Erin's Journals

Monday, March 15, 2021

Just a thought… Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be. [George Carlin] 

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

On this, the Ides of March, I turn my focus to the echoes of March – thanks to comments you made when I posted this on Facebook last week: that I’d always thought I didn’t clean because I didn’t have the time, but lockdown seems to have proven that wrong.

I was reminiscing about this time a year ago, when I thought: I’m not going to order a bunch of masks online – by the time they get here this will be over. Yeah, right. So I asked about your misconceptions, and I got some great responses. About 140 of them. I chose a few to share today and, as always, thank you for staying in touch through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email and in whatever way it is that you reach out. 

A great many centered around connection. Judy B wrote: “I remember saying to my son on March 13th, ‘But we’ll still have Easter dinner, right?’ And he said, ‘Mom, I don’t think so.’ And here we are a year later, same conversation, same answer.”

From Lynn: “I was made aware of the huge inequality in our world. The ‘haves’ could ride it out and complain about being bored, not being able to hug your grandkids, couldn’t go south this year etc.. The ‘have nots’ lost jobs, some were scared, hungry, some were cold over the winter. I realized that cashiers, nurses, doctors, teachers, maintenance workers, shelter staff are the most important people in the world. I realized how lucky I am, and will never take it for granted again.” 

Truly, Lynn, none of us will take the before-life we had, or what we cherish or miss most now, for granted. But I’ll suggest to you that even those who’ve been struggling the most also miss the hugs and grandkids and children and friends the most.

Because as Claire points out here, it’s not what we have, but who we have, that matters most. She says: “I’ve definitely been made aware of my strengths and weaknesses this past year, that’s for sure. I find myself quite often saying, ‘I don’t care,’ mostly about material things that surround me. I know I am picking up the phone to speak to my family members on a daily basis, rather than the usual, ‘I’ve lost track of time and really should call so & so.’ Oh, I also know that my husband and I apparently have a hidden talent when it comes to cutting and colouring hair, lol.”

Ah yes – the topic of hair came up a lot in your observations. JoAnn says her hairdresser made her promise she’d never try to cut her own again! And speaking of care, Brenda despairs for the plants she left in her office when they all bugged out – and this was an office where they had dealt with PPE for SARS and Ebola in the past. (Remember when we didn’t know what “PPE” even meant?) She thought she’d be back soon. The good news is, the plants were cacti, so there’s hope.

Mali shared this observation: “My biggest misconception was thinking that technology could be dehumanizing and cold and tricky to learn for some (despite a job which depends on it). I learned that students could learn effectively, build connections, elders could connect with family, individuals would innovate, inspire, create and communicate using whatever was available.”

And then, of course – because of the universal balance of yin and yang – there was the flood of misinformation and outright lies that people were fed, disguised as facts. Stella notes: “I always believed that if people were given scientific evidence from top medical teams around the world about precautions to take during this pandemic, they would abide by these rules in order to be safe and keep their loved ones safe. And yet, some people continue to do whatever they want to do to the detriment of everyone else.”

And finally today from Norma: “SO many changes in one year that we never saw coming OR never expected it to have the impact it did on our lives. If we have learned one thing through all of this, I hope it is the love of family and friends brings true happiness, not the ‘things’ we thought we needed.” 

Yes – right down to the toilet paper and Lysol wipes. Remember when we treated our groceries as though they’d come from Chernobyl? We learned so much in the past year, but if your comments are any indication – and I believe they are – the biggest lesson to hit home has been something we knew all along: the importance of hugs, of hellos, of information and, most of all, of connection.

It’s why doing this with you means so much to me, and I appreciate you being here. We’ve a long way to go, but we’re heading there together. We can do this. Talk to you again on Thursday and thank you.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, March 15, 2021