The last time Amanda and I saw each other was in 2009 when I flew down to San Jose, where she was living at the time, and we went to a Bruce Springsteen concert together, an unimaginable activity in today’s world.

Sea legs
by Amanda Sherlock, San Luis Obispo, CA

When Ruth first invited me to write this, I told her I needed a few days to get my sea legs. Then a week went by and I realized I still didn’t have them. Another week passed and I felt I might have found them, but then everything changed again. What’s been my experience through this is that it’s a constant process of disequilibrium and then finding some sort of balance, and repeating the experience again and again.

As an only child, my regular wail was, “I’m lonely.” Having spent the last 40 years doing inner work, I’m pleased and surprised to find that being alone is OK and I’m actually enjoying it most of the time.

I have worked from home since the early 90s, before it was the thing to do, so I am accustomed to being alone at home all day. My evenings out of the house have usually included a dog walk plus a trip to one or two of the following: Trader Joe’s, the gym, a bite to eat, or shopping for some project that was in process.

As part of my early sea leg finding, I decided I would restrict myself to one grocery store per day and replace my gym visits with brisk walks. Fortunately, I live near a beach so that was a fabulous alternative. Five weeks into this, I have evolved into questioning whether I really do need more groceries/fresh veggies, and I’m only shopping twice a week.

I have scaled-back a lot of my activities which involve giving to others. This would have been abhorrent to me in the past, but I am in a situation of putting my own mask on first before I help others, and not just in the airline sense. I do not have an extra overflow to give from at the moment.

My recent impatient self-talk refrain has been “I want my old life back,” but I realize I no longer have a clear picture of my old life and wonder if I do, in fact, want it back. As long as I stay well, this is a great opportunity to press “reset.” I don’t know what’s to come, but I trust that everything will unfold right on time and in perfect order.

Photo by Amanda Sherlock


  1. Love this Amanda. Reminds me of a grief share from your wonderful worshop …so complex and rich and surprising. Thank you.


  2. Well written and an interesting evolution — especially the grocery stores. Glad you are putting your own mask on first. Good advice for all of us.


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