“… Oh, well, I haven’t since before Covid.”
“Well, with Covid, I haven’t …”
“… but not really since Covid.”
I don’t get out much. It’s true.
Sometimes I think my life hasn’t changed that much over the last two years, from a logistical point.
I would go to the movies. Go to restaurants. Swing by the mall to poke around Winners or Michael’s. Take the kids for ice cream or a round of bowling. Bring them to a park. Take painting classes or pottery classes or rug-hooking classes. Meet a friend for coffee/tea. Run into a shop downtown. Pop into the library to pick up books, or to stay for hours to write in my favourite “quiet room” where even breathing is too loud.
I have to really think hard, in this moment, trying to remember what I would do. My mind is running through the streets here in town, trying to picture myself going places that aren’t just dropping our daughter at the dance studio. It’s like trying to remember a hazy dream.
I certainly went to the fabric store a LOT (too much, some husbands might argue), and now I think I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve been there in the last two years. Sometimes I think of going, but I just … don’t. There are times when I think of suggesting a dinner-and-a-movie date with a friend, and I just … don’t.
Staying home always is what’s normal now, and it’s like settling into a warm bath. The idea of getting out, into the cold air, is not so appealing.
I know what I should do. (This mental health game is nothing new to me.) I know I should set a goal of going to X number of places per week, but the thought just … doesn’t appeal to me. Why would I go out, when I can stay home? It’s nice here. I have plenty of things I enjoy doing here. There are no strangers here, and definitely no crowds.
But … I already know what people will say. “Get out there!” “Do things!” “Force yourself!”
Home is nice. Home is where my stuff lives, and where my computers are, and where there’s always a hot cup of tea available, and where there are three bathrooms that are not open to the public. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the feeling of being at home.
But there are good things out there, too.
And I’ll get to them.