I have so many lovey dovey things I like to share with you at this time of year. About goodwill and lighting the spark in the secret chamber of your heart and of new frontiers and how to fill them up with possibility and hope. And that is all coming, it’s in my heart and I’m going to Fed Ex it straight to yours along with last year’s Christmas card a day late and a dollar short OR if you’re a glass half full kind of kid about fifty one weeks early for holiday 2021! Look at me go.
But first I want to, need to, feel compelled to share with you a meaningful thoughtful answer to the question all of you kind dear caring hearts have been asking me since I went and caught the plague a month ago. And that question is kind of fluid “Are you okay, do I have to feel bad about needing your help? But also where do you fit on the spectrum of no-big-deal Covid to deadly Covid?” Because of me you can organize nine months worth of hypothetical information with a practical reference point. I am happy to be that silver lining for you, and a month later, after a few weeks of being too exhausted to type I have reached what I feel is an insightful answer.
Most of us have spent the better part of a year asking ourselves should I be scared, vigilant, what do I do when the rules conflict with my values, what do I do when the characteristics that I have been taught equate to strength by the world I live in tell me to override fear, to be brave, bold, tough, but also somewhere between socially responsible and altruistic?Navigating Covid reminds me of those highway signs that ask us to please obey the signs just this once, in other words “We have to put these here for safety we realize they are excessive but now we need a system for actually getting you to pay attention when there is a real danger!” Funny, theoretically and hypothetically but after a near year of driving down that highway, NOT SO FUNNY ANYMORE. Most of us would like to flush Covid down the 2020 toilet, except that we can’t get a plumber to save our shit. If I am still making jokes it can’t be that bad, right?
I have felt so conflicted, whilst also feeling like crap. I have wanted to tell you not to worry about little old me, because I am very capable of taking care of your hearts and heartaches from the plush velvet of my new duvet with my dog curled up at my numb toes and an unscented candle burning for comfort. Just kidding it’s scented but how would I know that? And this is true. I have done some reorganizing of my energetic resources so I can still do all of the loving caring that I love and live for, and also give myself optimal recovery time. So we’re good. You can pour your hearts out and mine will beat stronger for it.
I have simultaneously wanted to get myself a loudspeaker and one of those cone thingies to yell through that look like pylons, help me with the word won’t you my brain is so freaking foggy these days. Magnophone? Anyhow, one of those to say to everyone I care about, this IS NOT NOTHING. Ce n’est pas ce n’est pas rien. It is not ‘it is nothing’ going all the way back to ninth grade French class. Part of me has wanted to scream out be extra careful.The media communication makes us feel like we are constantly choosing between a dichotomy of “this is just a flu” which means we are creating a catastrophe just so a poor 101 year old granny can be spoon fed for another six months of meaningless existence in a decrepit body or that we are one innocent inhale away from REAL LIVE DEATH our very selves. And then it’s ping pong. To fear or not to fear. Well I didn’t want to be screaming out FEAR! Because fear does not heal. I don’t want to share my experience so you can be MORE afraid. Or run around feeling like you want to pepper spray everyone who steps within six feet of you, which may or may not be a feeling I have experienced recently.
Fear and judgment will make it worse. Neither are good decision makers. Attacking each other is the real virulence, not that pneumonia is fun. Attack perpetuates harm, because we can’t get on the same page when we are slinging it and we need collaboration and compassion to get out of this.
Compassion and collaboration are the way out!
Don’t defend yourself or your choices. You’re not bad or wrong. There is no perfect way to navigate Covid. And you can’t possibly know how it feels to actually have Covid when you haven’t, or for someone you love to have it, when that has not happened. The best you can do is to reach out for that self who may be tired and confused and starved for normalcy and lovingly encourage them to hang in there. Lovingly encourage those who are ignorant or simply caught in the cross fire of the two extremes to rise up.
We need a way off the Fear and Harm Bus and onto the Compassion Collaboration TRAIN.
We need to reach out to one another and say “how can I help you make it through” and “what is the most loving action I can take, toward myself and my family and my community”. This is how we get to a place of strength and how we dispel ignorance, when we’re really frickin’ tired. It’s the only way.
The question for me during all of these hours of sleeping like a teenager is how to lovingly help one other avoid the experience I just went through while not increasing Covid’s power of destruction. And it’s a destructive force if it divides us.
I did not end up in the ICU. But when I was making jokes about not feeling my toes and whatnot, I actually had Pneumonia and I now have scarring in several areas of my lungs. Just like that. My body, which went into this season with the heart and lungs of a 35 year old because I run 12k per day and eat a lot of veggies had an inflammatory response to this virus that was not extreme enough to put me in respiratory distress or organ failure, but was enough that I am looking at 3-6 months of sleeping 11 hours a night and feeling like I have the flu all over again every other day in order to recover to some extent. I have significant tissue damage. I am pretty proud of how I handled things and the fact that I didn’t give Covid to any of my close contacts. I took good care of myself in that I slept extra and listened to doctors. But you know I can think of so many ways to bring in the new year and all that I had planned for it and this suckage is not on the list.
I want you to forgive yourself for not doing the worldwide plague perfectly, because there was no perfect way to do it.
I want you to forgive your neighbour, because you can.
But I also don’t want you smoking in the bathroom with the door closed and your toddler at your feet because you thought you were choosing between government control and free love and now Chippy has three year old COPD.
It’s not the flu. We’re not collectively stupid. The hype is not all for nothing.
And the best thing you can do is lovingly take the cigarettes away from your inner teen who has had a fucking nuff already. S/he is so brilliant, but s/he can’t know what s/he doesn’t know, you know?
Until s/he does.
Have a chat with her/him/they kind of like you would about getting pregnant at 17. You can still have a good life but avoid that if at all possible.
And whenever you are confused PLEASE choose compassion and choose collaboration, within yourself and your family and your world. That is how we’ll get this all sorted.
Now Happy Freaking New Year.
I fell asleep in my sparkly pink dress so no wild photos of dancing on tables.
But the year is young, and I encourage you to join me in one enormous IOU to my inner child, for some fun and merriment and goodwill hunting in 2021.
We all deserve a glass half full of that.
Megaphone! Oh thank heavens. It was there in the annals of my fogged out memory all along.
Yell it with me through my megaphone.
We all deserve a glass full of that!
P.S. 2021 I am bringing on the love. I’ll be featured in a podcast all about better loving, from healing your broken heart to intentional dating to creating a relationship that thrives, and I’ll be launching a sister site for all of you relationship and love enthusiasts, with all kinds of insights and offerings. Stay tuned!
P.P.S. One of the kindest things you can do for me is to share my writing. If you enjoyed today’s Monday Musing and know someone else who would please forward it to a friend.
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