Written by Annie Laskey, Events Director, Pasadena Senior Center
Walking in my neighborhood back in April – remember April? – I went past a children’s game chalked on the sidewalk. It was a race course, or maybe just a running game, that went around the block. Various directions told participants the rules of the game along the way: “Run,” “Skip”, “Walk,” “Keep Going.”
I found “Keep Going,” a particularly apt instruction during the pandemic isolation, so I took a photo of it. And that was April 3, when we naively thought we might get back to normal by the end of the month, or at least by the middle of May.
Now that June is here (and will be gone sooner than we think), the sentiment of “Keep Going” takes on even more importance. I know for myself it becomes harder and harder to get motivated to do anything, since each day just melts into the one before, with no discernable difference.
I’ve found myself struggling with the monotony of sitting at my home office desk for eight hours: Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting, sending emails, watching content online. No matter how interesting, informative, and useful it is, I am still just sitting at my desk, using only my eyes (and maybe my hands for typing). No wonder I get cranky and demoralized. Then I remember what some child scrawled on the sidewalk back in April: “Keep Going!”
I remind myself to get up and away from the computer. I make a lot of phone calls during the day for work. With the technology of cell phones and ear pieces, I can make that phone call out in the sunshine, walking around the block. When I am sitting at my computer, I often play the jazz station, and when a danceable tune comes on (which is VERY frequently!) I get up and do a few steps of a cha cha or foxtrot. I look forward to the Senior Center’s online BollyX class on Friday afternoons, where we all get to exercise by dancing to Bollywood music.
But most of all, I “Keep Going” by intentionally breaking my routine and not letting the monotony take over. This can sometimes feel not only impossible, but pointless when you are still stuck at home. But give yourself that kick in the pants and “Keep Going.” Challenge yourself to do something different every day (ok, how about 3 times a week?). Cook something you’ve never cooked before (Kohlrabi soup is very tasty). Take your walk at a different time of the day than usual. If you usually watch television at night, read a book instead (or vice-versa). Tired of talking on the phone or on Zoom? Write a postcard to a friend. If you’re like me, you have a drawer full of postcards collected on travels and never sent. Now is the time to get them in the mail! Here’s my promise – if you send a postcard to me at the Senior Center and include your address, I’ll send you one back! It’s a great way to “Keep Going.”