May 082020

How’s quarantine treating you? Bored yet? Not bored? Learning something new? Mastering Netflix and chill? Hey, these are all ways to deal with things as they are now. Actually, anything you can do to stay sane during this trying time is a good thing. Me? I play silly little phone games. Well, let me back up a bit to explain that one.

When my gamer son was in high school and his friends would come over, they tried to make small talk with me. One day, one of said friends asked me if played computer games. I proudly held my head up and told him about the three or four games I play on my phone. Had he been able to pat me on the head, he would have. He grinned and said, “Oh, you play silly little phone games.” He was basically correct, but let me tell you three life lessons I’ve learned from those silly little phone games.

Some Levels Are More Challenging Than Others

You know how you have some bad days and some good days? That’s life, as in some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you. Same for silly little phone games. Just keep playing. If you streak through 15 levels, pat yourself on the back, but if you’re on the same level after a month. . .pat yourself on the back. Keep at it. You’ll move up.

Use Your Helpers

We’re not designed to go through this life alone. I know right now it seems that many of us are forced into that, but it’s not the natural way of things. Same thing with games. They give you those boosters or helpers for a reason. You can win them, buy them, however you want, AS LONG AS YOU USE THEM! When I first started playing I would never use anything. It had to be ALL ME. What an idiot I was! One day I needed to clear one row to win this level I’d been on for weeks. I looked down and there were the tools to do it! So I hit one and BOOM. Done. After that? I rarely have anything in my tray. They get used up as soon as they appear. It makes the game much more fun. Life will be fun again, too, with all our helpers and friends.

Don’t Give Up

Keep playing long enough and you’re going to win your level. Don’t give up. Just keep going, especially if you love it. John Lennon famously or infamously said. . .

He was right. Silly little phone games can take a while. So can life. But guess what? It’s worth it. And even though it may not seem that way right now, hang in there. Friday’s coming.

May 052020

Before Plague

Guess who’s back? And I’m even older and more busted than ever. LOL How’s quarantine treating you? Scary stuff, huh? Speaking of scary, have you met the real you yet? I mean, of course, uncut hair, undone nails, no facials and whatever other treats you do for yourself on a daily basis. There is nothing wrong with this, nothing AT ALL, but. . . a lot of us have had to face the mirror and see a stranger. Actually, a lot of us is ME. I’m “a lot of us.” Looking at your quarantine self is one thing. Loving your quarantine self is another thing entirely.

First Look

The first time I looked at the flat gray hair, the wrinkles (oh, the wrinkles!!!), the droopy eyes and the rest of it, well, I ran for the makeup drawer and threw on a metric ton. That was okay for a while. But one day it was, like, “Why bother? You’re not going anywhere. Your husband, daughter and grandson (fellow quarantiners in this house) have seen you in worse shape. Just be you. You’re old. Get used to it.” Easy to say. Not so easy to do.

The Yucky Mirror

The first few days. . . I’m lying. . . weeks were tough. Who was that old lady looking back at me in that mirror? I mean, yeah, my hair has started to gray but this old broad was doggone near totally gray with wrinkles all over the place, discolored skin and. . . hey, did you get the number of that crow that stomped all over my eyes? Being perfectly serious for a moment, I was really shocked. Was I that good at using makeup to hide all this stuff? Did Mother Nature hate me all THAT much? Apparently, the answer to both those questions was yes.

Plague Me

The Selfies From Hell

After I got used to looking in the mirror and when I could stop crying, I started taking a few selfies here and there. Think you look bad in that dastardly mirror? Wait until you see what your damn phone does to you!!! At first, I erased them all. I wasn’t having it. There was no way on this earth that I could look THAT bad. Or could I?

Acceptance Comes Slowly

As the days dragged on by and the selfies piled up, albeit slowly, I started getting used to what I saw in the mirror AND in the camera. I didn’t like it. Was I going to go back to the old me and just keep using the makeup for no good reason except to delude myself? I wasn’t sure. I put some on here and there. And then it went to just a lot of moisturizer. And then it went to. . . me. The real me. The me that is now. The 67-year-old me with wrinkles and crepey eyes, turkey neck and a myriad of other unflattering accouterments. And then it didn’t hurt so bad. And then it didn’t hurt at all. And then? Well, hell, it’s me. I earned every single one of those wrinkles. I earned every one of those damn gray hairs. I earned every sagging part of me. And you know what? It’s just. . . me.

And Now?

Well, I’m back to learning to love myself, which is where I was when this plague took over the world. Would I like it better if I looked like I thought I did with the war paint on my face? Yeah, I would, but guess what? That’s not really me. Me is the old lady looking back at me with all the imperfections, yeah, the ones I’ve earned over a long and pretty decent life.

The Future

And when all of this is a memory, will I start with the makeup again? Will I try to alter the me I’ve become and learned to love? I want to say, “Hey, this is me and this is what you’re getting from this point forward.” I want to say that. If I do, will I mean it? I’m honestly not sure. I mean, yeah, I always want to look my best, but if this IS my best, well, I guess I’ll have to accept that. But if part of loving your quarantine self also includes a little powder and lipstick, count me in!

The Crow

The Beautiful Crow That Stepped On My Eyes