Yesterday I did something that boosted my mood: I accepted this masked, socially-distanced life for at least 2020 and into 2021. In all the reports and data I’ve read, I don’t have any confidence in this ending this year. If things improve sooner, the worst that will have happened is I’ll have over-reacted, stayed safe, and be happily surprised that it all worked out better than I expected. This decision is not about my personal comfort with risk. This is about science, data, and the fact that risks I take put everyone at risk. Public health is comprised of the individual health of everyone who is a part of the public.
I’m very lucky that I can work from home and that live in a city where just about anything and everything can be delivered. (And I make sure to tip well on all deliveries!) I understand my situation is a privilege and a responsibility to do everything I can to safely help and protect others. I woke up more optimistic than in recent weeks. This acceptance gave me a sense of peace.
This doesn’t mean I’m not sad at all—I miss my friends and family terribly. I needed to accept this new reality to prepare myself mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. Maybe there will be times when I can do very socially-distanced walks with friends who live nearby. Maybe I will at some point be able to take a test and if it’s negative I can rent a car to see my family for a short visit. It would be wonderful to do that; it’s just not something I’m expecting to be possible this year.
I understand that other people will make other choices. I wish they wouldn’t but I can’t stop them. All I can do is make choices for myself and let my choices be an example that others might consider. I’m not a lawmaker. I don’t have employees I’m responsible for. I’m not a parent (except to darling Phin who has been an absolute champ through all of this!) I’m just an individual who can decide how to live my life. And of course, I can and do make donations to nonprofits doing fantastic work, check in on people I love, and vote. That’s what I can do, and it matters.
So this weekend to kick off this new acceptance I’m doing a lot of self-care, consciously naming what I’m grateful for, and finding new ways to make a difference.