It will be September when you read this column, but it will be unlike any previous September in my lifetime. You are living those changes just as I am.
So many of us are frustrated, and angry, with our desire to go back to normal battling with the fear that persists with this dangerous pandemic. Some of the things I hear from my friends and neighbors are: I want to go out for dinner and laugh with my friends; school is good for kids, and great for parents….please send them back!; my mask is so uncomfortable and none of my neighbors wear them, why do I have to?; maybe I can get to see my grandkids this year, but my kids are so scared!; COPE groups aren’t the same without real life hugs. And I haven’t listed the real terrifying issues of devasting illness, job loss, financial distress, hunger, homelessness and isolation, politics, but you know about those, too. This anger that we are seeing so much of is also the way we mask our fear.
I am scared, a lot, and hate feeling powerless, which I do so much of the time. I need to feel that I am doing something. Maybe some of you feel the same way. I can’t change the world, or cure Covid-19, but here are some of the things that I do:
- Text my kids (who live nowhere near me and one just moved even farther away!!!). Really, it is never more than every few days though, of course, I would like to do so several times a day. And once a week, usually, there is FaceTime, always too short because my six-month-old granddaughter seems to want to eat the phone and my almost four-year-old grandson is, well busy. One time he took me on a walk to see some toys in his room. That was perfect!
- Call my friends and check in with them. They don’t seem to mind if I contact them daily and they are all doing well enough so everyone knows that I call for my sake as much as theirs.
- Visit my very frail mother and do everything I can for her.
- Make donations. Food banks need support and food insecurity is not going to get better for some time. COPE is also another organization to support, but I hope you already know thatJ..
- I walk, and then walk some more. You can, too. From your living room to your kitchen. From your door to your mailbox. From your house to the end of the block. Celebrate your first 1,000 steps, or 10,000. Find walking buddies (and practice for the COPE Walk coming up in October!).
- I thank everyone. I still have my Gratitude Project where I donate to COPE as a thank you to those who have helped me.
- Read more, lots more. Some of what I read gives me knots in my stomach; so much more transports me and calms me down.
Let me know what you are doing! And stay safe and stay connected.