Schatze and husband Peter Thorp out on a walk
By Schatze Thorp, with the enormous help of her daughter Victoria Thorp
Jun. 3, 2020: As the days grow warmer and the restrictions begin to lift from the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, I'm starting to look back on the months I spent in quarantine and wondering: What did I do with all that time? No bridge, no grandchildren, no social activities.
Since we are all in the same boat, I decided to survey my fellow Bronxville senior citizens to ask what their days were like under quarantine.
I found that my friends took on the quarantine with a sense of vigor and purpose that I find inspiring.
So, given that we are a long way from unrestricted, I thought I'd pass on the tips I learned to make the most of our time at home.
1. Move every day: Just because your routine is disrupted, that doesn't mean you can't exercise. A good friend swears by gyrokenesis (disclaimer: I don't know what this is), while others are on their treadmills or using Zoom to do yoga, tai chi, or workout with personal trainers. Others are focused on walking, tracking their 10,000 steps a day, or enjoying a chance to peer into their neighbors' windows as they stroll around the neighborhood.
2. Make dinner: For some of us empty nesters, dinner before the quarantine may have devolved into something frozen, popped into the microwave, and eaten in front of the TV. However, I am hearing from friends that prepping dinner has become a highlight of the day and reconnecting them to the pleasure of home cooking.
3. Visit virtually: Thanks to Zoom, many of us are connecting with children and grandchildren regularly, a treat for those of us with family far away. Now that we've mastered the technology, we're also taking time to catch up with old friends from college and delight in seeing familiar faces.
4. Get the chores done: Unfortunately, those bathrooms aren't going to clean themselves, so we're accepting reality and getting it done. The same goes for organizing closets and throwing out old stuff, which can yield unexpected rewards when we stumble on items that bring us back to cherished memories.
5. Remember to laugh: From playing cards to watching grandbabies splash in the bath, chuckling over old movies, or re-watching Downton Abby, we're finding moments of joy and many reasons to be grateful. If doing puzzles strengthens your brain, one of my friends, who has finished three 1000 piece puzzles, declared that she is now "a flaming genius." I say she's right!
Photo courtesy S. Thorp