gratitue-a-thon day 2019: getting through it

Last Saturday you needed like, a head to toe waterproof beekeeper suit with thigh high fisherman’s boots to even take a step outside. It was a New England classic. The kind of winter weather that always makes me cranky, but this year, with Covid, and spending time outside being so much more important, the rainy, sleety, snowy, windy dark at 3:45 day, made me anxious and angry. This was what I have been dreading since the start of Covid. “Imagine this in the winter….,” I’d often say during the light and bright summer months of this virus, contorting my face into a “can you even” expression. Little did I know back then that we’d find out, that this pandemic would actually not only still be plaguing us during the winter months, but throwing out bigger numbers than the amount of lies spewing from Trump’s twitter account.

If you’ve known me for four minutes, you know that I hate winter. I.HATE. WINTER. I abhor the cold, the pile of clothes you must put on to be outside without turning into Frosty the fucking Snowman, the ice you have to chip from your windshield, and contend with under your feet. I’m a summer girl all the way. Give me the sunshine, the ability to walk outside with warmth on my shoulders and flip flops on my feet. Give me flowers and fertile green trees and beach and barbecued steaks and my little patio filled with people and wine and a fire in the fire pit and white twinkly lights……Andyway, the idea of having Covid and winter together like an off-key duet of the devil and Mitch McConnell, has been haunting me ever since I heard the word “pandemic.” It sounded like a I should just make my reservation at the acclaimed McClean Hospital, booking a nice suite for December through, say, May.

But back to last Saturday–I knew I had to do something, get out of the house, despite my lack of appropriate clothing options. I decided a chicken soup was in order, so headed to the store and bought the supplies. I came home soaking wet and got out my a-baby-could-take-a bath-in-this pot and threw two chickens inside with water and some veggies, salt and pepper for flavor to simmer all day. Then I began to chop. Thick leeks with circles that reminded me of tree trunks, and onions that made my eyes water and green celery, which I had to keep replenishing on account of I kept eating it, and big fat carrots. That was all I could do until late in the afternoon when the chicken had slow cooked. Then I did some online holiday shopping, went down a few google rabbit holes, read the news, wrapped some already purchased gifts, watered the plants, cleaned up my room, did some work, hopped on the stationairy bike and stared outside as it got darker and more hideous by the minute. At 3:30, I finally called it, lit a candle in my room, crawled into bed and read. And that’s when I thought. ok, this is what you’ve been dreading all these months since March–this day–of bad weather and darkness combining for cataclysmic misery and, well, it wasn’t so bad. I was safe and warm in my comfortable bed, with my dog laying right next to me and my kids and husband occupying themselves with work and tv and eating and we were all ok.There were people dying in very high numbers from Covid, their family and friends struggling, suffering, which hardly compared to having to stay in side for a day. It wasn’t the best time I’ve ever had, but I was getting through it without wanting to take cyanide and that’s when the gratitude came roaring into the middle of the room to say, “Hey, this is it, this is your worst case scenario and you’re fine.”

And so, I realize that this horrible, horrible virus that’s surging like a tsunami across our country during the cold, dark winter is like everything. You must take it a day at a time. You must do what you can for yourself and others to get through it. You must pray or meditate or telepathically communicate with your source of hope that we will all get through this frigid blackness. Every day that passes is a day I am getting through. And holy gratitude on high for that.

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