Is it okay to laugh?


Is it okay to laugh?

We are in the middle of a global health crisis (there is no way to spin this, folks) and 99% of us are doing our best to stay healthy and to act in such a way that keeps others healthy.

Hard. Not hard.

Officing at home: Many folks have officed at home before – maybe even our current job is remote. But this feels different. And what helps is technology that wasn’t present when I worked remotely for a decade or so. Also, knowing people love and care for one another, and the jokes about our “coworkers” drooling, snoring, disrobing or playing video games too loud while we hide in the quiet loo with our laptops so we can attend our virtual meetings. (Ummm. No, that’s not the toilet, it’s art … modern art.)

Social distancing: in Manhattan (Kansas) where I live, Fake Patty’s Day has been cancelled and any gathering of 10 or more people is banned. We can make all of the jokes about Fake Patty’s Day we want to feel superior, but the same people who cheer on your kids’ soccer-baseball-origami-folding teams also have small businesses that rely on income from the gatherings, meetings, socializations, etc. that aren’t happening right now. Remember them, these neighbors. In actionable ways.

Izzy and I can still walk the trails by the rivers, across town or at the lakes. I can hike the trails at Konza Prairie Biological Station as long as I leave the pup home, any cigarettes, cigars or cigarellos (hard for some folks, but please do it), and stay on the established trails and not splash about the creek … ahem.

For lunch, I threw a ball for Izzy until she walked away. Done. Tomorrow, I’ll fire up the bubbles for her to play with. We walk each afternoon or evening as we are able to do in this eerily quiet, lovely, college town on the prairie. Two nights ago, I met a homeless man and his dog, and one of the most brilliant and curious people in Manhappiness. She was enjoying that night’s warm fresh air in an alcove outside of the local and closed public library.

I face-time family and friends. Will make some homemade ice cream and gobble up cheese while I can and not offend anyone. I’m going back to some gentler German ways of living while home-focused. And I am cooking.

That is a sure sign of the apocalypse.

Having had the opportunity to meet Ms. Margo, her family and Madi (who flew in from Hamburg hours before the travel ban), I am watching my pennies, which means I need to cook what I have. Since all of the wheat flour had been bought before I moseyed into Dillons yesterday, I have white corn flour and now a few recipes to try (Arepas anyone?)

With the goal to not just maintain, but still grow my healthy heart, healthy thinking and healthy form (snort!), I am also working each day to #BoldlyAdvance #KStateFamily because What a Family!, and to prepare for my eventual move (next week … next year) and then dig in to the photo albums I began … 20 years ago.

But the best thing – the most lift – LIFE – I have gotten has been from framily who send or say funny things, live out kindness or get real about how they are doing.

The other day, I friend asked me for something. This friend, like me, was raised to be self-sufficient so her request was striking. And I felt like a million dollars that she would ask. Seriously. It was a revelation, this feeling of being asked to show up for another. I don’t know why her asking was so different than others asking except it came from her at this time when life is more than slightly askew. I am now generating some courage to ask others for what I need that I cannot sort out myself or do without. Feel free to say no or yes. Either way, we’re good.

A few of us are going to bike the lonely trails today and maintain our social distance. I may throw the kayak on the car and paddle this week. Izzy and I will keep walking and watching the sun set.

I keep wondering about how you are doing? You are all over the world and in so many different stages of life and experience. What is keeping you afloat or enthusiastic?

While you think of what lifts you, here is something from Izzy, Madi and Zach’s wonderdog that happens to live with me for the moment. #ALittleHope
Remember: We can do hard things.

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