How We’re Coping in Maine

Woman Around Town has writers and readers all over the U.S. We’ve asked them to check in on how they are coping now. Jeanne, who is retired, writes from Waterville, Maine.

I’m 67 years old, and since this situation has begun, I’ve been working diligently to stay busy and cope with these challenging times. Now that there is less social interaction and opportunities to connect with friends and family, I have to rethink how my time will be spent.

I live in the beautiful state of Maine in the small city of Waterville. I’m up early every morning, I enjoy a nice cup of tea and eat a good breakfast. I bundle up and head out for a long walk in my neighborhood. This morning, we had a dusting of snow, and it was a white, magical, and beautiful morning. The city is virtually still, and wildlife can be seen peeking around every corner. The sun quickly melts most of the snow. What I love is being able to capture these moments first thing in the morning by the camera on my phone and share them with friends and family on social media.  

It’s essential to keep moving during these times, so I try to walk a couple of miles every day. I return home and incorporate gentle yoga and meditation into my day and greet the Morning Sentinel that’s been placed on my back porch. This is a local newspaper that is still in print and being delivered daily. 

At home, there’s usually a CD playing, and sometimes I like to dance around the house like no one is watching (no one is because I live alone), or I enjoy listening to the music while attacking a challenging 18×24 puzzle of birds and sunflowers. Besides doing loads of laundry, I’ve managed to finally organize that box of “giveaways” for donation. This crisis has made me understand what is truly needed and what is excess. 

I feel fortunate to enjoy my enclosed porch with twelve floor to ceiling windows that absorb the warmth of the sun even on a winter day.  A majority of time is spent on the sun porch reading, relaxing, and watching the local birds forage. Sometimes it’s those simple things that put a smile on my face and bring ordinary moments back to my life. Additionally, acknowledging the gratitude to my family and friends who continue to check in on me daily and my neighbor, who also enjoys a walk. 

Journaling has been another saving grace through this time of solitude. Writing out feelings helps to process the emotions of the current events and think through various ideas that come about, which occur often and will only happen in solitude.

My mind and soul are fed daily by reading verses in the daily meditation book, praying, and having gratitude for the day and people in my life. I focus on mindful choices for my body and soul, and doing the best I can each day. 

As we go through this, my hope is that we can realize that we are all in this together as one human race, doing the best we can.  By keeping on the light of kindness, love, and hope for everyone, we will one day remember this as a crisis that we all did our best to make our way through.