Many of us have had to find new ways to distract ourselves from the world. You can only focus on a pandemic so long before it makes your brain explode. (I’m picturing some sort of ground beef-meets-gelatin goop exploding in a vacuum. SPLURT!!! “Ewwww! Gross!”)
I am still reading comics until my eyes wear out. I go for walks. Yet I have added a new quirk in life. Say hello to my rubber band ball.
Yep, when all else fails, it is best to regress back to middle school. We didn’t have pet rocks. The dedicated kids took the time to learn hacky-sack techniques. The hobby of the proletariat, the common person’s trade, was rubber band balls.
“Did you hear about that one kid? He had one the size of a basketball. Then somebody said he had tin foil or something in the middle. So he took the whole. Thing. Apart! Crazy, right?”
My rubber band ball as a kid was never story-worthy. I am sure that it was quite pedestrian. You find a few, you add them to your collection, and you go about your life. If we had had Instagram when I was growing up, I am sure there would have been plenty of Selfies with bumpy lumps of beige. Thank God for small favors.
Adult-me works in a grocery store. Every single batch of eggs comes wrapped in rubber bands. We get eggs every day. Bananas come in plastic bags that are closed off with rubber bands. You can see how I might be tempted.
It is a distraction; something that keeps my hands busy.
There are too many things that I cannot control. I have no power over a pandemic (other than washing my hands and wearing a mask). I am unable to instantly fix my retirement account. I cannot conjure up love interests out of thin air.
But this? This I rule over with an iron fist. I come home, I add on whatever I picked up from the day’s shift, and I go back to my life.
If I lose control of it, it matters not one whit. Had I not snagged these stray brown circles, they would have wound up in the garbage. If I lose the sphere? If I get tired of it? Should it all go horribly awry? The same result occurs. It winds up in the garbage.
For now it lets my idle hands feel like they are achieving a goal as the mass has grown from golf ball size to softball size. One day I will have other things to occupy my time. The ball will be cast aside. That is as it should be.
For a brief blip in time, it has purpose. It does not need to last. For now, we have use for each other. And believe you me I wash my hands whenever I touch it. That thing is filthy. Bleh. Get creative in these trying times, but let us not make more problems. The last thing we need is one more pandemic around here.
What is your escape? What keeps your reality manageable? Whatever it is, I hope you have a ball.