Finding joy in the little things

It is surprising how some jobs you once detested help break the monotony of daily life under the COVID-19 emergency lock downs. Take for instance the thought of snow shovelling. Under normal circumstances, I would probably have looked at it as a chore; something I had to do, but not something I was looking forward to.

Now as the snow floats to the ground, I am getting excited. I have a job to break the normal humdrum of the day. If enough falls, I can even fire up what my wife calls my winter big boy toy to clear the driveway and walkways of snow. I will also clear the snow on the sidewalk that borders two sides of my yard. The sidewalk snow blower will also be around, but I will have the snow removed to the concrete walkways that are all new. I will pause to watch the traffic drive by. I hope that a walker will walk my way that I can greet them while social distancing.

I have three meetings each month to attend. They are spread through the month and break the month up. Two are noon time and one is evening. The evening meeting brings together people from across the province to discuss restarting swimming and restarting swim racing. That meeting has now been put on hold as we wait to discover the next measures of the provincial government and health units across the province. Optimism continues to shine through. In late November, as a group we were beginning to see the potential to start racing again. Then the COVID cases sky-rocketed and we had to fall back to just getting swimmers back in the water as we had done in August.

My other two meetings are held through the noon hour and brings together two different district groups. Just as the swimming meeting is through video conference calls, the two other meetings are held that way as well. We used to meet across the table from each other and the feeling was much more collegial and felt different. In talking and meeting, one also watched for signs such as arm movements, posture, and facial expressions all part of the communication process. That part of the meetings seems lost as we talk through the internet. I look forward to each meeting and sometimes we do break from the agendas to include small talk.


A check came in the mail on Friday. I could have put it into my account with my banking app. However, it gave me an excuse to walk downtown to make a deposit. We have tried to extend grocery shopping to once every two weeks and shopping day is another break in our home bound routine.

Little things help break up routines, just as an afternoon walk may create an opportunity to see and wave at a friend. Shopping, meetings, banking, picking up a prescription, or shovelling snow have become important breaks in my daily life.

Jim Cumming
Former Publisher
Fort Frances TImes