Let’s be rational…

Good afternoon Travellers,

Lately, I’m feeling like we are all kids in a car with our parents and we’re on our way to Florida. From Kansas. It’s a long drive, trust me. Dad keeps telling us we’re gonna be there in just a few hours when actually it’s more like days…because he doesn’t want to tell us how long it’s really going to be AND he can’t tell us, “If you don’t stop asking, I’m going to turn this car around…” because we can’t turn back to the world that doesn’t have this virus, can we?

Each day I awake as many do and think, what day is this? I can’t decide if it’s so very freeing or I feel like the Mad Hatter…this early afternoon, the sun is here, The wind is blowing, all the doors and windows are open and I’ve got Louis & Ella playing in the background as I write to you, my fellow humans who are also on this same strange journey…And it’s just as the song says, a lovely day…

Part of me thinks that this disaster has occurred at a rather fortuitous moment for me personally as I’ve spent the past year learning to be good on my own. Recovering from a divorce. Learning to be at peace with the unknown. Wading through the darkest recesses of my life in therapy. And learning that not having any idea of where my life is heading is okay. Mostly it’s admitting that we never do. There is the illusion of control and the reality that life cannot be forced into a cadence of your choosing at any given time. But I chose to throw myself into that abyss, the rest of the world did not consciously chose this one.

But now here we all are…

I’m not saying I’ve been at peace with this whole viral apocalypse, I have my teary eyed moments of fear and uncertainty Like everyone else. My best friend is 3 months pregnant and I think of her everyday. I’m am very fortunate that I have a job that I will have (fingers crossed) when the dust settles. BUT still the financial tidal waves this viral nightmare has created could drown us as well. All we can do is hold on…

About a week ago I had a particularly intense few moments, so I called up a colleague and dear friend who lived through WWII. He was a child a that time of 8-12, old enough to understand what was happening but young enough to probably not contemplate the worst case scenarios that only adults can imagine.

In times like this, I think we all need to remember what humanity has dragged itself through to the threshold of survival. There have been many dark journeys into a night that seemed to have no dawn waiting on the other side for our species. And I believe that’s why it’s important to preserve older generations and listen to the tales of their fortitude.

Social distancing is important for so many reasons, but this is a big one. While we have time we should take in the stories of their survival and tuck them away in our minds for times like these. Because there will be other testing grounds in our future. Because younger generations, my generation, everyone from Baby boomers, GenX through the millennials have never seen the likes of global war.  Or known deprivation on a large scale. But here we are…

WWII was a time when our world came together to fight a common enemy. We were Allies. Europe’s collective nations and America. And now we, the entire globe, are fighting one enemy, an invisible virus. Without being too political, I do want to say as an American, we need to be connected with the world. America cannot do this alone. We are all in this together. Globally. We are all in fact allied in our humanity, aren’t we?

WWII was a time where people had to shoulder situations that made them super uncomfortable. My friend said people understood they all had to work together. Sacrifice together for the greater good. Rationing of food, gas, clothing, flour and all kinds of things that most of us have taken for granted all our lives helped America endure for four years. FOUR YEARS.

Here we are stressing the possibility of months of social distancing, but imagine FOUR YEARS. And add in the violence of war.

And I’m not saying these situations are identical, but there are nuances that are very same same.

Rationing was put into place so more money could be funneled into the war effort. My friend told me you could only have one pair of shoes, two pairs of pants…A year. Imagine that…

There were Victory Garderns, which were civilians growing veggies for citizens and scrap drives..Dick grew up on a farm, so they always had food.

This man is sort of like a great uncle to me and what I love most is talking to him about what life was like in America back then. It’s a world I have never known. Many of us have never known. There’s something about people who survived WWII, the parents of that time and their children. They seem galvanized in a way unlike any other generation. And comforting because you know if someone has seen the worst and they tell you it’ll be alright, they know what they are saying…

One greatest blessings of my job is that I have had the good fortune to know many of these people. And I can only hope this experience does that for some of us, because when that generation is gone, we’re gonna need those kind of souls in this world.

Now back to rationing and a funny coincidence..my New Year’s resolution this year was to use less toilet paper. I know that sounds simple minded, but truly, as a single girl, you gotta find ways to save a dime. I feel like most of my life I have spun that spindle like it was a roulette wheel of toilet paper fortune. Seriously, I had a boyfriend’s parents once comment about my blatant disregard for toilet paper usage. I was in my 20s and well, not a very conscientious girl.

A good friend told me she only used three squares…that does not quite do it for me, so I go with 5-6 and 8 for certain movements, you know what I mean…BUT here is the most interesting part of this, I found that my awareness of using other things also changed by using less toilet paper. I use fewer paper towels when cleaning, I only use one tissue to blow my nose. I use fewer Clorox wipes when cleaning. I’m more aware of well, anything that might need to go in a trash can in a way that I’ve never considered before…

Why am I telling you this?? Because I think if you are feeling out of control, consider this alternative. Use less so more people can have what they need. Use less versus hoarding toilet paper, Clorox wipes, flour or whatever else your using as a security blanket at this time.  Again, we are in this together and it’s not just about what you need, but what others need too. If we all use less, the supply will go further. The corporations will have more time to restock. And if you have kids, here is one thing you could do for this planet. You could teach your kids to be responsible consumers. Why?

Because where does trash go? I mean it’s so nice in America that we put out trash in containers by our curbs once a week, and POOF, it’s goes away in a truck. Like magical trash fairies. BUT IT’S NOT. There are gashes in this planet that we are filling with trash. And I’m pretty sure that if someone designated your back yard for excavation to hold trash, you would be appalled. Just think about all the trash we are creating right now…Just here in America.

Maybe you don’t believe in global warming or species extinction or the polar ice caps are melting, or that this virus was caused by humans disrupting the natural order of the world, BUT I’m pretty sure you don’t want a back yard of trash. So I think here is an opportunity to make some change. To take some control in a situation where you probably feel like you have none. It’s a tiny thing I know, but sometimes you’re hanging off the cliff holding on with a single finger. And it’ll be enough to drag your ass back up somehow.

Doing small good deeds makes all human souls feel better. It even worked on the Grinch. That’s all I’m saying…

Lastly, I’m gonna leave you with a song. I had never heard this until Dick told me about it. It’s called, “When the lights go on again all over the World” and you should click on that link and listen. It’s a song from the WWII time span. Because big band music is just the best, right up there with jazz. And it’s soul warming. And jazz, which to me may be the most important music of our human lives, was born in adversity, thrived in a depression and it just feels like the music for our time right now. 

OH, and since I know you have time, you should watch Ken Burn’s document-series “Jazz”. It’s on Amazon right now, and it really again, could not be more timely…

AND I’d love to hear from everyone out there…have you found any little habits that are making this time easier? Do you know what day it is?? Do you know anyone from the WWII era who has any great tales of that time, especially if you are from another country, I’m always fascinated by different perspective of major world events…

I’m going to start writing again everyday, because I have the time, so I’ll be seeing you…Be well..

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