I have been doing the New York Times Mini crossword puzzle everyday since we went on lock down. I didn’t start this ritual with intention. It just happened. And now having a coffee and spending a few minutes on the crossword puzzle is consistently a satisfying part of my day.
There’s little I can do about almost every problem I see on social media and in the news. I am at the beginning of a 2 year project at work. I am 5 years into playing drums, and although I can feel myself getting more skills every week I will never “finish” learning this instrument. Yet, for five minutes every morning I can hear the little jingle telling me I’ve completed the crossword puzzle.
Unlike the fight I ended up in the middle of between two Facebook friends in the comments section, the crossword will most certainly have a conclusion rather than the fractured emotions that will just hang over that last Facebook war. The crossword won’t leave me agonizing over what issues are worth fighting over in both my work project and my social media activities. It will give me little bursts of happiness each time I know a clue and wrap up in a most tidy fashion.
I wasn’t fond of social media prior to the pandemic. But now that it has taken up even more of my social minutes, I resent it even more. It’s like low calorie ice cream: with every bite it reminds me of what I am pining for but cannot have.
I don’t know when we might be able to be with each other again. I don’t know when live performances will happen. I don’t know when I will feel comfortable meeting friends for dinner. Until then I will be doing the crossword.