Day 297

I ran some errands today. A year ago, I wouldn’t have taken as much joy out of the experience.

Began with a haircut appointment. As she always does, my barber wore a mask the entire time, as did I (it’s the only time where I find over-the-ear loops preferable to back-of-the-head ties), and we were the only two in the salon at that time. Needed cash, so I drove up to an ATM and made a withdrawal. My wife had an order ready for pickup, so I ran out to that store in between going to our local butcher and shopping for groceries.

Simply getting out of the house was the most rewarding; I love my home, but occasional excursions make me appreciate it more. No word yet on when the library will reopen, and returning to the gym or fencing club won’t be an option for some time. Running errands is one of few opportunities I have to seeing these familiar walls.

There’s also the feel of the road. Cruising down a smooth path of asphalt; feeling the power and appreciating the sophistication of the machine at my command; hearing the soft hum of the engine under the radio’s music. Today’s experience reminded me of the long car trips I like to take in the summer and fall, excursions that stopped once the COVID-19 lockdowns began. Being able to satisfy my wanderlust will be one of the signs that lets me know we’ve returned to normal.

And I like being helpful. It feels good to be needed, even for small tasks. Getting several errands done at the same time also feels like the right thing to do in these inconvenient times.

I was out and about for only an hour and a half, and drove about fifteen miles. A year ago, running today’s errands would have felt like an intrusion. Today, it felt like a liberating holiday.

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