COVID Strategy: Shizzazz
That number signifies that we have been marking our days since March 13. That was when we came home to work remotely. That was when the Division II Basketball Tournament in San Diego, featuring our beloved Chico State Wildcats, was canceled
We have children in Chicago, New York and France, and they had already starting living the new normal, but for those of us in California, March 13 was Day 1.
When our Chico son finally made his way home on Saturday, we settled in to four of us zooming away from various corners of the house. Some of us are more change averse than others, but it is not an exaggeration to say that it was not a great week for any of us. By Saturday, our oldest and youngest kids, fellow COVID Pod Dwellers that they had become, took matters into their own hands. They planned the weekend down to the last detail. A picnic to the mountains to enjoy the snow in solitude, watching Hawaii 5-0, playing speed scrabble, to name a few.
But the real inspiration hit on Sunday's schedule: Shizzazz Time. For March 22nd that meant an elegant homecooked meal and dressing up for dinner. But since that time we have continued the Shizzazz tradition as a COVID coping mechanism that has improved many a cranky, claustrophobic day.
We have watched Hamilton. We have sipped chilled rose on the deck as the sun set. We have talked about all sorts of things. We have sat quietly. And it has been lovely.
We all adore each other, but let's be honest here. Our house is small. We have been living separately for the last few years, with the parents having rather seamlessly adjusted to empty nesting. And suddenly we are adults living together, but also parents and offspring living together. And it was not what any of us expected or wanted.
So, THANK GOD (truly, literally) for the inspiration that is Shizzazz time. It's a great message: STOP what you are doing or thinking or feeling, and take some time to celebrate, to settle down, to become a nice person again.
So when the COVID togetherness hangover hits, schedule some Shizzazz time. Make a great meal (and if you need some inspiration, I recommend subscribing to the New York Times Cooking emails. Great ideas and some really lovely writing), pour a glass of your favorite beverage (we love New Clairvaux wines), and gather your pod dwellers around the table.
I would also say that watching the sun set and being able to see the stars appear does a whole lot to bring perspective. If it was a rough day, seeing the sunset can, frankly, be a relief. But the stars? They remind us that there is a whole lot going on that we can't always see. They can make us feel small, in the best possible way. And maybe, just maybe, that perspective can make us brave enough, determined enough, to love others, share space, and wait this thing out.
Here's to a lifetime of Shizzazz, even when we can finally look at COVID in the rear-view mirror.