Living Life Untethered and COVID-19

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

by Patricia Giniger Snyder

Living Life Untethered? At the same time people across the globe are being encouraged or required to shelter in place? I don't think so.

We’ve had to broaden the concept of untetheredness.

Adam and me at the Taj Mahal last year

Up until this viral scourge, my husband Adam and I had been living and working digitally in places across the globe, typically for a month or more at a time. The only way we could live an untethered life was to be free of a mortgage or a regular monthly rent. For three years we’ve been ‘living the dream,’ or at least our dream. But what a difference a year makes. What seems like a lifetime ago, we were footloose and fancy free. Not now. In fact, all the wonderful places we’ve spent time are all in some distress.

Our plans in early March were to drive from Nevada to a wedding in Miami, with stops in Atlanta and Charleston, SC and a few Florida cities where we had tickets to spring training exhibition baseball games. When we left Vegas on March 7th, it was becoming only slightly clear that something terrible was amiss, but we had already begun to constantly wash our hands and use Purell hand sanitizer each time we stopped. At one gas station, Clorex wipes were still available so we scooped up a box and began cleaning everything we touched, including remote controls, light switches, etc., at each Marriott-owned hotel room where we spent the night.

Driving from the West across country

By the time we reached Atlanta, events were being cancelled but restaurants were still operating, and we spent a wonderful evening with my old high school friends, several of whom I hadn’t seen in decades. We even spent a morning at the Jimmy Carter Center with our daughter, Lili, where we were reminded of better times when the President of the United States put another U.S. President's motto, "The buck stops here" on his desk. A few days later we had an equally delicious weekend on Seabrook Island near Charleston with our daughter’s fiancé’s parents, playing canasta and drinking wine, and still hopeful this virus would soon disappear.

Seeing dear high school friends, visiting the Jimmy Carter Center with our daughter Lili, and being with our in-laws to be

Trinka & Bruce with Adam & me in France last year

Then, as everyone knows, “normal” quickly deteriorated into “abnormal.” The wedding in Miami was downsized to 25 people, and when we saw the handwriting on the wall, we reached out to Adam’s sister, Trinka and her husband, Bruce, to see if we could move in with them in their home on Cape Cod. There isn’t anyone else on this Earth we could imagine asking this question of, and Trinka responded without any hesitation, “Of course, of course…you are my family.” Gratitude doesn't come close to describing what we feel.

So instead of turning south (left) on I-95 we headed north (right) in our packed-to-the brim Prius toward Cape Cod. We arrived on March 17 and since then have been sheltering in place in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

Together the four of us have settled into a routine, carving out a strange new life filled with mutual respect of privacy and group responsibilities. Our days are filled with work (fortunately Adam and I have been working remotely for decades), ZOOMING with friends and family and work colleagues, FaceTiming, and taking walks together or alone, mostly on the beautiful nearby Lieutenant’s Island on the bay side of the Cape. We’re very cognizant of the tides so not to be trapped from the mainland!

Remarkably, the days go by as quickly as ever – knitting; shopping for food, medicine and alcohol; watching a lot of movies and TV series; listening to podcasts, participating in online classes; and of course, relentlessly surfing the web. Fortunately for us, Bruce is a superb chef and nightly he prepares out-of-this-world, weight-conscious dinners selected from several hundred recipes he’s printed from which we’re encouraged to choose. After dinner he reminds us to select tomorrow’s meal, something that I -- someone who doesn't focus much on cooking planning ahead -- find enchanting.“It’s a miracle,” I keep saying,“It’s a miracle!”

Above all else, we are helping each other stay positive despite the profound unthinkable happening out there. I am making it a constant practice to intentionally ward off negative thoughts. There have been a few bad days, but I’ve stop watching the news and limiting what I read. I follow Grand Master Nan Lu by practicing his Qigong exercises and listening to his daily free podcasts. I also meditate each morning with Rabbi Angela Buchdahl from NYC’s Central Synagogue. Plus, photography is my artistic love and I'm outside whenever I can, taking zillions of photos, both to uplift my spirit and share Cape Cod's early spring with others'. There are still many chilly, gray days but when the sun comes out it's magic.

So when I think of living life untethered now, it’s not about travel and living that particular dream. It’s about protecting our mental state-of-being…staying untethered to fear and worry. I am digging into my personal tool chest and using everything I can to live a new life untethered, and finding as many ways to smile and laugh during this challenging time.

And so until we are out of harm's way, on our Living Life Untethered Facebook page, and Instagram, as well as through our blog, we will share information such as free concerts or virtual educational activities, as well as videos/photos which underscore some of the best things happening out in the world -- like this video below created by some unknown person which we hope will give you a chuckle!

Stay safe!

917 views2 comments