Armageddon? Hell no, Imagedd’in – I’ma gett’in buzzed by myself.

Life will go on. We will return to normal. If/when I get this virus, statistically speaking, I should be OK. I’m not quite 50 yet, generally healthy and have no major underlying conditions beyond my gut and a bout of anxiety/depression (not feeling so alone on that count anymore…). Chris and I were late to the stay at home preparations, but with the abundance of options afforded to us, we are stocked, ready and ready to roll- into bed or the couch and watch movies, video chat and cook like crazy.

I had a wonderful group video chat with my family today. It was sweet to connect, but not many of the other folks had much to say- oh, OK, I (and others) may not have had much space to SAY anything (thanks to me). I’m a talker. Recently I said to Chris, “Well, if we keep spending this much time together, I’ll run out of things to say or talk about.” He burst out loudly in laughter.

We have a good sized outside patio, large windows and access to social distance and space to play outdoors alone. It’s alone time that Chris and I are rediscovering and now we are exploring ways of being alone, together.

Chris is wired to be more of an introvert, though he can thrive and survive in quiet and finds joy in the thoughts and dreams in his head. Somehow they can stay there and not run right out of his mouth. He shares them with precision, delicacy and sometimes sparingly. Me? I am wired to live on my sleeve, to think a thought and share always and to get recharged in community. For me, it’s cultural- I’m from a big family talkers. My thoughts are shared like a firing range of shotguns filled with rocksalt. My thought make interesting patterns, so I think. I am an extrovert.

We are a week into sheltering in place alone. We started early because I took a crowded flight through a crowded airport from a crowded ski resort with known transmissions of the coronavirus. So far as we know, we are fine. We are consuming our news and amazon deliveries and are nesting like the rest, acknowledging that we have access to resources that others do not. We are sharing. So what I am sharing next is what a conversations looks like between me and Chris about sheltering in place together and allowing for some alone time, together.

I’m learning from the cats – they can be close and they can be quiet. They are together, but giving space.

Friday, March 20th – both of us with one cocktail in and sitting on the couch, both reading and rereading the latest updates in our ipads

Me: Huh… that’s interesting.

Chris: …. (nothing) {just a look up and glace from whatever it is that he’s reading}

Me: Honey, this NPR piece is interesting.

Chris: … (another glance)…. nothing

Me: It’s about sheltering in place and the things families and couples need to be aware of over time.

Chris: …. (pause)…. “Uh huh.” … { pausing, then sorta going back to whatever it was he was reading…}

Me: It says some families have a hard time spending so much time together, that sheltering in place can be both mentally and physically stressful, crowded and very challenging- from issues as simple as what to watch on TV and the division of household chores to bigger issues about relationship challenges, tensions, use of space and even personal safety. We are so lucky we enjoy being alone together and that we make good use of our time, that we like many of the same things.

Chris: … { pausing reading, looking up from whatever it was he was doing } …
“Yes, dear, that is a good thing.”

Me, interrupting him: The author also makes an interesting point. { pause } { longer pause } – She says that in the coming weeks it is also going to be important for families to work on how to be together AND be alone. To allow the overlap in living to give everyone access to their own unique ways of being alone, to explore being together and alone and alone together equally on everyone’s terms, based on everyone’s need… and that this takes practice. It’s a great point and we’re good at that. We’ve practiced that. I think we have that skill covered. We enjoy our time together. Don’t you think we are good at that??”

Chris: … { with a slight sigh as he slides his iPad and whatever he was reading aside }

Yes, we’ve got that covered, but let’s practice. Like right now…

{ and goes back to whatever it was he was reading. }

Enjoy your time alone, and together. Most of all, find time to be alone together.

XOX – Uncle Randy

Published by randymarcotte

Dreamer, entrepreneur, husband, marathoner (in the penguin league), uncle, friend. Enjoying today while always trying to brighten tomorrow.

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