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Day 116

Everyone should experience a life of purpose. Today is July 11.

A good night’s sleep was just what I needed to get my life together. I slept for about 12 hours and woke up feeling rested and energized. I didn’t want to go into college with the same sleep habits I picked up during high school. With five weeks to the day until I move into my dorm, I intend to build healthier and more sustainable patterns of living. I’m sure I’ll still have the occasional night where I stay up way too late, but going to bed and waking up early seems like a nice change of pace for now on.

Following a dream about Avatar: The Last Airbender I joined my parents downstairs where they were talking about my graduation party. I really want to have people over, but my family and I don’t want to unintentionally facilitate the spread of COVID-19 or risk people getting sick. To help prevent this, we will be having the party outside in our backyard, using individually packaged servings and requiring everyone to wear masks. I’m not sure how many of my friends, family members and family friends will attend, but I’ll be appreciative of all who do.

I drove up to visit my grandpa and talk with him in the afternoon. I love him so much. Photo by Bailey Stover.

When our discussion finished, my parents got ready to go on a bike ride. Today was their wedding anniversary, so they were going to ride together and enjoy the day. I was tempted to join but decided to opt out instead so they could have some alone time. With four people living in the same house, peace, quiet and space can feel like rare commodities. As they were racing around, I sent a text to a close friend of mine to wish her a happy birthday. They chose a path about 25 minutes from our house, so with drive time and how long they biked, they were gone for about three hours.

While they were biking, I watched The Old Guard, a semi-supernatural action movie that came out on Netflix yesterday. The combination of complex action sequences and touching emotional conversations made the film interesting to watch and held my attention the whole way through. I was also a huge fan of the show’s representation with two strong female leads, a Black female director and a prominent LGBTQ relationship. While there is still progress that must happen in the industry, I am so glad to see certain productions and genres making an honest effort. I’m sure a sequel will take a while to make, but with the teaser at the end of the movie, I can’t wait to watch whatever the cast and crew create next.

After I finished The Old Guard, I called my grandpa and asked if I could come up to his house to deliver cookies. He agreed, and a few minutes later I was out the door. For most of the drive to (and from) his home, I listened to one of my new favorite songs, “Cold” by James Blunt. I highly recommend people give it a listen. When I got to my grandpa’s house, he was sitting in his barn with an extra chair for me. For about 20 minutes the two of us laughed and talked about life and college. I love spending time with him. He is one of the best and kindest people I know. If I grow up to be anything in my life, I hope to be like him. With the 35 days of summer I have left before I move into my dorm, I’m going to make an effort to spend more time hanging out and talking with him. 

I took time to clean my bathroom and am proud of the end result. Photo by Bailey Stover.

Our time together ended when his wood delivery arrived. He burns wood in the winter, so I was glad to know he’ll be staying warm when the temperature drops, even if the idea of having a fire in the middle of this Missouri summer seems strange. On my drive home, I decided to stop at a gas station to clean my car’s windows. I park on our driveway under some trees, so my front and back windows had gotten filthy and a little difficult to see out of. I wore a mask and held the cleaning brush with a paper towel. When I got back in the car, I cleaned my hands with hand sanitizer before driving home. Even if I’m outside and around people for a few minutes, I don’t want to take any chances about getting sick.

I decided to clean my bathroom while I was waiting for my parents to get back from their ride, so I put on music and did a deep clean of the area. I can stand a messy room far longer than I can stand a dirty bathroom. As a kid my dad taught me what he deemed the best way to clean a bathroom, and that’s what I’ve done ever since. I’m not sure if it’s the best way, but it is pretty efficient and leaves the area virtually spotless. I felt proud I’d accomplished something, even if the task was small.

In the evening, my family and I ate food from Tellers as a treat for my parents’ anniversary. Throughout dinner we talked about comic books, movies, television series and a number of other entertainment-related topics. After we finished eating, my parents and brother went downstairs to watch the most recent Star Trek series while I stayed upstairs to watch The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths five part Arrowverse crossover special. It was strange and a little confusing because of all the different storylines and characters, and I’m sad to see the end of an era with Arrow. Nevertheless, I’m glad to have watched the shows and can’t wait to see what the network comes up with for the next crossover event. I hope it has something to do with the Justice League, which had a pretty definitive hint at the end of the fifth part. 

“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”

Max Depree

Tomorrow I’m going to spend some time picking up my room, which is starting to look a little crazy. I might also do some baking or cooking depending on if I’m in the mood. I need to start working on an essay for a scholarship, so I’m considering writing a rough draft, plus I should get around to writing more of my letters to friends. In reality, I’ll probably end up reading more of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and watch Netflix, but I tend to have more optimistic expectations the night before rather than the day of.

“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” ― Max Depree

How did you spend your 116th day of social distancing? Let us know in the comments below.

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