I always say that March is a wildcard. Growing up in Rochester, NY, March would often deliver us fierce snowstorms, followed by weeks of grey slush. March Madness. In like a lion, maybe out like a lamb. Ides of March. This March has proven my belief that March is forever a wildcard.
Like many of you, when I first heard about coronavirus I didn’t think too much about it. I figured it would all be OK and handled rather quickly. The past two weeks, I have been quarantined in my little NYC apartment, leaving my home only to search for toilet paper (seriously) and long walks. I work, eat, 305 dance, hang, virtual happy hour and survive at home. I worry about my “at-risk” parents and grandparents, friends losing jobs, the economy, millions of people dying and putting others at risk. These days can easily blur together. Right now, all we know is the unknown, faith, hope, love, fear and a little bit of kindness. It’s a weird time to be alive, and it’s a time that will change history and all of us forever.
What I learned is that if you have your health, you have a lot. I have experienced health scares and have known this for some time. However, it deserves reminding. What really matters besides your health? If you have your health, you can have everything else. If you take good care of yourself always, you can handle and enjoy more life. Health is a blessing. Health is a gift. Health is wealth.
I have learned to relish in quiet. Being quarantined at home can have its perks. We’re all at the same place. For the first time ever, I can hop on social media and NOT be bombarded with Kelly’s photos from her French getaway, Matt’s abs or Laura’s wedding portraits. It’s like we all hit ‘pause’ on the busy movie called life and get to rest. We can go for afternoon walks, cook dinners, read books, breathe deeply, just be. Perhaps we needed this pause.
I have come to believe that virtual happy hours should always be a thing. Why haven’t we been catching up with high school friends this way? It’s 2020 and I want to chat with video and a glass of wine in hand.
I have been reminded that essential workers – grocery store workers, pizza makers, bus drivers, cooks, bodega owners – are fricken’ ESSENTIAL. These are people that serve us with a smile on their face during a PANDEMIC. Thank you for risking your lives to help me and my community. Thank you for always being so helpful, patient, kind and giving. Thank you for doing this when not being paid NEARLY enough, without sick and PTO days, without any applause and little corporate support. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.
I have realized my own privilege. I don’t have to worry about my job, money, shelter, food or kids. While staying at home can be “inconvenient” or “annoying”, it isn’t hard. It’s not disrupting my life, taking away my job, putting my health at risk, delaying my children’s education, harming my parents or destroying my savings and finances. My privilege offers me the ability to hit ‘pause’ and take afternoon walks, millions of Americans are not granted that same luxury.
Thank you March for another month on this planet. I am thankful for your lessons. I am wiser for your experiences. I am certain of your wildcard ways. I am hopeful it will all be OK.