Hey there! How ya’ doin’? Feeling OK? I hope so.
I’m not. I am. And then I’m not. I know. Yesterday I was feeling fine, feeling good, even. I was happy. Optimistic. All that and a bag of – bag of what?
Today it’s a mixed bag of anger and hope. It’s frustration alternating with “I’ve got this,” since my brain seems to be working again.
I’m angry at people downplaying this disease and saying “It’s just a flu! It’s just a cold!” Someone actually said it wasn’t a disease, and when I shared the Coronavirus Disease page – from the CDC – he blocked me.
I’m angry because I engaged with someone I don’t know who had already proven he wasn’t listening to anyone and would instead resort to juvenile taunts. I let him waste my time. More than that, I gave him my energy. My hope.
I’m angry because I am scared. This “stimulus” bill will do nothing for self-employed entrepreneurs like me. Nothing. And every time I log onto Facebook I see more of the same black-and-white attacks along partisan lines and I am so very, very sick of it.
I’m angry because I want to use Facebook to connect with friends, but it’s a minefield, and the vast majority of the time I feel worse than I did before diving into the fray.
I’m angry because people are dying and some, too many, are more worried about their bottom line or their next party.
BUT, I am hopeful. I see amazing solutions and the unbelievable lengths people will go to in order to help those who are struggling. Teachers driving by their students’ homes and waving, adults dressing in dinosaur costumes and marching in a socially distant parade, kids painting shamrocks and rainbows on their windows so other kids can go on a scavenger hunt. Restaurants who offer free meals to out-of-work employees, and sewers everywhere making masks.
The creativity of small and large businesses, and the realization by more and more people that our world is a community and we need to lift everyone.
The realization that being selfish and greedy doesn’t do anyone, even the miser, any good.
I am hopeful that we will come out of this as better people, as a better society, as a better world. That we’ll know that one solution doesn’t fit all, that life is better when you say Please and Thank You, and that taking care of each other and the world we inhabit is necessary. And way better than the alternative.
‘Cause that’s where we are right now.
See? Anger. Hope. Hope. Anger.
What can I do to stop this seesaw? The thing that exacerbates my frustration the most is interacting with people who are willfully ignoring the danger and the precautions. Part of me thinks I need to interact because we all. need. to. stay. home. But my heart is telling me to stop. It’s not that it’s not my job, because it’s everyone’s job to say something, it’s because I can’t. I cannot be healthy and be uplifting and be hopeful and helpful if I’m responding out of fear and anger.
I need to stop and step away, take a few deep breaths. Maybe write something or cook something. When I do that, I begin to feel hope again, and then I can help.
Does any of this make sense? I know I’m babbling. But this is where I am, and I don’t know, when I put into writing what I’m feeling I don’t feel so scared, and maybe somebody else will see their conflicting emotions in me and will know they’re not alone.
It’s an odd place to be. The only way to do this together is to be apart. The best thing to do is nothing. For me, that also means I should not be confronting people sharing misinformation and dangerous falsehoods. Maybe my way to help is to share what’s true and what’s real. And to cook and to love and to write. Write my book. Tell stories. Make people smile.
In this back and forth, seesaw day, hope is where I want to end up. Hope is where I want to be.