Is it just me, or does time seem to be speeding up? March felt like it was about three years long. April wasn't much faster. But June feels like it started last week. Crazy! In any case, we now find ourselves on the last Tuesday of the month, also the last day of the month, so it's time to join Honoré and friends to look back on our word for the year and how it's been playing a role in the past month.
My word for 2020 is SAVOR. When I selected it, I had no idea that I'd be spending a large part of this year essentially trapped at home without the ability to do many of the things I associated with the word. I can't eat a meal out at a good restaurant. I can't go to the movies or the theater. I can't visit a museum. I can't spend an hour perusing the shelves of the library or a bookstore. But the beauty of the One Little Word practice is that there is always a way to find your word in your life, no matter the circumstances. So my world may have gotten smaller over the past three months, but there is still plenty to appreciate.
One thing I've really come to savor, much to my surprise, has been my daily exercise. As of yesterday, I have a streak of 43 days of hitting at least 10,000 steps, and I've tried to get out to either walk or run every day since we've been home. Take a look at the last three months versus the three months prior:
I know it's helpful that the weather has been amenable to getting outside, though I distinctly remember taking a walk in early April in a rain/snow mix! I'm still not quite to the point where I can say I truly enjoy running, but it has definitely gotten easier. I'm now covering about five miles per run in total and even managing to run four miles straight before I have to slow to a walk for a bit to catch my breath. On days when I walk, I typically cover about four miles over an hour or so. No matter what my activity, I've been listening to audiobooks and podcasts while I exercise, making my time working up a sweat also a period of entertainment for me. There are so many things to savor about these workouts -- sunshine, fresh air, feeling strong and healthy, learning new things. I suspect these daily outings are going to be part of my life for the foreseeable future.
Another thing I've been really savoring about working from home is how much extra crafting time I've been getting. My job tends to be very much feast or famine -- I'm either really busy or have nothing to do. When I was still working in the office, I had to appear busy during the lean times, which meant I could bum around on the computer but that was about it. I occasionally get a lot of reading done, but my knitting has always been relegated to lunch breaks. Not anymore -- I can knit, crochet, and spin to my heart's content now when I'm not busy. And that ability has meant not only that I'm getting more projects done but that my stress levels have decreased. I am much calmer about the state of the world because I am getting plenty of that meditative practice of stitching and treadling.
Finally, I'm getting a lot of joy from my garden, which is not nearly as impressive as some of yours, but I savor my time out there and my ability to get things to grow, especially because I do not seem to have a naturally green thumb. Our back garden is doing so-so, which is generally the case because it doesn't really get enough sun to grow as much as I'd like, but some things are doing well. Here is the vegetable patch, where I have one surviving tomato plant, peas (which seem to be the only thing doing really well), and just-planted cucumber and butternut squash seedlings. That huge green thing on the left? That's what happens when you plant the root of a head of celery. I did that last year and have just let it grow.
The flower side is doing well, as it gets more sun. The marigolds are going strong, as are the bits of Russian sage I transplanted from along the driveway in an effort to get more bees to the backyard. Those things with the chopstick supports? Those are our recently transplanted sunflower seedlings.
Finally, I have the herb corner next to the porch. The very tall green things are garlic; we had a few cloves that were sprouting last fall, so I stuck them in the ground just to see what would happen. We should have several bulbs to harvest at the end of the summer. The lower pot looks a bit scraggly because I've recently transplanted some of the herbs (the rosemary into the larger pot to join the two plants that have been there since last year and the oregano into the ground), but it still contains chives, basil, parsley, and sage.
Above all, what I've most been savoring this month has been the slower pace of life in general. There's been extra time to appreciate the sunshine, the warmer weather, the time spent with my family, the time to read good books and get extra sleep and cook good meals. I hope that when this pandemic is finally over, that's one thing that sticks around.