“It’s a Jumble Out There: Quarantine Contemplations—5”

I’ve been retired for seven years.  My mantra has been, “Every day is Saturday, and every Saturday is a holiday.”

After over six decades of living my life by the bells, it’s nice not to have a schedule.  Ha.  We are creatures of habit.  Even though I can do what I want to do any time I like, every day seems to follow a rough schedule.  This “quarantine” hasn’t changed things very much.

We are unbelievably fortunate in our lives, and we know it quite well.  It’s essentially a life of leisure, like being on vacation all the time, but we’re very predictable.  What we miss are the “events” with which we used to mark special times: the symphony, opera, ballet, local live music presentations, nights out, time with friends and family, our trips around the US and abroad.

My day usually begins with a quick breakfast and settling into my chair with a cup of coffee to catch up with friends and family and read the paper online.  Even when I was working, I read the paper every day.  The highlight for me is the comics and the games.  I do the crossword puzzle in the Omaha World-Herald and the Jumble.

As someone who has worked with words forever, these games typically don’t take me very long.  I can unscramble all the Jumble words and do the crossword in about fifteen minutes.  I like the trivia that is typical of the crossword puzzle, and if you do them frequently, the creators are prone often to using the same clues.  The Jumble rarely stumps me (except for the end puzzles that use “made up” words).  My eyes and my mind seem to easily unscramble the letters and make sense of things.  Practice and patience and perseverance.

Despite the changes brought on by this pandemic, our jumbled lives still have predictable patterns.  We simply have to find our rhythms and make sense for ourselves of the scrambled events.  Now and then we’ll find a real “stumper,” but, if we rely on our resources, look for the patterns, and remain patient, we’ll get the answers we need.  Evetually we will get those special events back, too.

Keep practicing and remember to enjoy what you’re doing.  It will all make sense in the long run.

Dr. Dan


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