Friday, May 15, 2020
Lake Oswego City Councilor Theresa Kohlhoff shares how her life has been impacted by the pandemic
As part of a new series called "Checking In," the Review talked with City Councilor Theresa Kohlhoff about how she's occupied her time during the governor's stay-at-home orders, her largest takeaway during these tough times and challenging adjustments.
Parts of this conversation have been edited for clarity.
How has your life been impacted by the pandemic?
Mostly life has been more than fine. I have not had the usual commuting, which is very much appreciated. Being a bit more of an introvert than a socialite and having a lovely, interesting home, I don't mind being here at all. On the other hand, not seeing people in person has been hard and it's much, much worse not getting to be with my grandkids.
Have you managed to stay connected to family and friends during the pandemic?
Less than I would like. I obviously have had phone conversations with friends, who I would otherwise have gone to lunch with, for example, or sent emails or quipped with on social media. I am now having Zoom calls with my family (which we never did pre-pandemic and may continue to do to some degree in the future). However, especially with the grandkids, the contact we had was time spent doing things together, or having a meal. We would not necessarily be talking through all this, just enjoying being together. This contact has had to be deferred and for the people we love who are introverts, the connections are not as good.
Are there any new books, TV shows or movies you've gotten into since the pandemic began? If so, care to share any of your favorites?
I am a voracious reader so pandemic or not I read all the time. I have been tipped off about a lot of good books through online courses or emails, which has meant a lot of Kindle activity in new books by old favorite authors, including Anthony De Mello's "Rediscovering Life."
One book — the hard copy of which somehow walked off somewhere — (that) has been a very calming Kindle purchase during this time, even though I have read it multiple times over the years is "Seven Choices" by Elizabeth Harper Neeld.
Mike and I are also Netflix addicts so this has not changed. We do, however, like performance art such as the symphony, plays, and going to see movies on the big screen. So anything that is brand new or outside of our home will have to wait for awhile. We discovered Prime and binged on six seasons — each season had 10 episodes — of "Bosch." It solved the problem of what to watch for about three weeks.
Have you picked up any new hobbies?
No, I have way too many hobbies now. I knit every night, garden every day and try to fit in time to practice the guitar.
What has your news consumption been like during the pandemic?
A little less than usual. I have always subscribed to quite a few news outlets so I am already pretty much a news junkie. However, I have found that I already have some fixed opinions on some subjects and would rather not get aggravated for no reason. They say that history, to be accurate, cannot be written until 10 years after the event. So that's my plan. Wait for 10 years to see if what I think is going on is really what is going on. See how stress relieving that is?
What is something that you miss doing that you did before the governor's stay-at-home order?
Oh, no doubt, hanging out, hugging and being hugged by my family. After that, probably going to the gym. I'm about due to get down to Bend, too.
I also miss Mike leaving to play tennis! It has been over seven weeks since he's played and I don't think, unless he was injured, he has gone that long without playing for 60 years.
What is the biggest change you've had to adjust to during the current health crisis?
Other than the lack of my grandkids (I'm sorry that has been traumatizing!) I have been fixing dinner every night. We have a big garden in back so it is easy to have healthy food — although given the need for reasonable balance while one is cooped up in a house, we've forced ourselves to eat plenty of Oreos and ice cream.
What do you think one of your biggest takeaways during the health crisis has been?
Oh, I think the takeaways will be rolling in like a tsunami with ramifications for years to come. But for me personally, it's been reaffirmed that life is good, that I am loved, that wisdom is found in stillness and that groundlessness is not to be feared.
Is there anything you want to add that we didn't talk about?
Externally, the next six months will be very tense. I think regardless of anything, we all know this is coming. Whether we plow through it, or plow around it, we will have to engage in this conflict. I see us choosing that, too. From this present moment of relative calm and cleared heads, I see us making a new creation, which will be better for human beings and our environment. Still, as I said, the next six months will be very tense.
Posted on 15 May 2020, 10:43 - Category: Articles