If These Walls Could Talk Sue talks isolation, cleaning, baking and staying on schedule

June 2020

It seems like so long ago I wrote my last article from the comfort of my car on our return trip from Florida. Like a premonition, my little rant about digital meetings turned out to be even more applicable now than it was then.

Like all of you, social distancing has meant I have been at home a lot more than I am used to. At first, the solitary confinement gave me time to accomplish the things I would normally have little time to do. You know like deep cleaning. I was so into it the first month, I even resorted to disinfecting, scrubbing and organizing the dreaded under the sink cupboards. You know, where the garbage lives. Yup, equipped with rubber gloves, mask and the latest in high power cleaner, I went where we are all afraid to go. Another dimension if you will where things that used to have labels, covers and warnings are now just a blur. Interestingly I found the silver cleaner I had been looking for. All three cans.

I really tried to get myself into a schedule by getting up at the same time each day; enjoying my morning catching up on the news while drinking my coffee. This is followed by breakfast, riding my bike and then shower. That has taken all of two hours with the rest of the day wide open for something, anything, else.

Also like so many, I have continued my infatuation with baking. I may have spoken about the numerous shows I have watched where I became ever more knowledgeable about the manner in which, and the correct terms to use, when venturing into the world beyond chocolate chip cookies. So yes I have baked muffins for breakfast, cake for dessert, buns for dinner and peanut butter salted caramel cookies just for fun. And I ate them all. So baking has taken a back seat to save my back seat so to speak.

I have also cleaned the closets and now I have at least 7 bags ready to go to a donation centre. I was ruthless. Those things that didn’t go last time around but have never seen the light of day in the past year, were dropped into the bag. Sometimes I had to cover my eyes as I did so. I even cleaned the linen closet and finally gave up the twin sheets that have been there for about 20 years. The bunk beds were given up around then.

Yes, the accomplishments have been many. However, the disappointments are in equal measure. I have been doing my own manicures (there are no nails left-sorry Rhani) and pedicures (when I can bend down to do it). This is made even more challenging as I am convinced that by wearing my jeans, that have become exceedingly uncomfortable, I will curb my binge eating. Guess how that is working for me. My hair is also a disaster with the grey making a full assault as the locks are growing longer and longer. Joe has promised me a premier appointment once he is allowed to do so (hopefully by the time you read this). And finally, I am not certain why I put on lipstick when it just ends up on my mask.

Many of you may imagine that as a writer, I have been spending my time in cerebral contemplation, penning the next great novel and drafting strategic planning documents for clients and colleagues. Uh, not much. Instead I am getting back to the basics, as a reminder that, in these days at least, I am the cook, cleaner and all round do anything that needs, and really doesn’t need, to be done.

I dream of the future when things may get back to, as they say, the new normal. When, by looking at the four walls, I don’t dream up projects that need to be accomplished. I have moved to Stage II in my isolation. I now look at these projects with the awareness that I should really make an effort. Interestingly, I have selected reading instead.

Stay healthy everyone!

Sue Prodaniuk is a marketing, advertising and communications consultant. She can be reached at sprodaniuk@shaw.ca.

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