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Feeling feelings?

Updated: May 13, 2021

The only thing worse than crying at work is talking about crying at work but I think that’s what I’m about to do. And I guess technically I’m not talking, this is writing.

But damn, I am sad. I think that’s the word of the minute. Sad.

I’m sad for the students being asked to leave their campuses and schools (and for all the implications that comes with that). For the athletes who can’t complete their seasons or compete on the world’s biggest stage; for the coaches who helped them get there. For the those who are immunocompromised, the elderly, their caregivers and the ones who love them. I’m sad for those who will have vacations and celebrations cancelled or worse those who pursued those joys and wound up stranded or quarantined.

And I’m sad for me too. For the hours of work that went into planning for events that won’t happen, for the plans that will be cancelled, and for the changes to daily life, both big and small, that I am now expected to make.

And this isn’t meant to be a pity party. That’s the one thing I’ve been avoiding with all my might. Because this isn’t about me. I know, rationally, and according to the CDC, the WHO or the constant stream of news in the palm of my hand, that minimizing the spread of COVID-19 is our shared goal. I am very much on board for that goal. And the loss of events or changes to daily life are small in comparison to the scope of what havoc this pandemic could wreak on our lives, if left unchecked.

But still, I’m sad. And if you are too, that’s okay. Or maybe you’re angry or anxious or scared or happy to be working from your couch, or something in between you just can’t name yet. And that’s okay too.

It seems as if our society has normalized “fine” as a pleasant, appropriate, and even preferred response to “how are you?” which makes it increasingly hard for us to name how we are feeling. So we use memes and jokes and a chorus of “fines.” But what if maybe, just maybe, in the face of a pandemic we ask each other, with sincerity, “how are you?” and maybe before we blurt out fine, we instead consider responding with honesty, even when it’s difficult. This is uncharted territory, my friends, and I am far from an expert. But I’m really not fine today, so I’m going to go ahead an name that – to sit with that. And who knows, maybe I’ll be fine again tomorrow.

With your emotional and physical health and safety in mind,



What I am reading: 

My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante

What I am watching: 

What I am listening to: 

Mood Booster radio on Spotify 11/10 would recommend

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