Erin's Journals

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Just a thought…

Happiness is pretty simple:

Someone to Love.

Something to Do.

Something to Look Forward To.

[Rita Mae Brown]

These words have always resonated with me, and they still do. But I think part of the challenge that so many of us are feeling is that we’re having to visualize these things differently than we ever have before.

Someone to Love – that’s a big one. As we know, there are many of us who are not with the people we love, but for some it’s the gift of a furry family member; an animal that depends on us for sustenance in almost every way, something even a cat would grudgingly agree on!

Our Molly is not herself these days: she’s not eating, her walks are sluggish and she gets up and off the bed several times a night, which, of course, awakens us with concern. She’s having tummy troubles that are making themselves seen when she sits by the door to go outside far more frequently than usual. And we’re adjusting her diet to try to make things better.

For those we love who aren’t with us, we reach out, we click on our cameras, we even send cards, like this one I got from Cece in Ontario yesterday.

We were able to send an Edible Arrangement to our Ottawa family for Easter; they gave us the gift of video time. We’re all managing as best we can.

And for yet others, the someone they love is their god. I send special good wishes to our Sikh community, celebrating their holiest day of the year (Vaisakhi) this week, too. As we’ve all seen, we don’t have to have physical contact to feel that love and the strength that can come from faith. Even if it’s just in each other.

Something to Do For most of us, we are called upon to do the very least we can do, and that is nothing. It means staying in. Following rules. Doing our part by staying put. Small pockets of COVIDiots are forming and rising against government edicts.

The messages are mixed and many are wrong; we need to listen to the science and the experts. Not politicians or their entitled, nepotism-riddled spawn. Not internet activists tired of being told what to do by “the man.” Not people too stupid to vaccinate their children, who think that their kids should be able to play with each other. Listen. To. The. Experts.

Yes, the Something to Do is challenging, unless that “something” is evening snacking. Thank goodness my two bags of peanut M&Ms are gone. Well, not entirely gone: I’m up two pounds. I’m managing about 6000 steps a day and Rob and I talked about going for a bike ride to shake things up (quite literally) but I’m afraid that is not following the rules.

I just want to do what’s best for everyone. We’re not going out, except for Molly’s necessary walks, period. Overly cautious? Maybe. Or perhaps in a time of a deadly pandemic there is no such thing.

And finally, Something to Look Forward To.

Believe it or not – and maybe you can relate – I’m finding this to be the hardest part of all. How lucky we are not to have a big event like a wedding planned. Yes, there’s our reunion cruise in October, which may or may not be going ahead; everyone is keeping their perspective in check and we’re just watching and waiting.

I get emails like the one from Viola who has a new grandson this week that she can’t wait to hold and from Gilda whose son married last month in a socially-distanced ceremony. These stories abound: the disruptions, the cancelled plans, the disappointment. None compares to planning a funeral and that’s what we’re all trying to avoid. As someone said, “Take your pick: six feet apart or six feet under.” Sometimes these simple, harsh sayings make the point best.

Or you could be this guy, Mr. Noodle (a named I borrowed from a favourite visitor to Elmo’s World). Yeah. Don’t be that guy.

We’ve always managed, Rob and I, to keep up spirits up by staying busy and making plans. Rarely is there a month that doesn’t include some kind of visit to an airport; our calendar is always filled with things to take us out of ourselves. But here we are. Here we all are. The thing we’ll look forward to, without attaching a date or making a reservation (not for dinner, not for a flight and not even for a haircut) is some kind of brighter future.

“I live in the world that I have, not the world that I want,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner said on CNN yesterday. And that’s about the wisest thing I heard all day.

Have a gentle Wednesday and we’ll be back with you tomorrow. Thanks for being what I look forward to these days.

Rob WhiteheadWednesday, April 15, 2020