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I used to think I could be a hermit…

I used to think I could be a hermit… I used to think I could be a hermit…

Running out of things to do at home is not an option during a global pandemic. When you’re highly encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel and legally obligated to stay away from large social gatherings, you have to get used to not leaving the house on nights and weekends.

At first, in a pathetic sort of way, the Safer at Home order didn’t seem to have that big of an impact on my leisure time. I rarely travel during the months of March and April, especially since you never know when you might have a surprise snowstorm like the one we had on Easter Sunday. In fact, besides going out to eat with my wife once or twice a week, most of my free time during this part of the year is normally spent at home anyway.

But after a month of mandatory isolation, I’m starting to question whether I have what it takes to be a longterm hermit. I have plenty of things to keep me entertained within the confines of my apartment. I could probably “stream” away entire days with a combination of Netflix, YouTube and the World Wrestling Entertainment Network. If I get bored with those, I switch to reading some of the many books and old magazines in my miniature library.

As I’ve mentioned before, I also enjoy obsessively organizing things, from old tax documents to closets full of shoes and jackets. I often enlist Linda in these tasks, though it usually takes a little nudging on my part to get her as interested as I am in sorting through piles of paper and clothing. My fantasy is to pin down our possessions to the point where I can instantly find whatever I’m looking for, whether it’s the owner’s manual for a broken appliance or that one special cooking utensil I only use once a year.

Still, even with all of the little projects I’ve created for myself and Linda, I can’t help but feel restless at some point during a long weekend spent at home. We’ve made a couple of trips to Cherokee Park to “get out of the house,” and it does help to take in some natural beauty and open space, but I always leave wanting more. I want to take a trip to the Twin Cities and see my friends and family, go out to a bar with my old high school buddies and maybe even see a movie in an actual movie theater at some point.

But, I try to be realistic and responsible, as I realize that thousands or millions of others are giving up far more than I am due to this virus. As summer starts to creep in, it’s going to be easier in some ways to defeat boredom because you can get out and enjoy the outdoors without wearing a coat. Still, summer isn’t the same without social gatherings, so I’m hoping for a lifting (or scaling back) of Safer at Home by Memorial Day. By then, the hermit lifestyle I sometimes enjoy will definitely be getting old.