The Virus Diary: What Makes Me Happy


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When I got up this morning things were going good. Since that time, things have taken a little twist, but for the purpose of this blog I’m NOT going to focus on that. I’m going to focus on what made me happy this morning.

First of all, I woke up refreshed. Sunday night/Monday morning I only got 3 hours of sleep. Don’t know why. It wasn’t like anything unusual was weighing on my mind. (I’m taking the “new” usual…I get that this is a stressful time, but there wasn’t anything that was really nagging at my brain.) I went to sleep Sunday night around 10:30 (which is LATE for me) and woke up at 1:30 Monday morning. I tried to get back to sleep. I got up. I did some things. I went back to bed. I tossed for a while. I got up. I did a few more things. I went back to bed. By 4 in the morning, I completely gave up. Somehow I made it through Monday without being too exhausted. I went to bed early (climbed in just after 8) and with a little help (yes, I took a 1/4 Benadryl), I slept. So when I woke up at 4:15, I was a little tired, but feeling good. I was feeling happy.

I checked my email on my phone and saw that the order that I placed on on Sunday had already shipped and would be on my doorstep by 9 p.m. tonight. That makes me VERY happy. Just the idea of a package arriving on my doorstep makes me smile. Yes, these days I get excited by deliveries. It’s not like there’s anything that special in the order, but I am extremely happy with the thought of: a double box of Cheerios, 4 pack of Old Spice deodorant (can you tell I have a teen boy?), a 2 pack of fresh mind Listerine, a variety pack of sandwich crackers (which will go to the Sunday Supper program, a container of everything bagel blend seasoning (which I have heard about and wanted to try for a while, but never saw any) AND a container of Utz Pub Mix (otherwise known as “Bfth’s Crack” because I am seriously addicted to it) arriving on my doorstep today. It will be in really big box. I will probably take a photo of it. It makes me that happy.

Going for a walk this morning made me happy. I didn’t have to wear a coat. That really made me happy. Just sweats and sneakers and I was good to go. It was also getting light outside around 5 (give or take) and that really makes me happy. I am walking slower than I have in the past (I used to be able to push for 16-minute mile; today I am lucky if I can get to an even 18), but I am still walking. I went back to Verona Park. I had a mask in my sweatshirt pocket. I made sure to put it on before I entered the park. Because not only are there signs saying that social distance and facial coverings are required in the park at the entrances, there are signs throughout the park that show this. (So even if there was the possibility that you couldn’t read words on the sign, the intent was very clear.) The first person I saw in the park was wearing a mask. That made me very happy. What didn’t make me happy were seeing the same two people that I saw last week still not wearing masks. I realize that when I was walking there were less than a dozen people in the park (I only saw four, not including myself), but requirements are requirements. If you care enough about YOUR health go walk, jog or whatever and you WANT to do so in the park, you NEED to wear a facial covering. If you don’t want to wear a facial covering, then walk, jog or whatever elsewhere. I’ll admit that wearing a mask is not my idea of fun, but when I want to go into the park (and it was lovely this morning), I follow the requirement and I wear a mask.

What also made me happy this morning was seeing all the lawn signs that support our local first responders. They’ve been appearing on lawns for weeks. I notice them every day. However, for some reason they really stood out to me today. It makes me feel good to know that so many in my community are supporting those out there on the front lines. It’s not just about the signs; it’s know that purchasing the signs actually helped pay for meals for health care workers and that those meals came from local restaurants (which also enables them to stay in business.) I look at the sign on my lawn every night when we go out to clap/make some noise for our front line workers. The sound echoes throughout the town and that really makes me happy. Seeing neighbors come out night after night; even when we can’t be close, gives me a sense of serenity. How often in the past have I “seen” neighbors without really seeing them or even saying hello? Now when I see someone step outside I make sure to shout a greeting and/or wave hello. (Something I’ve also been doing on my daily walks. The best is waving to the sanitation truck staff. The drivers will honk and wave. The ones on the back of the truck will always shout out a hello. In my opinion, they are another group of unsung heroes; doing work that no one else wants to do, but is vital. The next time you see a garbage truck, smile and wave!)

But perhaps what made me the happiest before I got home and faced the challenges of the day (some of which have definitely made me less happy) was seeing the latest incarnation of Alex Cook’s art as I headed home. This link tells the story behind the mural, which changes weekly. I’ve loved seeing Mr. Cook work and try to pass by his house on Monday when he recreates his message. I wasn’t able to get out yesterday and when I saw this week’s, simply put, it filled my heart. It is definitely my favorite thus far. (It also seemed to get the approval of another early morning admirer…which you may be able to see in one of the photos.)

I have to admit that once I got home and officially started my work day, my happiness quotient diminished. But taking the time to write this brought it back up. Happiness begets happy. So stay safe, be well and BE happy!

Beth Shorten is a life-long resident of Verona. For more than six years, she has been chronicling life here on her personal site, Bfth’s Boring Blog

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Beth Shorten
Beth Shorten
Beth Shorten is a life-long resident of Verona from a long line of life-long Verona residents. She chronicles life here on her personal site, Bfth’s Boring Blog. 


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