Gratitude and Platitudes

March 16, 2020

The Widow’s Pique has been missing from the blogdom world for several weeks and I was convinced no one would notice. Who cares? It’s nothing more than an insignificant collection of ramblings from a semi-competent woman who can string together words on a variety of topics that hopefully resonate. Apparently, a few of you do care, and while I am appreciative of your texts asking if I am OK and where is the next blog, I must wonder if don’t you have better things to occupy your time?

I just haven’t been feeling it, to exercise a much over-used phrase. Some health issues need my attention, tax papers needed to be gathered, I went on a cruise, I prepared for out of town visitors, and various other things that needed my attention. Simply put, my heart was not in it. I was feeling blue. I have struggled with depression and to a lesser degree, anxiety, for many years, and I usually can manage it, but sometimes it smacks me in the face. Medication helps. Before I moved south almost a year ago, I was seeing a therapist and I recommend it. Having a sense of humor is also something I have honed over the years, in fact, when people learn that I sometimes deal with depression they are surprised, because I am “funny.” The reality is I think I use the humor and my “snarkiness” to help me get through, but also to make people laugh, because it does make me happy. I genuinely like people and I enjoy being with people. But there are also times when I am masking fear, pain and hurt. I am really letting down my guard here. Cue the emotional guitar riff or whatever music of choice here.

But before I descend into a maudlin, “woe is me” jumble of melodrama, I want to raise the level of discourse, because this is not about me. One reason I hesitated to introduce a new blog is the current reality in which we find ourselves. Coronavirus is a word that every human being on the planet has become familiar with and to some degree, has found his or her life affected by, in ways unthinkable just a few short weeks ago. It has given us pause and produced fear, anxiety, turmoil and ugly behavior in many cases. It has shortened our calendars. It has given new meaning to the perceived value of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Washing our hands is at the forefront of polite conversation, though it begs the question, shouldn’t this be second nature? Moms everywhere have been drilling that into their children’s heads since the dawn of time.

Everyone is worried. We don’t know what to expect. And we hope and pray for a quick resolution. One thing I personally hope for is that we, as a nation and as a world, can come together to help each other where it is needed, lend a hand to those unable to take care of themselves, and for God’s sake, can we please just be kind to one another? This is one of the reasons my policy on social media is to restrict discussion to puppies, babies, jokes, and funny videos. To me, trashing a politician or an individual’s stance on an issue serves no purpose, will not change anyone’s mind, and only serves to further exacerbate the vitriol. This might be the perfect opportunity to set aside differences and embrace our “sameness.” I remember two things my parents said (among many) to my siblings and me. My mom, in her sweet way, always found the good in others. One of her catch phrases, “We are all God’s children” was a stark reminder that we are truly more alike than different. My dad, was the realistic one and would give us his “slap in the face” dose of the real world with his “None of us are going to get out of this world alive.” He was right, of course. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Seriously, as we all navigate this weird new reality, I hope we can find some joy and make use of our extended free time, look for ways to help and just be grateful. I will list a few of the things for which I am personally grateful, not just now, but always. I am eternally grateful for my two daughters. They make me proud every day. Not only are they accomplished young women; they are more importantly GOOD people who care about others, and of course they gave me my beautiful grandchildren. And what gives me great joy is that they love each other unconditionally, not only as sisters but as best friends. I am grateful to be living in my new home. Leaving the northeast for the southeast after sixty plus years was TOUGH. I put on my big girl pants and forced myself to step outside my comfort zone and the experience has taught me a lot about myself. I have made some good friends and I love my new Rotary club. Good people are everywhere. I am grateful for my dog, Bruno. His soulful brown eyes and neurotic neediness give me a boost when I need it. He is my love. I dread the day when I will have to say goodbye to him. I am grateful for wine, vodka, books, Howard Stern, and my birdfeeders. I will leave it at that for now. Gratitude is a soothing antidote to the negativity that sometimes overtakes me and all of us. I plan to visit it more often.

I know some of my friends are reading this and thinking, what the ever-loving F has happened to her? Where IS she? She’s gone all soft!!! Bring back the snarky bitch where she belongs. Calm down. I’m still in here. I am just taking a little breather and “social distancing” from my typical irreverent and jaded self in deference to the folks who are truly suffering from this terrible virus and out of respect to all the healthcare workers and those in positions of knowledge and leadership who are giving their all to end this scourge. I promise you, when this crisis passes and we return to some semblance of normal, I shall revert to my obnoxious, self-deprecating poor excuse for a human being, who will hopefully provide some enjoyment for you – when I’m feeling it. In the meantime, for the love of God, wash your damn hands!

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