COVID and The Single Lady

 

“All By Myself”

Written by Eric Carmen

And sung brilliantly by Celine Dion 

 

Recently I asked a male friend for advice about a business matter.

He answered me this way; “Well I can give my two cents worth, although my wife says that since I have been home here all day every day, it may be worth less now!”

That made me chuckle. Maybe living cooped up all day with a partner during COVID-19 has its drawbacks.

 

Living Alone During Coronavirus

 

Did you know that since 1951, the rise of one-person households in most Western countries has skyrocketed from 7% to 30%?

More in Germany, where it is over 40%.

That is more than 1 in 3 people who live by themselves.

Most are women.

Which means that many women around the world are going through COVID-19 all by themselves.

I know quite a few.

In fact, I am one them.

 

 

We are all feeling the loneliness but are people living alone finding it more difficult?

Well …

I seem to be thrilled more than usual when my mourning doves, Arthur and Cilla, come for a visit.

 

 

 

 

But on the other hand, I am also kinda used to this too.

I already work at home, and I know how to live on my own and like it. (I do!)

Which means that those of us living alone are already pretty good at this.

 

 

 

 

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t get to us. It does.

Some days it feels like I am stranded on a desert island a la Tom Hanks in Castaway.

No wonder I have taken to hugging a stuffed animal that someone gave me years ago just to feel I have company.

(Beats Tom’s “Wilson”, the basketball)

I cope by taking long walks, (and I am lucky that I can do that) sometimes social distancing with a neighbour, and sometimes just waving at people along the way.

I call the people I love of course.

I stay in touch with family.

But it is my girlfriends that I miss most.

I miss getting together for coffee and sharing perspectives, seeing their faces in person, not through a washed-out FaceTime or ZOOM screen.

Zoomed Out

In fact, I am suffering from chronic social-videoing fatigue.

Instead,  I now try to schedule what I call Parking Lot Coffee Dates.

Here’s how it works.

You invite a friend to meet you in the corner of a quiet parking lot.

A supermarket parking lot is good. Avoid Costco.

Bring your own coffee, tea and biscuits.

You park two meters apart. One parks forward, the other backwards so that you can both stay in the driver’s seat.

It works. And it has been so fun. I go home feeling revived and nourished.

Along the same theme, I say bring back Drive In Movies, and A & W Window Serving Trays. 

And then we can all meet our friends that way too this summer!

 

Are you living alone through COVID-19?

How are you making it work? Love to hear from you.

And I ask you kindly to comment in the space provided below instead of replying directly to this email.

Thank you.

 

Happy Mother’s Day

 

Sally

 

Sally’s mother Maura

 

Mother and Daughter in Pearls

 

In keeping with my “Wear Your Pearls” theme, reader Sally Hammond was kind enough to send me

a picture of herself wearing her pearls.

A strand of those pearls are the same shown in the picture of her 91-year-old mother Maura.

I assume Maura gave them to her daughter.

Maura just celebrated her birthday recently and so we send her Happy Belated Birthday wishes.

Many more Maura!

Happy Mother’s Day to both of you and to all of you mothers out there!

15 Comments

  1. Twink on May 10, 2020 at 8:29 am

    Okay, so I need my women-of-a-certain-age fix every week . I look forward to Diana’s blog, photos and “blog friends “ comments.
    Being independent is a gift we all share and these past few weeks have helped us be stronger and better.
    Ps I love my pearls.
    Xxoo twink

  2. Trisha Cuthbertson on May 10, 2020 at 9:11 am

    Hello Diana,
    I hope you’re doing well. We are doing well here. The golf course is waking up, and with luck, we’ll be able to get out soon. At least it be something to do!
    Your blog always brings a smile. Keep them coming!

  3. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on May 10, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Have been living on my own since 1995 – and enjoying my life! Covid-19 just makes it “cosy-er”! Previously, I’d go out and about whenever the spirit moved me – visiting friends or shopping! That’s on hold for awhile! But there is a light at the end of the tunnel – and I pray for more independence as May unfolds. Happy Mothers Day to all ladies!

    • Diana Bishop on May 17, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      Yes, you are someone I admire so much. You have seen so much of the world and on your own too. We have that in common.

      It is a difference experience travelling alone. You meet more people, and find things that you have in common with others around the world.

      Gosh I miss it!

  4. Eileen on May 10, 2020 at 10:31 am

    I’m still working in a situation where I have to listen to people, so I’m enjoying the quiet. When I walk I can hear birds, wind, or if I choose, music, it’s soothing. The weather has been mild so I can garden and that’s satisfying. I’m catching up with reading, cleaning, organizing, things I have put off. I have limited the news I listen to, so I can have a good nights sleep. I never had children, and my family isn’t super close, so I probably have developed some “ alone” skills. I also worked for myself and mostly by myself for 20 years. My husband is around, but we come and go as our interests can be different. I do call my best friend regularly, as she’s about a two hour drive away. I like your car park meeting idea a lot, smart!

  5. Kin Martin on May 10, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    I absolutely love your column! Every week!
    I have been practicing solo living since 1982. Love it, though I do miss the girlfriends.
    That’s an excellent idea about the parking lot meetings.

    I heard you speak at our Leaside Library a couple or more years ago . You were outstanding.

    My brother Bob lives in the Sound, at 929, across the street from where your amazing Grandfather lived. He and Warren love that place.

    (I soloed at Billy Bishop airfield in Toronto in 1967 . Flew a couple of tail draggers too, a Fleet Canuck, then a Citabria. ( spell it backwards )

    Many thanks for your always fascinating columns.

    • Diana Bishop on May 11, 2020 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Kin — how wonderful to hear from you. I so enjoyed coming to the Leaside Library group. It seems like a long time nnow that I have been able to be in a room
      with so many people.
      I wonder if I have ever met your brother. I have been at many events in Owen Sound and especially at the Billy Bishop house over the years.
      Imagine soloing over BB airport. My goodness– how wonderful and how wonderful of you to read my blog. Thank you so very much for the comment and
      please keep following and sharing. Diana

  6. Margaret Ann Gendreau on May 10, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Diana,
    Love hearing from you and enjoy sitting down and taking some time to read your message. Having been retired for almost twelve years I honestly thought life was great and am amazed at how totally content I am with absolutely no outside commitments. I am very relaxed, I’m sleeping better, I’m happier in the kitchen (the cocktail as I cook might help) just an all around feeling easy. I think I said “yes” to a lot of things I didn’t need to do and have totally enjoyed this wake up call!

    Sitting on our balcony in lovely Vancouver, wearing capris, a tshirt, and my pearls!

    • Diana Bishop on May 11, 2020 at 1:54 pm

      Yes, I have noticed that I am sleeping well and less anxious about what’s coming up — because nothing is coming up. It’s amazing when we are forced just to “be”
      how hard that was at first but it is something that can be learned…and perhaps that is the point yes? Not warm enough here to wear my capris but I can dream!
      Snow yesterday. Best to you and thank you for the picture. Diana

  7. Trudy Van Buskirk on May 10, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    I’m one of “living alone” people. I’m probably already used to being isolated because I’ve been that way since I had a debilitating stroke 15 years ago. I’ve felt even more isolated in the last 3 years since I’m down to two friends and my brother who take me out and only my Mentors’ Circle meeting once a month (now via zoom).

    I don’t have the physical ability to go out for a walk or meet a friend for a coffee in a parking lot since I’m not allowed to drive.

    I guess I got used to this “isolation stuff” about 10 years ago. My hope is that when this is over (and this too shall pass) that others understand what I’ve been going through for 15 years 🙂

    In the meantime I’m glad for zoom, facebook messenger video and facetime. YAY technology!!!!

    • Diana Bishop on May 11, 2020 at 1:52 pm

      Yes, you are someone who had really learned how to do this. I am inspired by you. I think it is nice to know that there are many women living on their own and we are all there for each other in spirit. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Timmithea Leeds on May 11, 2020 at 3:02 am

    I’ve been wearing my pearls! Even though I’m by myself most of the time, it’s nice to put on a little luxury during the day! I also use the nice crystal glasses to drink wine and don’t wait for a special occasion to use the nice dishes. This pandemic has changed my perspective a little bit- no a lot. I’ve been asking myself – what am I waiting for? Everyday is a gift to yourself and should be treated as such! If I were closer, I’d meet you in a parking lot for coffee! What strange times these are! Be safe and be well everyone- in your pearls, of course!

    Au revoir,
    Timmithea

    • Diana Bishop on May 11, 2020 at 1:51 pm

      Yes, the pearls are becoming a thing eh? I notice if I take a little effort every day to put on something nice, it makes me feel even better. When you look good, you feel good. So many gifts from these times. Love hearing from you. Diana

  9. Christine Kowal on May 11, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you Diana
    I loved your article. I’ve had a few people ask me the question how is it living alone and to be honest I get a little up in arms about it. First I will say I have an #AnimalFamily but I’ve been enjoying working on my projects and the new life I’m creating for myself. And I’ve felt a little guilty about this extra time God’s given me. Thank you Lord. Sometimes it does feel a little strange and I know there are people going through very difficult times. But I read my Bible, get on Facebook. I’m taking a couple zoom courses. And life goes on. We’ll get their from here, walks with the dogs are great. I to live in the country.
    I focus on what I’m here to create and give once this is all over.
    Love And Light Christine and the Animals

    • Diana Bishop on May 11, 2020 at 1:49 pm

      That is such a great attitude toward this new normal Christine. I believe that having animals and pets would certainly bridge the loneliness. They are pure joy! By the way, I love your picture! Says it all. Diana

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