Hobbies in the time of pandemic

It has been almost seven months since my company switched to working from home. Many things have changed since March—a month that now feels like it is from another era. The day job continues, and we are working harder than ever within the confines of our own homes. I don’t miss the two hours I spent on the road, or dodging Los Angeles traffic on a daily basis. I do miss the people, and the easy ability to pop into my co-worker’s office and chat, or suggest lunch. Someday!

One of the things I have noticed is that I’m reverting back to certain pastimes I enjoyed when I was younger. As a kid I was fascinated with puzzles and puzzle books. I used to get those books that had all sorts of different puzzles—not just crosswords but cryptograms or word searches. I went through a Mad Lib phase. When I was a little bit older, I did a brief flurry when I collected board and card games.

I got away from all of that in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Sometimes I would do the Sunday crossword or an occasional Sudoku but most of the time I didn’t do any puzzles at all.

That’s all changed as I hunker down at home. I still get the Sunday paper delivered and with that the Los Angeles Times throws in Thursday through Saturday for “free” as part of my subscription. I couldn’t get them to stop delivering these papers and mostly I tossed them directly into recycling. I very much enjoyed doing the Sunday paper crossword and longed for more. Then I remembered that those non-Sunday papers, the maligned ones that got chucked into recycling, also held crosswords. Eureka! Those papers were saved! Now I have a daily crossword four days of the week that tickle my imagination. I have crossword apps on my phone, but it’s not the same. There’s something about doing them on the page that can’t be replicated by apps.

Maybe it’s a way of keeping my mind occupied. I’m not sure. I know that I am now excited to get those papers and flip to the comics section to do that daily puzzle. It’s like I went full circle and reverted back to my youth. Whatever works, right?

I hope you are all healthy and staying safe out there.

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