The Hermit’s Life

During the long week between Christmas and New Year’s, I found myself struggling against some manner of illness (not The Virus, it seems, thank goodness).  I ran a low-grade fever for a couple of days, then suffered with a sore throat and some fatigue for a few days afterwards.  Fortunately, with the week off, I was able to hole up in Port Manor in Lamar, and regular reader and neighbor Bernard Fife brought me some homemade Christmas treats (and an at-home COVID-19 test, which came back negative).

I typically spend the holidays with my parents, or at least surrounded by family.  That was the case leading up to Christmas, but my mystery malady thwarted my plans to return to my childhood home.  Instead, from Tuesday (when the symptoms started coming on) through Sunday, I largely stayed home, with some occasional outings for groceries and the like as my condition began to improve (and once I realized I’d avoided the scourge of The Virus).

Needless to say, that is a lot of time at home.  I am very much a homebody, and like being there, but the demands of work, lessons, family, friends, and all the other social and professional obligations I get myself into mean I rarely get days alone at home.

Be careful what you wish for:  I had six days at home thanks to illness.  Had it not been for being sick, though, it would have been glorious.  Even so, it was pretty great.

I will hasten to add the following:  it did get boring at times.  Even I have my limits of how much downtime and loafing I can endure.  I ate way more than I should have, both as a result of an expanded gut from holiday cheer, but also as a way to pass the time.  That’s never good.

That said, I tried to use the time productively when health allowed.  I managed to do a great deal of writing.  I reached out to friends I had not spoken to for some time.  I actually got to read—gasp!—some parts of the books I got for Christmas.

I also built two incredible LEGO sets that my girlfriend’s parents got me, and which I will write about in more detail at another time:

I did not get as much done as I would have liked, though.  I’d meant to get a head start on lesson plans and such for work.  Well, those things never quite go off as planned, do they?  I hoped to do a bit more writing for non-blog-related stuff, but I put that off.

However, I was able to catch up on some handwritten correspondence.  The house, while still needing some dusting, is probably cleaner than it has been in awhile.  My laundry is not just done—which I enjoy doing—but folded and organized.

What I missed more than anything was social interaction.  Sure, I talked to plenty of folks via text (my sore throat was severe enough that phone calls were unpleasant) and such, but it’s not the same as face-to-face human interaction.  I’ve never been one to go overboard for New Year’s Eve, but being alone (other than with Murph) was a bit of a drag.  Granted, I was in bed by ten, but still.

Otherwise, it was pretty awesome.  I’m somewhat excited to be back teaching today, but it’s going to be a major adjustment after the last week.  I enjoy puttering around the house—I’m a putterer—and taking care of tasks at a leisurely, thoughtful pace.  The breakneck speed of the school day is going to be a real shock to the system, but I imagine I’ll be back into the swing of things in the next few days.

And last week will be but a distant, blissful memory.

—TPP

9 thoughts on “The Hermit’s Life

  1. Although I don’t want to talk about The Virus as I am heartily sick of even the thought of writing the word Covid, the past almost two years has been a chastening experience for millions of us. During the times when many businesses were unable to operate or had to drsatically change how they organised themselves in order to stay viable I was forced into two long periods of enforced home time because I could not go to my very part time job at a local auction house. Yes, it was a pain in the proverbial in many ways but rather than just sit around whining about the government etc – although I did do quite a lot of that – I also took the opportunity to read even more books than usual, to watch foreign language films on YouTube – mostly Japanese – to listen to new music and to explore hitherto unknown to me composers, singers, compositions. I had, and continue to have, a great time with all of the above and feel that the time spent at home in the time of The Virus was not wasted, indeed the opposite. Also fortunately for me a writer/documentary maker and most excellent friend lives just a few doors away and we saw and continue to see each other, if not every day, several times a week to talk about the things that interest us both, literature being a big part of that. He watched Civilisation the magnificent series by the art historian Kenneth Clark first broadcast in 1970. I watched it when first broadcast with my father and have since re-visited several episodes – again all available on YT and I cannot recommend it too highly. So, yes, the period of The Virus has been distressing in many ways but it has not been all doom and gloom. Time on one’s own can be a daunting prospect for many people but depending on how you approach it, it has its own rewards. I am sorry you were unwell over your holiday Tyler and pleased you feel better now. At least you have a short week to start back to school with. The Lego models are very impressive. Lego is very collectible and fetches high prices at auction, so keep the boxes it all came in and try not to lose any of the pieces so you can cash in on it in your dotage.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your thoughts, Alys. Yes, during those months when we had to work from home during the very early days of The Age of The Virus, I LOVED it. I have soured on remote learning a bit since then, but the lifestyle was wonderful. I think I squandered some of the downtime, but it also gave me an opportunity to slow down at a moment when I very much needed it.

      I will check out the _Civisilation_ series. That sounds right up my alley.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just liked this post for the masterful illustration of snow-capped mountains. BTW I just took a trip to East Tennessee during Winter Storm Frida to shoot a true-crime show! #nearfamous

    Liked by 1 person

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