Man, am I tired of looking at the same four walls. Are any of you with me? I am thankful for the for the easing of restrictions, but I am not rushing right out the door just yet. I am concerned about mixing with those who are not going to continue to social distance.

I was reading a post from one of my favorite authors and she said she would post five things good things about the quarantine and five things she misses from before the world changed. I thought I would draw from that inspiration but I don’t want to write a novel, so I am going to whittle that number down to five total. So, for the things that I have enjoyed, here are three:

1. I have read more than I have in a long while. That is saying something because I generally read a lot. But television has gotten really old, so I have gone back through some books I love. For instance all of the Janet Evanovich Plum books. If you don’t know what those are, look them up. I have also read “Camino Island” by John Grisham, and started back over on the Women’s Murder Club mysteries by James Patterson.

2. I have loved the extra time with my dog, Bella. Getting to write with her at my feet is really very sweet. Her barking is a bit annoying at times, but what she barks at and when is sort of random and entertaining as long as I am not on a phone call at the time. I used to feel guilty when I left her at home to go to work and being freed from that guilt as been nice.

3. Slowing down has been a real treat. I am not slower at work, I hope, but I don’t feel as pressured to rush around all over town when I am not at work. I may not be seeing all there is to see in town, but no one else is either, so I don’t feel bad about it. I have had days recently where I didnt’ feel the need to get anything “productive” done. I just sat and thought and examined some old memories. It is a great place to visit, but I am not ready to live there.

Now for two things that I really, really miss.

1. Big events. I miss a crowded room full of people all dressed up and ready to enjoy something. Chocolate Indulgence comes to mind, but we got to do that this year before everything went crazy. But I miss that kind of event. I miss seeing people having a good time.

2. Graduations. I miss graduations. In my job some years saw me covering three or more and I got a little tired of them. But just knowing there was not a May morning planned with bagpipes and caps and gowns at Austin College has me rather wistful. I miss the excitement on the faces of the young people who had worked so hard to get to that moment in their lives and I miss the relief on their parents’ faces as they finally walk across that stage.

I am happy for the time to focus on the things I have enjoyed and I know the things I miss will return in due time. And the author who inspired my list is Jodi Picoult. If you are looking for something to read, I can recommend anything on the shelf with her name on it to be worth your time. Stay safe and stay healthy. What are your five things?