Playing dress-up apparently does not have a shelf life nor an age limit.

Wearing leggings as pants is wrong and I don’t need Anna Wintour to tell me what I aesthetically already know. I am very aware of the error in my decision-making process this gray and rainy Monday morning. I am equally aware that only a small fraction of a very small percentage of our population should actually sport this style if anyone. A bold move on my part driven by comfort and knowing that I will not be leaving my home today. Again. If no one actually witnesses my misguided fashion statement did it actually happen?  I have accessorized my stay at home outfit with my signature long strand of pearls. Redemption or condemnation? What are the rules? Are there rules?  Playing dress-up apparently does not have a shelf life nor an age limit.

Seeing a familiar face from afar felt as unfamiliar as our first introduction while out doing a required errand the other day. We are all looking a bit different right now which may be attributed to many external and internal factors. Increased financial stress, mental fatigue and social distancing just to name a few contributors. Hair roots that were once secret have boldly made their presence known. Countless COVID beards are making their Zoom debuts. The physical manifestations many of us are experiencing may be obvious, but the psychological trauma exhibits itself in a coy fashion at 2am.  

Daily running and walking are essential in surviving a secluded life.  Walks have extended in miles much like the day light hours causing even my 13-year-old dog’s joints to complain. Plenty of time out in nature to notice, observe and listen to the sights and sounds that make up my remote neighborhood. Yet there is nothing casual about this time and the anxious feeling seems to plague me like the unrelenting headwind that persists even though it is nearly May. The barn across the street suffering from disrepair leans just a bit more each day on the nearby farmhouse for support. We are all needing to lean on someone or something right now. I enjoy hearing the rumble of a tractor being employed as I walk by the farm next door on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Comforting in its normalcy as it attends to the business of farming. A cow mooing in the distance sounding her personal alarm. Sometimes the only sound is the river aggressively flowing as it navigates its way through the Vermont landscape. 

Daily we are making decisions for our personal and emotional survival.  A cup of tea in a special red mug gifted from my sister becomes celebratory as I read a novel in my sunroom. An early morning text from my brother reminds me of our connection even though we are miles apart. The unpredictability in our world right now is quite ironically predictable. There is delight in the simple pleasures in life and I am embracing them. The want to do for family, friends and community increases exponentially during this extraordinary crisis. Extending genuine kindnesses wherever and whenever we can is seemingly more important than ever or is it?

Hoping we carry our thoughts of our shared humanity forward when the immediacy of this pandemic passes…

Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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