The other night my ex called me to tell me he was working on his will and did I want anything?
I wasn’t expecting that so I said, “Can I get back to you?” in between me blurting out some of the things that were coming into my head that I knew I wanted.
I learned two things from this – one, I wasn’t ready to have this conversation, with him or anyone else and two, I might have to have this conversation and be better prepared.
He works on the front lines as a social worker on a medical team at a hospital here in Portland so he’s around what’s happening in response to the Coronavirus. He’s watching the medical teams get prepared, run out of critical supplies and have to make hard decisions. And those hard decisions then get passed along to families dealing with intense trauma and distress around an illness we are just learning about.
Meanwhile, I’m at home thinking about what I can do. How I can help? I’m not sure how many people are actually taking this seriously, as in, this could hit you or someone you love or your neighbor and then what? Then it becomes serious?
I went to Mt. Tabor twice last week and I am going to stop going now. It was like spring time in Portland. People with food and blankets, skate boarding, walking, running, dogs everywhere. I mean, I get it. I went. But isn’t it just a tad bit disrespectful given people are working their asses off to make sure this virus gets treated appropriately and doesn’t spread? Maybe we need to be making better decisions based on the greater good. Maybe we just need to fucking stay home and wait this out.
Personally, I think our old reality is dying. Recalibrating. We are in unprecedented times, we don’t know what is ahead. What we do know is that old systems are breaking down and we have the power as individuals in these systems to allow them to fall away and to cultivate something new. Something better. We are powerful as a collective; our individual agency and the daily choices we make have a great impact on where we end up together.
The grief right now is real. So much loss and devastation. So much fear and anger. All we can do is allow there to be space for it, so it can be felt. Weddings, graduations, tours, jobs, gigs, businesses, all gone or at risk. The sadness and grieving is palpable.
But we can pivot. We’re adaptable creatures. We can figure out what is important right now. In this day, in this hour, despite the upset and loss.
Checking in on people, sewing face masks, FaceTiming old friends, spending money on local brick and mortar businesses that are trying very hard to stay open despite the major hit in the economy.
Tell your BabyBoomer parents to stay home, this is serious. Make art. Read a book. Write a poem. Garden. Tip your budtenders extra, as pot shops in legal states are still open. Share an exercise video, offer a free class. Or you know what, just take a nap and consider it positive energy towards the collective unrest.
I don’t have to tell you what to do. You already know. Maybe we’ll get even better at prioritizing self love and self care through this. Maybe our priorities will get recalibrated and some new truth will be unearthed.
As we navigate this, let’s tell our stories. I’m starting to tell mine and asking others about theirs on my new podcast, Conversations. It’s been out there just about a month and you can binge four episodes, plus a prologue where I talk about why I started the podcast in the first place. Sharing stories keeps us grounded in reality, helps us expand our world view and shed light on some of our heavier places.
Listen to it here and feel free to reach out to me at any time. If you’re on Instagram, find me at @lizstacygold or @rhinogirlmedia_