Feeling rudderless

I’m pretty sure I had a pair like this!

Back in the good old days (that would be last year) I had great routines. They were fun and rewarding. So rewarding that it made house hunting for a smaller home difficult. I wanted to be close to my gym, my walking place and Starbucks.

I’ve been losing favorite stores for a while but my gym would be forever, wouldn’t it? Nope, it closed. The pandemic struck and I lost most of walking buddies. We’ve gone from 20 people to less than ten and they are not always the people I like. Most were older and two things happened. They took away all the seating so those who would walk for a half hour then rest could no longer do that. Also, the rest rooms are often closed. Old people need rest rooms.

As one routine disappears another starts up if you’re lucky. I spent the summer walking outside early in the morning. I saw the same very few people. I didn’t need a mask because we were so far apart. I started to feel a connection. The brief conversation in passing went from “lovely day” to “where is your other dog?” (One couple has two and one isn’t a morning dog. I didn’t even know that existed.) That routine lasted for four months.

I haven’t seen those folks in a while. If I walk in the neighborhood I don’t do it super early. It’s too dark and gloomy then. I’m not sure if they are walking.

In looking back some of my most loved routines were short lived. My first job was working for a very large company. I felt lost for a while. I was in a department with mostly old (seemed like ancient) co-workers (really, really old! Must have been at least 50!). I had nothing in common with them. It was hard to carry on a conversation beyond the basics. They didn’t do rock concerts and I didn’t do book clubs or church choirs. They had families and I was dating. They wore tie-up shoes and I wore platform sandals. With painted toenails. (I’m sitting here with my tie-up sneakers on. Have I turned into them?)

Then I connected with someone my age from another department. We clicked and became besties. Within nine months she quit and moved. We stayed friends for a while but distance takes its toll especially when you are young. It was devastating for me but she was my transition. After that I made other friends easily and adjusted.

I always think of routines as “forever” or at least “for a long time” but maybe they are just transitions to take us from one place to another. I’m not ready to move out of Starbuck range but maybe I’ll look twice at homes that aren’t near my closed gym and very sad walking mall. (We lost the last anchor store. Can the funeral be far behind?).

In this covid environment, it’s harder to make routines that involve people. My biggest fear is that I will turn into a hermit and like it like that. My routines now are devoid of people (except for baristas). I may be known as that old lady with all the cats.

NOTE TO SELF: Look for platform sandals. I wonder if they make them with training wheels so I don’t fall off of.

72 thoughts on “Feeling rudderless

    • I know! One concern as we’ve been looking to downsize was that I wanted to be close enough to continue my routines. If there is any lesson, it’s that we are constantly adjusting, eliminating or adapting new routines and it shouldn’t be a huge consideration.

      Like

  1. Michelle has been hounding me to go to the gym with her. It shouldn’t be open, but they really chase the money in this part of the world. I’d rather not go there on a regular basis right now, I would probably just die in good shape, from the COVID-19 virus.

    Meanwhile, they get $22 from us monthly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My gym membership was/is connected to my health insurance and they only get paid when I go so at least I don’t lose money. There are other gyms around but this one was very convenient. I’m not a gym person to start with so if I have a 20 minute to half hour drive, I’m not going to do often. I hadn’t gone back after they opened, preferring to wait for safer times. I expect many are struggling. The young people may be more brave about going to gyms but at the time I went it was mostly retirees early in the morning. I doubt that they returned.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. On yesterday’s news, a lesser-known gym was evicted for not paying rent. Someone went to use the gym and found everything but the exercise equipment tossed into the parking lot – really?! Well they only our gyms a few weeks ago. The crowd at Council Point Park has changed since the pandemic too … there are just a handful of the regular walkers. I can’t understand that – they say parks are safe spots, but where did they go? There are new people … and dogs. Dogs are not allowed. There is talk of putting a dog park there or a miniature golf course. I wrote to the one mayoral candidate and said “you have a jewel here in this City – people walked their dogs in the neighborhood for decades, so why? And miniature golf is a novelty that will wear off in a few weeks and you can’t use it half the year.” I hope they reconsider. I was all about the platform shoes too, even had a pair of Buffalo sandals. Silly-looking things … not that I needed them, as I was 5′ 9″ tall in bare feet. But, must follow the trends. I never had Candies backless sandals, clogs or Dr. Scholl’s exercise sandals – my parents said “no” – they didn’t like the look and while I was under their room and their insurance they were not paying for orthopedic bills when/if I fell off my shoes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They let you wear platform shoes but not clogs? We have a local part just two blocks from my home and it’s been busier than usual so I stay in my neighborhood. Last time I was in the park, there were crowds of people (most likely families) together without masks so I didn’t feel safe. I’m ok with walking in the neighborhood for now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, my parents were really strict with me and they didn’t like how clogs looked so they forbid me to wear any type of backless shoes or sandals. The platform shoes looked a little silly with the short dresses – they didn’t have an issue with mini dresses and I made most of my own clothes as I was so tall I couldn’t find pants, jackets that didn’t look like they belonged to my little sister. They didn’t like the midi and maxi styles of the early 70s either.

        I switched to the paper mask for the Park for the Summertime when it was so hot, but will be going back to the bandanas again. I just stay masked up in case some weirdo is walking around there. We had an episode recently where a guy coughed on people in a store and said he had COVID-19. He did not have COVID and was arrested and did the same thing to the police officers who arrested him.

        Liked by 1 person

        • My mother just rolled with the punches. She was one of 5 daughters and I found out that she was the one that would wear the stylist clothes. She’d roll her cotton stockings below her knees and that was very risque at the time!

          Liked by 1 person

          • That is funny about your mom. My parents were strict and I decided around 9th grade or so, that all new school clothes should be skirts so I could roll them up to make them shorter when I got to the end of the street, I’d duck into the alley and roll it up to walk to school. In the cold weather, I rolled it at home before I put on my coat if my mom was not nearby. We had a dress code of no pants, but dresses would not work so for new school clothes, I pleaded for skirts, not dresses. It was all good til the neighbor across the street, a “nosy parker” as the expression goes, who was friendly with my mom, ratted me out. I got a long lecture.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I get it! Have been working remotely since March, which I do appreciate – there’s a lot about it I like, including my new routine of walking the neighborhood every day. I was getting up early but it’s too dark to get in a walk before my work begins so I go mid-day, now. I know all the dogs and wave to kitties in windows and pet a few strays who have gotten to know me. On the odd time I have been out (sans the grocery store ’cause that doesn’t count) I am shocked (not surprised though) at the businesses who are gone. I get it, but our Governor doesn’t. We’re still in lockdown and some of the favorite restaurants, shoe stores, etc are gone and not coming back. Trying to see the positives and not get too caught up in the alternative. Fun post! and when the time comes to move, you’ll know it when you see it (next house). It will just feel right 🙂 The house we are in now is the only one we looked at – 1 showing, offer same day, done. ~ MJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • I envy your house purchase. We’ve been looking for 5 years but I suspect my husband is not yet ready to leave our lovely home with the screened porch and pond. Our back yard is completely private as we have a shrub line and backup to a water retention area. As you say, one day it will happen. Hopefully I’ll still be alive.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Those shoes! All those platform handles were so much fun. I have one pair left (bought so I wouldn’t have to hem a dress for a wedding…back when wedding did mean a lot of people and real clothes HAHA). Have a whole wardrobe of sneakers, too and a pair of crocs for gardening in the swamp lands. (I hated them for years, but they do make a special style of “off road” crossing that run very small and narrow. Hard to find ( and highly sought after I found) and I wore those and the second pair out…now stuck with sloppy fit/or socks with them.
    Our current neighborhood is transitioning (again) with a lot of your couples. Everyone tries and is congenial, but the age difference is there. We are still looking at houses…so not easy long distance now – and COVID has caused us to rethink some of our criteria.
    We’ve noticed the COVID experience has caused many to go ahead and move closer to their children earlier than they had planned – and that adult children have sometime left/moved children here with grandparents who have bigger houses/yards/places outdoors to walk/play and can oversee the online schools.
    Life is certainly different

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a pair of croc knockoffs (cheaper and better fit) for gardening and dirty chores. They do wash off nicely. Moving, sigh. That seems to be more work every year. Life is different but the question is what will life look like afterward.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Too late for me. I retreated into Hermit mode back in the spring and am now pulling back again. With our daily case numbers climbing, every outing I had planned with even a tiny social aspect has been cancelled in the past 2 weeks. It’s not as scary as it was the first time, but I definitely feel sad.

    btw – I too had a pair of sandals similar to those featured. I loved those shoes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey, we cats are the best accessory out there!!! But I suppose humans still want other humans around. Maybe the perfect house just hasn’t been seen yet. I hope you find it. Those shoes look like something Farrah Fawcett would have worn. Snazzy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anne, I love heels. I think they make women look very sexy. However, I haven’t been able to wear them for years. Maybe a decade or more. I fear falling off or turning my ankle. Training wheels may not be sexy but they may be the answer. Then again they may be asking for more trouble. I’ll stick to my unsexy sneakers.

      Like

  7. I do better with routines. This is normally a challenging time for me because gardening season is over and I’m inside all day. Add in Covid-19, and I really struggle reading and sewing all day. 🙂 I’m an introvert but seeing people some of the time is enjoyable. I like people. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

        • I should write blog posts. When I first retired it was too soon and I feared that people (not that employees knew I had a blog) would find my stories and be upset. I did write one about the employee who came to tell me that she had to resign because she was going into the witness protection program. That’s not the way it works! She even told me where they were moving her. It was about 5 miles from where she lived. You can’t make this stuff up!

          Liked by 1 person

          • No, you can’t. I remember one employee who kept complaining that our fitness center update hadn’t been completed on time and she so wanted to get back to exercising. When it opened and she was assigned a locker, she came in to complain that it was too low and she had to bend over to put her things in. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • I always came to work a half hour early to start my day. Often there would be a line of people at my door. One Monday after my office was moved, another manager who was in my old office brought a crying employee over to me. She said, “I think this is yours.”

              Like

  8. Back in the 70’s I owned a pair of platform sandals that were (including platform) 7-1/2 inches tall. Talk about feeling head and shoulders above the rest! And surprisingly they were one of the most comfortable shoes I ever owned. Now it’s mostly Birkenstocks. This evolution thing in COVID definitely has its drawbacks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Routinely, I do afternoon gardening and cleanup. I haven’t lately due to man that I feel terrorized, shouted at me, accused me for littering in my own yard and took a photo of me. I reported him to the police and still see his truck parking in the pm close by.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ahh yes, I remember those days. I can relate to your first job in comparison to when I got married. My husband’s brothers’ wives were all into baby making and breast feeding. I was very young (22) and had no intention of baby making for a good ten years. Rock bands and big city parties were my interest. I had nothing in common with my new family and had no idea how to fit in. I had a group of girlfriends back then, so I did my own thing. Then I moved to Florida (age 25). Well, that changed my entire life. Couldn’t make a friend down there to save my soul, and it wasn’t for a lack of trying (joined clubs, groups, church, etc). I was very isolated in Florida for 27 years.

    Get released from isolation and move back home – connect with two friends who kept in touch – get to have time with family again – what happens? Back to isolation due to corona virus.

    In simpler words, I get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have routines that keep me anchored in a good way mentally. Without them I have tiny meltdowns. But I’m learning. I am definitely a homebody and an introvert but I enjoy laughing with close friends we have met here in our community and like a dinner out here and there. I don’t feel safe with dining out anymore so the new routine is to order something delicious, pick it up and eat it at home. I never thought when this virus hit that it would change the whole way we live our lives, change how business is conducted and even our health care is more challenging than ever before. Oh, and I am not the most flexible or patient person in the world. Thank heavens for a patient SSNS! And thanks also to friends I have met through blogging that I chat with and assure me that not I am not too far off center!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s very true that Covid has disrupted all of our routines. I agree that routines are less permanent than we think they are, but the disruption is definitely accelerated right now! Slightly off topic – which mall do you walk in that’s not doing well? (Nosy former resident wondering how things are going in the LV)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I agree that the adjustments we have had to make due to Covid have literally been life changing. And yes, age differences still matter but the gap is closing. At least more young folks are wearing tie up shoes. But most of my fave stores are going or gone even for online shopping. We just have to keep going and hoping for happy replacements when the virus is forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some of the changes were inevitable and the virus shortened the time line. The gym got booted by the building owner and the mall has been doing poorly for several years. I miss being able to do some shopping in person. Last week I had to exchange a pair of sneakers I bought on line. It was a brand I was familiar with for sizing yet it didn’t work!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m looking forward to the time…next year sometime maybe??…where we can do some volunteer work that involves being with other people. It has been a long time with very little community.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t live near a Starbucks and I survive. My keep fit class closed and I lost a walking group. However our local leisure centre had started an over 60 Lane swim and I am loving it. When one door closes another opens as my father used to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I think I started my training to not have routines when I was really little – being an Air Force family meant we were never anywhere longer than 2 years and we didn’t have a lot of time for routine-building. We’d get unpacked and learn our way around then move again. Anyway, this period of isolation we’re living in feels kind of comfy in a way for me perhaps because of that. I learned to find my “happy place” in reading or sitting in my rocker on the porch by myself or listening to music. David and I aren’t exactly hermits but we’re pretty darn close!

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    • You don’t need a lot of time to develop a comforting routine and I expect that you had them. Sounds like reading in any location was one of yours. We have done ok during the pandemic as we didn’t have a lot of “people” things that we did. Occasionally dinner with friends or a game night and we miss those but a real extrovert must be having it much harder. We also weren’t affected by job loss.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I agree that during this pandemic routines with people are not happening. It’s weird how little I talk with anyone anymore. I’m hardly a chatter box but I do like a casual ‘hey there’ once in a while. Not this year, we carry on by ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Maybe that’s why the Pandemic isn’t bothering me much ~> I can “go with the flow” almost 100% of the time without routines, schedules, people, and events dictating where I need to be & what I need to be doing.

    Of course, if I had a cat (or 4 cats) I wouldn’t be able to say that. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure you have your routines as we all do. You are unstructured and not people-centric so it’s easier for you than an extrovert and you are not struggling with job loss and all that goes with that. Having cats actually makes it easier to be home. They are much more entertaining than most people! 🙂 You should get one!

      Like

  19. I miss my routines, too. You’re right, they’re comforting, but you’re even more right that no routine is forever. I used to go to the gym almost daily, but then my son hit kindergarten and my workouts became the walk to and from school and I only hit the gym on the weekends. Now It’s just walking the dog(s).

    I have never had a non-morning dog. I think they’re rare.

    Liked by 1 person

Don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you're thinking!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s