The gift of a normal day. In 2010, as I was reeling from the news that my mother had terminal leukemia, I read a blog with this same title. It had never struck me before how much I took a normal day for granted. Fast forward 10 years and I am in the same boat, albeit under different circumstances. Schools are closed for the foreseeable future, restaurants, small businesses and gyms have shuttered, and domestic and international travel has come to a screeching halt as the government has declared a global pandemic urging all to “self-quarantine” inside their homes for 14 days. It has not even been a week of this, but how I already long for the gift of a normal day.
In our effort, as parents of three kids under 18, to make the day as “normal” as possible by maintaining some semblance of a routine, I found myself in the position of having totally ignored the way our kids are internalizing the situation. I failed as a mom…not the first time for sure, but one in which I am not proud. These times are not normal, I tell them, and they may not be for some time.
Move forward, I keep telling myself as I wake up in the mornings with a dreaded sense of purposelessness. Let us never forget those who are less fortunate, never give up the faith that “this too shall pass”. These are my mantras that help push past the fear and anxiety for the future.
My mother, a self-proclaimed “Pollyanna” (aka optimist from the 1960 movie), wouldn’t have batted an eye. “We lived through the Great Depression, and you can do this!”, I can just hear her telling me as she adds another layer of foil to her recycled aluminum foil ball. And she would be right. There is a lot we can do, for others and for our own well being.
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean that we distance ourselves from our communities, for they need us now more than ever. Amid the uncertainty of the future, this is just a small list of some of the ways we can make a difference today.