Pandemic days, and birthdays

Today is my birthday. I don’t say this as an enticement to comment and wish me a happy day, as I have few followers and expect nothing from the disclosure. It’s just another day really, since there will be no dinner out, or long weekend to get away from home and do something different. It’s the third family birthday since March, and we are still sheltering, staying home, taking care. I have asked only to have dinner with my children and their significant others, cooked at home and eaten in the outdoor air. One is here at home for the duration of the COVID disruption, the other works out in public and cannot avoid other people. He will not come inside my house, or let me inside his, which I understand and respect. If the roles were reversed I would do the same. He will come over and sit outside sometimes, which I like very much.

My age is only relevant as it puts me in a slightly higher risk category than I would like, as I am nearing 60. I’m in very good health, get plenty of exercise and vitamin D (both natural and supplemental). I feel disassociated from my age, as if it’s someone else’s birthday and someone else’s age. I don’t feel significantly different than I did say, around 40. Hopefully a little wiser, but to be honest I’m not sure that I could say so. I still struggle through things that I thought would be easier by now. I find that I have to remind myself that I should stay at home, be careful, don’t rush this thing. Relax. Enjoy the slower pace. It’s hard, when I’m so accustomed to determining my own fate.

I’m not complaining, even though it may sound like I am. Many people are in worse shape than I am. Loss of income, security, the need to go out every day in this uncertain world so that you can pay the bills and feed your family – much worse. I’m lucky to have a job that can be done in the safety of my home. I’ve never been threatened because of the color of my skin. I’ve never been homeless. I make a point to remember, every day, that I am fortunate.

I hope that when (if?) this time is over, and the virus is better understood and perhaps controlled, that we will value the things that we should have learned. Patience. Kindness. Inclusion. Respect. The importance of intelligence and understanding. Leadership. Consequences. I hope that we’ll come out the other side somehow better than we were before. I hope. If it happens, then maybe, just maybe, we can say that something good came of 2020, the lost year. I think that’s the gift that I’d like to have for my birthday, along with that dinner!

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