Paper Clips: May 2021


by Elaine Corrington

May 2021

As I sit down to write this month’s column– staring out the window and contemplating a topic– I discover something awful that just about sums up all of the anticipated possibilities of Winter and early Spring. Of course, the pandemic has had its hideous and terrifying effect on the minds of all of us and the health of many, and if we are smart we have not engaged in those bad weather activities that we have learned to love or invented for the bad weather season. We need to wear masks and maintain distance.
Some of those winter activities happened inside our house, others worked in a few indoor eateries, visiting friends, games, walking down the street to local businesses to purchase sweet treats that we certainly should not be eating, winter sports, making snow monsters, and gluing our hair into new shapes with unfortunate results. But THIS year, I was fully anticipating adding more of the early Spring activities I usually save for the warmer days of May in April! Winter days were over, I told myself– until I looked outside my window, and there were snowflakes.
Aurrrrgh. Shoot. And worse. What kind of seasonal arrogance is April pulling on us?
Well, May is coming. Certainly, we will have the possibilities to get started on some of the activities that can get us outside enjoying ourselves without all of that trapped and socially isolated non-interaction. If we are walking on the Rail Trail, or on Main Street, even though the masks and social distancing are still necessary, we have the joy of getting out, and even waving and calling out to people we only know from seeing in local places and have never really met. And even though we can’t be sure of who they are with 50% of their face covered.
Hmmm. Maybe we should all try wearing T-shirts with our pre-mask faces on them. (I wonder if anyone would notice that the one I would wear actually was the face of Marilyn Monroe…).
The month of May MUST offer us true Spring weather. It is imperative for pandemic mental health!
Along with this gift from May, we might also be encouraged to turn around those indoor enclosed bad behaviors that indicated poor choices when our regular level of happiness could not be maintained through these usual Hurleyville Winter months. If we don’t slide painfully down on ice, we can get some exercise that makes us feel and look healthier, and if we look and feel healthier, we are rewarded by greater internal strength to eat a healthy diet. If we can get to it, we can pick up litter on those places we love to be, and we can get friends to socially distance but share these activities!
We can wear clothes that we love, but didn’t want to wear if nobody could see them. We could cut our hair. We can appreciate a little town that may not offer us all that we want, but allows us to walk to all that we need. We will NOT need to forget May!
Wait. Will we? What is that I see floating by my window? Is it my imagination?
This is serious. I need chocolate. Have I given May too much credit in advance? Chocolate, big old ugly clothes, putting feet up and watching TV—are these the solutions for surviving yet another month of the most anti-social aspects of the pandemic? Will we need to forgive May as well? There have to be more good days than bad, so let’s survive those bad days and celebrate those good days. Maybe we will pass each other walking and plucking- and waving. We can do this.
Well, chocolate WILL help.