Oh hey, Tuesday. Greetings from the new normal. Corona log ad infinitum.
In all candor, there are no words to describe the intensity of this current situation. A global phenomenon. A world war. Where all of us need to stand together (yet apart) to defeat this enemy of humankind. It's biblical. Comic book-like. Hollywood disaster-esque. All of that. And some of us are adjusting to this new life better than others- I feel for my extroverts, immunocompromised, and parents with young kids and so many others like front line workers who are navigating these Covid-19 infested waters as best they can.
As I mentioned, I'm a bit of a shut-in usually, so the whole staying in thing is not a problem. I love my home, but I'm amazed at how much we need human contact too. Nobody lives in a city like New York who wants to be alone all the time. True, we crave that when we can't have it, but we feed off the energy of others, so I notice that the main streets of my Brooklyn borough have people out and about getting necessities and walking dogs and trying their best to social distance, though there are always some dumb-dumbs in the mix who don't know how to follow the rules.
And during yet another bout of insomnia (I'm not that anxious honestly, but my mind is active), I thought of the following.
You know how I feel about the new lexicon that's pervasive any time something crazy happens. I wrote about that the other day, but two new words had me meditating and cooking a little in the wee hours last night. And they are "compromised" and "vulnerable."
We now know that although this virus doesn't discriminate, the "compromised" and "vulnerable" of our global population are at the highest risk of death from this scourge. But I'd argue that far beyond the physical destruction of this disease, we are seeing these words appear in other places.
For instance, let's start with compromised, or rather, compromise. Since many of us are sheltering in place of sorts, we are sharing space for more extended periods with people we may not be used to seeing so much of during regularly scheduled programming. A co-worker of mine told me her husband was sitting in his car to take conference calls so his wife could work at home with the kids. (This is a very New York story, ps- small spaces and such). I'm sitting in my bedroom all day working while my husband takes the living room. I am probably going to get bedsores, but Khan and I love the light in our bedroom, and I can also turn it into a makeshift workout studio, so I tend to hang in here. Parents are having to compromise with each other and take turns with their kids. Compromise, kids. We are all learning to compromise everything, even the space we have to ourselves on the streets and in the supermarkets.
And then, of course, there's vulnerable. And this one's a doozy.
As women, we are often told it's ok to be vulnerable. To show vulnerability, even though we are all trying to be tough. For me, the most poignant part of this experience is the vulnerability of our entire ecosystem, not just our mental states. So many people are now completely vulnerable when it comes to making money. There are no savings for some, because there was only hand to mouth and check to check. From people in the production community to creative types to service professions like wait staff, bartenders, hairdressers, and a million other careers, the vulnerability of not being able to make a living is real. All too real.
The vulnerability of those that live alone and rely on going out and about with friends for lunch or in the evening to not feel isolated. The vulnerability of extroverts who have a hard time shutting it all down. The vulnerability of those without healthcare wondering what will happen if they get sick. The vulnerability of our entire damn country, being left in the hands of someone who lacks empathy or compassion of any kind. We are all feeling so vulnerable, and it's beautiful. Truly. I have a friend who is one of the strongest, most positive Pollys I know, and the other day, she wrote about breaking down in tears. I say, let 'em flow. Get 'em out. Because besides the obvious fear, panic, and anger, this virus is bringing us closer to ourselves and what we care about and what really matters. Open yourself to it, people. Don't kick yourself because you're not as Type A as you typically may be. Take your guards down. Emote. Ask for help while you're at it. It's ok to feel all the feels. That means you're alive. And thank goodness for that most of all.
For me, I'm trying to sleep as much as possible and go to bed early (maybe that's why I can't sleep) and work out each day. I'm working as much as time will allow yet making time to take Khan for works and cook a decent lunch as much as I can. None of this is perfect, mind you. These are imperfect times. In fact, life has always been flawed. It's just the past few years has been all about making everything look perfect for Instagram. Well, we're seeing what life really looks like now. And it's not perfect, but it's beautiful in its fragility and chaos and yes, vulnerability.
Keep the faith, my friends. Together, we're better. If anyone needs a boost, I'm here. And don't be surprised if you get a weepy call from me one day. Every day is different. Be kind.
Cause that's what's up this wordy Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in exhaling, and creating a whole new language to deal with this thing called life. XO