“Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you.”

Will we begin to repeat the same Trivial Pursuit questions during our social distancing Zoom game nights as we continue to social distance? This thought struck me last night as I was pulling questions from the different decks of our Trivial Pursuit editions. Even though we are virtually employing and rotating four different editions of Trivial Pursuit (Baby Boomer Edition being my favorite), does the possibility exist that we will be recycling questions? At this point, at this stage in our lives we may not remember what we previously asked and answered anyway so I guess ultimately it doesn’t matter as long as we have fun. Fun we have. Simple pleasure of shared laughter is key. 

I ordered groceries yesterday with a scheduled pick-up for today. Incredibly, curbside pick-up has become a well-oiled machine at my local Farmer’s Market. I pulled up to the front entrance, tied my mask, opened the rear gate, lowered my windows while a soft yet cool breeze passed through the car. Not quite summer in Vermont but the direction has been cast.  Harry Nilsson sang “Everybody’s Talkin” while I waited for just a brief number of minutes before someone arrived at the passenger side window asking me for the order name.  I had the opportunity to see into the store through open front doors on this beautiful day. I have walked through those very doors countless times but now it is not possible. I imagined the vibrant produce section, the sound of milk steaming at the coffee bar with the early morning smell of almond croissants wafting through the air. Todays’ view, my bird’s eye view into the market looked quite different. The lighting was much dimmer, the prepared food counter appeared empty and the “order sandwiches here” sign hung undisturbed, unaffected and currently meaningless. Normally the line for ordering sandwiches would start early and extend into the afternoon but not today and not for however long it will be.  I may not have had my usual shopping experience, but it still was a very good one. I am grateful to have access to my favorite market and that they have worked tirelessly to ensure that we can continue to benefit from this gem of a local business. I may not get to have a conversation with the cashier I have come to enjoy chatting with, but I did have an equally delightful chat curbside. The experience is different right now, but it is ok. We are trying to be ok… 

How much do we control?  How much can we control?  Recent weeks and months have been a great teacher and reminder of how little we can control. Maybe relaxing into a different mindset will prove beneficial in ways we have yet to imagine.

 Running has often been my litmus test for my mental and physical health. As anyone who has run for a long time or trained for an event understands: 

         “Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you.

as former major leaguer Preacher Roe once stated.  This week I have felt like I have had some control over my running effort, same for my home but not my work quite yet. Spring cleaning has been renewing. Purging has been therapeutic. I have been managing my effort and not the reverse. Miserable efforts can bring you to your knees wondering why you venture out the door each morning at dawn? The mental aspect of running just like in life can break you or push you to new appreciable levels. The brain game.

I started to think about how to best cope with social distancing and this pandemic while battling the want to control what is happening right now. I will easily admit that I mourn the simple pleasures I once knew. Jumping into my car and visiting my adult children in other states, freely walking through my favorite stores, stopping to have coffee with a friend etc. but I am trying very hard to not let it manage me. 

Less news, more music and the great outdoors…

Finding a rhythm… musical or otherwise

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.

2 thoughts

  1. As a former die hard daily runner, I can relate to the brain game you’re grappling with. The one constant was that the best runs come when least expected.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective on our daily pursuit of living sensibly.


Leave a Reply