Remember when DJ Pauly D had tee shirt time? And sometimes he needed to wear a shirt before the shirt? Consider this the post before the (rest of the other) posts. A small, but heartfelt preface, if you will, as we try to get back into our routines.
On Monday, my sister was at work (being a cute, little lawyer) in a building on Boylston. Just after the bombs exploded near the finish line, she and her co-workers were told to evacuate, only to be rushed back inside. When she was finally able to leave, she called to tell me she was heading our way, fairly certain that she wouldn’t be able to get to her Back Bay apartment. Selfishly, I was was happy we’d be in one place. But shortly after she hung up, there were television reports of police responding to area hospitals in force and that “something” was happening.
I furiously scrolled through my Twitter feed, searching for any reliable information. And I felt anger rise as people tweeted things like “Want to know the best fitness moves for a perky bum?” (yes, I do… but not now). I love social media when it gives me what I need, and I hate social media when it gets in the way. I love the connectivity, but it sometimes hampers my own ability to process and breathe. What I wanted was for someone to say, “It’s okay. Your sister is okay. She is just a few blocks away. And she’s fine. Any everyone you know and love is fine. And people you don’t know are fine, too. And you can stop crushing your husband’s hand with your piddly, little grip.”
But that’s not how the Universe operates (and I am fairly certain that was more than 140 characters).
We have to wait for some answers. And the answers we get are not always the answers we want.
I hesitated to smile yesterday when I walked past a group of kids playing at a playground in the South End. I couldn’t help but feel that being a little bit happy, even in a fleeting way, would somehow betray the real sadness we’re all experiencing. But that’s the thing: nothing is guaranteed. We’d be fools not to take happiness when it’s handed to us.
And being angry at strangers (especially when they hold the keys to the perfect backside) accomplishes very little, if anything. It’s okay for people to continue on living. In fact, it’s healthy and rather important. I need to remember that people cope and grieve in different ways. And I need to know what works (and what does not work) for me, so that I can take care of myself. This can only make me more helpful to others. Please figure out what works for you. And ask for help if you need it. Now, and in the future (because this is going to take time). If you need assistance and are not sure where to turn, consider calling your primary care physician, your health insurance company, or the Red Cross (1-800-RED-CROSS). We’re not Boston Strong because we go it alone. We’re Boston Strong because we lean on one another.
I am still reeling. I am still scared. I am still worried. I am still heartbroken. And I am still sad.
But I’ve been up to other things too. Things that are good and life-giving. And things that are mundane and boring, but that need to be done. Like, say… taking out the recycling and sweating in the meat section of the grocery store, trying to determine which steak goes in stir fry (I am going to make a reality show called “Vegetarians shop for carnivores.” It will basically be 30 minutes of second guessing, followed by a mild panic attack.). And so when I go on to talk about art museums and endive salads later this week, it’s not because I’ve forgotten. It’s because we’re going to keep on living.
Also On Tap for Today:
- Learn more about The One Fund
- Other ways you can help
- Scheduling time for plenty of wellness walks this week
How are you doing? Who are you leaning on?