I’ve been tracking each day of this quarantine with a list of to-do’s in my master notebook. It’s my way of maintaining sanity, some sense of normalcy and, dare I say, accomplishment.

Yet, today when I went to record the tasks at hand, I saw that I had blanked on writing down anything yesterday. Notice the number 32 niftily converted into a 33 with the stroke of a pen. The date should read April 17, but I am feeling too lazy to make the correction and re-photograph the page. Recognize that sentiment?

I realized in that moment of altering the date that this would be a worthy topic. I’m curious to know how YOU are tracking your days? What gives them shape and meaning, if any?

Since acquiring food from my favorite stores–Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods–has been a challenge due to distance and intense competition for delivery slots, I decided to make today about getting to Whole Foods for their 7-8am Senior Moment. A lovely dose of joy occurred in my building lobby where I mentioned my outing to my socially-distanced upstairs neighbor. “I didn’t realize you were in that category,” he said. The exposed part of my face beamed.

It’s a 40-minute bus ride each way. I wore my mask and rubber gloves and sat in the first single seat facing the front of the bus where there are no passengers. At the entrance to Whole Foods there was a guard checking ID. I was being carded!! I loved it!

Although there were signs around the store that there was 2-hour free delivery, available, when I got to the checkout, the cashier disagreed. Fortunately, I had brought along my own bags and cart and filled them up wondering how I might get my now 40-pound conveyance onto the M100 back home. Turned out the sidewalk across from WF offered a reasonable distance from the stair to the bus. When I arrived in my neighborhood and had the same concern – debarking – a kind gentleman helped me lift my cart to street level where I easily managed the three block walk home.

As you can see on my list there was also the intention to clean my fridge. I dutifully watched a youtube video on how to proceed, then decided against the effort. How it is is good enough. The middle of my list was making a meal for the health care workers at Montefiore Hospital. I contributed one last Friday and hope to do the same every Friday for the duration. A neighbor on Fort Washington Avenue created a google spreadsheet for us to fill in, collects the donations, and has volunteer drivers bring the meals to the Bronx hospital a few miles north.

A local restaurant recently created a way to distribute their resources to nearby residents which I signed up for. This Sunday, I’ll bring my cart, Tupperware containers and baggies to their location and have 15 minutes, solo, to select from their display of cheeses, wines, fresh produce and other products that they would normally cook up for diners. I get to stock up on high quality goods and they get to stay in business. They figured that if 200 people spent $50 each week, they could afford to keep their doors open. When I got the message about this week’s delivery, I was told (and saw on the spreadsheet) that nearly all their slots had been reserved. These small victories are what is nourishing my optimism for our future.

These are the niceties of this pandemic. The gentle changes and accommodations to this crisis are the “small good things” (mentioned in an earlier blog post) that have carried me through from Day 1 to today, Day 33. I have food in my fridge – enough to contribute some to others – my health, and a sense of connection. What are your mainstays?

Success has taken on a different guise these days. Getting through the pandemic with a spirit intact could be one of the greatest accomplishments of this lifetime.

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