gratitude-a-thon day 2093: the needful


It’s funny how the things you feel gratitude for can change from day-to-day. Last year, it was a lux hotel room, an ancient Italian town made of caves, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, truffle pasta. Now I’d be so grateful for a heaping helping of broccoli, a mani/pedi, a massage, a banana (I am craving bananas. What does that mean? Do you crave bananas during times of pandemic?) I’d be particularly grateful for the president to shut his big, stupid mouth (Well, that’s always been on my gratitude list, so I guess some things never change).

COVID-19 has turned our lives into an episode of the Twilight Zone (Ohmygod, I am still, to this day, completely terrified by the one with the monster on the wing of a plane…). This is day 13 of our family quarantine and I feel like I should get the Nobel Peace Prize for not murdering my family. There, I said it. This is not easy. None of us are at our best, including me. We’ve had some laughs, too, but really I’m pretty sure the outside was created so we wouldn’t have to stay inside with our families. 

Does anybody remember this episode? It was called Nightmare at 20,000 Feet and it aired in 1963. (No wonder it stuck with me–I was five)!

In my yoga class, when you have to take props to do a pose because of an injury, or chronic issue, the teacher calls it “doing the needful.” That’s what we all need to do right now, the needful. What can make your day better? What can you spy with your little eye that you can feel gratitude for? Do that. I mean, of course, within the boundaries of social distancing, but do that. Sit your hiney down and meditate (I love 10% Happier). Clean something that’s been annoying you. Reach out to your friends and your neighbors and people you don’t even know (I’ve started saying hi to everyone when I’m taking a walk or walking the dog, even though I’m also crossing the street from them at the same time to maintain a six-foot distance). Take a nap. Turn off the news. Listen to the birds chirp, text your friends funny memes until they beg you to stop, notice the buds on the trees and the flowers starting to grow (they’ve never looked better). Take a hot bath, talk a walk, sit on your porch with your eyes open to the sun. Look through old pictures (from when the world was normal–it will be again).

It’s mental institution-grade crazy right now.  And it’s scary. But you owe to yourself and those around you to keep the ship afloat. Do what you need to do to get through this day with gratitude. Be kind to yourself and others, think about what you’re grateful for as you go through your (endless) day, laugh, and do the needful. Purell hugs and kisses from here.

One thought on “gratitude-a-thon day 2093: the needful

  1. Funny essay, Toni. I’m always happy to stay home since I have a lot of things I like to do here. During this zombie-like apocalypse, I’m thinking of people who aren’t comfortable in their homes or can’t afford their rent. For the past two weeks, we’ve had our NYC daughter with us, working from RI, healthy and with job security. I know she’s sick of her “roommates” but I am feeling a TON of gratitude.

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