When I’m Feeling Sad

//When I’m Feeling Sad

When I’m Feeling Sad

Do you feel sad too? I generally feel a bit let down this time of year. You know, the excitement of Xmas is done, the pressure of the New Year has begun. And the days are short, dark, and dull. Then, add to this year? An Invisible Criminal lurking on bedknobs and broomsticks, while also creepily MUTATING!

If the days under another lockdown (here in Ontario anyway) have you feeling like you’re Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, you could check out that new movie on Prime, Palm Springs. A similar concept, with a wallop of raunch, it’s a fun time mindbender that will help you confirm that, yes, days are actually passing, we are all growing older and this is a good thing. And we’ve so much to look forward to: a swift jab in the arm, the end of this lockdown, the start of another one perhaps, spring, summer . . .

I call it an “Invisible Criminal” because I was chatting with my daughter out west recently and she said one of their friends is so over it, if anyone mentions the name of the pandemic we’re in, he’s out of there. Perhaps you feel the same way?

Well, it is invisible, making it hard to believe in, kind of like God I suppose. While some may unfortunately have first- or secondhand experience with it, the rest of us need to take a leap of faith? Or just believe in science, a weirdly challenging concept these days, it seems.

And it is also criminal, in how it’s stealing our collective sanity.

I’m feeling so sad, that like the song goes, I’ve decided to “simply remember my favourite things” so I possibly won’t feel so bad.

But first: a huge THANK YOU to all the frontline workers who’ve been dealing with this monster for months now, while also being weighed down with enough PPE to sink a politician if thrown overboard with one. (But, please, wrap that PPE all around her/him on the way down and save yourself!) If anyone should be allowed to gripe about it? It’s you.

Alas, I have gripes too, “dog bites”and “bee stings” that must be gotten out of the way to get to “my favourite things”:

*People have suffered, a lot, physically and financially (mentally too). People have died.

*So many things are CLOSED: community & fitness centres, arenas, spas, hairdressers, restaurants, retail stores, etc. (And will they survive?)

*So many Canadian politicians thought this was just the most hunky dory time (despite provincial lockdowns recommending only “essential” travel) to take exotic vacations, to places like St. Barts, Hawaii and Mexico. “Obviously, I made a significant error in judgment,” said Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips as he resigned upon his return from the Caribbean. Well, Mr. Phillips? You are correctamundo, resignation accepted.

*Many other Canadians are travelling too: south, west, abroad. Will we be able to get things under control if this continues?

*A pandemic divides – spiritually, mentally, physically.

*A pandemic is SSLLLOOOOWWWWW. Will . . . it . . . ever . . . be . . . over?

*Why aren’t numbers reported in a way that would be more helpful, like hospitalization and infection rates? I can usually find these numbers, but it takes a lot of digging.

*I miss hugging people.

*I don’t really “get” or care for the anti-mask movement.

“My favourite things” about our Invisible Criminal:

*There’s so much time to: workout regularly (solo or on Zoom!), read, learn a new skill like water colour painting, hang out at the cottage, take long walks, clean cupboards and closets, and stream shows with great scenery so I can pretend I’m travelling.

*If you want to? You can wear grubs, pj’s even, and no make-up, for days on end.

*I happen to live with an extraordinary chef, so I’ve been eating well. (If it were up to me? I’d be pretty tired of PB & J sandwiches by now.)

*I marvel at the resilience of humans! (Most of us) wearing masks like we’ve been doing it forever. And what about the musicians out there? They’ve been livestreaming, performing at drive-ins, and also on driveways (we met some of our neighbours this way). In our family? Faced with not being able to celebrate Xmas together? We plunked a portable fireplace in my daughter’s backyard, my nephew started a roaring fire (although he’s a man now, nineteen, he did show up the older men in attendance) and we sat around with hot chocolate, chatting away while the grandkids ran around in the snow. It occurred to me that, here I am 62 and I have NEVER sat out by a fire in winter. Why not? What a great new tradition!

Regardless of the “dog bites” and “bee stings” of our Invisible Criminal, I’m sure you’ve found your own creative ways to enjoy your family and friends. Now we just have to keep it up for another few days, weeks, months . . .



  1. Leslie Blumas January 4, 2021 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Keep on keeping on my friend. Better days ahead

    • Rita Hartley January 4, 2021 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      They gotta be! Gotta “keep on keeping on” and stay positive!!

  2. Brad Boyd January 4, 2021 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    Oh, Thank You Rita for helping to keep us going with your messages. Ug… wish they could just setup a whole bunch of 24/7 vaccine drive-thru’s to finish off the invisible criminal before Family Day!

    • Rita Hartley January 4, 2021 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      Thx for reading and commenting. Yes! Vaccines – bring ‘em on ASAP!!

  3. Cathy January 4, 2021 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Can’t wait for it to be over. I welcomed the lockdown only for my own selfishness. Work has been dead during this whole time except for the first week and a half when we first opened. After that……..nothing. I can have at least 24 clients a day, and now it’s only 5 or 6 ugh. I was up to maybe 14 a day the last few days because people knew we’d be closed. I was going insane just sitting around all day. There’s only so much cleaning to do when there isn’t anyone coming in. There’s so much I can be doing at home or the cottage. I just feel bad for all those businesses that might not make it through this. So sad 😞

    • Rita Hartley January 4, 2021 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      So sorry about the hair business – there is only so much cleaning to do! It is sad that so many businesses might not make it through no fault of their own. It’s been a scary and challenging time for so many. Hang in there and hope to see you soon 🙏

  4. HILARY D SLATER January 11, 2021 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Yes all of the above for sure 🙂
    We’ve been feeling so lucky to be out in the country away from the masses.. and then my niece got it, and sister Keirsten got it, and Rays kids are in hot zones, and your daughter got it too..
    The big C used to be cancer.. things have changed!
    And we can’t complain, being safe and healthy and not needing to work at a risky job..
    But the whining happens a little when photos of last year in Cuba pop up
    Ray whined today that he could certainly use a cruise right now!
    He used to hate travel 🙂
    But if we ignore the outside world, life is grand. Chickens laying fresh eggs daily, dog caring for chickens, Ray working here not travelling, me in my studio with almost no interruptions..
    And date night is now Goodfood amazing recipes, making a puzzle, yoga, a night OFF Netflix for a change 🙂
    I even washed all the stored linens and sorted them into sets this weekend..
    Am I bored? Never.. but if you told me I could travel, I’d be at the airport in a flash 😉

    • Rita Hartley January 12, 2021 at 6:48 am - Reply

      Thx for sharing! Yes, there are so many good, fun and valuable things to do during a pandemic. I too miss the travel, I miss seeing people, being around people, but I really really miss live music. Some day …

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