A year ago, I had just started a new job.
A year ago, I walked into my colleague’s office.
A year ago, he said to me: “Should we be taking this ‘corona virus’ thing more seriously?”
A year ago, I replied, with a shrug and a smile: “Probably!”
A year ago, I took the subway home.
A year ago, I had a team.
A year ago, I had dinner with my friend at a restaurant I’d never been to before on Greenwich Street. We sat at the bar and sipped drinks.
A year ago, I had dinner with my friend at one of my favorite little French places in the West Village. We shared plates and gossiped and caught up about the job I’d left the month before.
A year ago, I planned trips.
A year ago, I put a deposit down on summer camp for for my older son.
A year ago, I had never worn a mask. Now I will always keep one in my pocket.
A year ago, I’d never used Zoom. Now I never don’t use Zoom, except when I’m using Teams.
A year ago, I went shopping one Saturday. I started at Nordstrom and worked my way north, up Columbus Avenue. I bought shoes and sweaters and pants, all to face the world.
A year ago, I wore those clothes.
A year ago, I got a foot massage with my sister.
A year ago, I got a manicure.
A year ago, I got a blow out.
A year ago, I made plans to see people.
A year ago, I went to the movies with my husband.
A year ago, I had no idea.
A year ago, 500,000 souls woke up, brushed their teeth, ran out of toothpaste, ate cereal for breakfast, kissed their children tenderly on the head, called their loved ones on a whim, watched something mindless on TV, vented about that guy at work, managed their business, walked their puppy, worried about their bills, got manicures, wore new clothes, opened a package, read the newspaper (on their phone), met friends for dinner, had a glass of wine, read a book, dreamt of tomorrow…
If I am lucky, I will someday tell the story like this: at the midpoint of my life the world turned upside down. The change shook out of our pockets and what we were left with was all that was really important. Wellington boots climbing through muddy swamps looking for tadpoles and turtles, giant bubbles in the air, creaking trees on windy nights, dirty knees from days in the park, texts from friends far and wide that made us laugh and cry and laugh and cry, a plethora of recipes at our fingertips, a sip of a Negroni in the warming spring light, little hands in big hands in bigger hands in little hands. We still had a team, it was just a different team, and it included two small blue frogs. It was here all along, our family, our loved ones, our friends. And the change shook loose from our pockets. And we realized what we did not need. And we realized that if we could drill down and find happiness, we were lucky. If I am lucky, and stay lucky, that is the story I will tell.
(Off to buy some skincare!)