Aggravated if it was bad.

But even movie theaters are not safe anymore after shootings have happened. It’s too easy.

I know the good Lord is watching over me, and I know that my time and date is already decided, at least in my belief. But yet, it’s like riding a roller coaster, which I do not do. I don’t want to be sitting there contemplating my life (roller coaster) and not feel totally safe (movie theater).

While there have not been many or any mass shootings in the Charlotte, NC area, the increase in violence continues. I have my own theories on that which we can discuss elsewhere.

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About Covid… already had the 3rd shot in December, and sadly saw some friends really sick and really suffering, one of them died and another nearly and yet another had a rare reaction and almost lost the functions of her legs, but everything is random.
Before taking any shot, I was with people with Covid (one day before they knew they had it) had dinner and even got kissed in the mouth. And never caught it.
My nurse caught it while working with me, without removing both masks (FFP2 and surgical) or gloves and being extremly carefull and I didn’t. Took espresso with her and even went to her home to help her to fix a lamp and we were both without masks. And I didn’t got Covid.

Sure, we have to be carefull, better safe than sorry, but it’s all in God’s hands (or if you don’t believe in God, in the Universes hands).

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