This morning I got up and pulled on my winter running clothes and headed out for a six-mile hike, like I do five or six mornings a week. Two of my walking buddies, ladies who are almost singularly responsible for keeping me sane these past 10 months, were waiting to join me. All I could think was: Again?
It’s what I did yesterday. It’s what I’ll do tomorrow. I feel a little like we are stuck in a time loop and unable to break the cycle.
Now, I know I’m lucky. I live in a beautiful part of the world and I am able to get outside and exercise, even if I haven’t been to a grocery store since last March. I am very happy that we have a new President. I am delighted that people are getting vaccinated. I thought, once that vaccine started rolling out, I’d be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So why does it feel so murky?
I suppose because, like the rest of the country, having the vaccine does not equate with getting the vaccine. Also because the messaging surrounding who is eligible keeps changing, so it’s hard to get one’s hopes up – or even believe that we will get to a point where anyone who wants the vaccine can get it. I admit to getting cranky when someone who’s already had a shot starts fretting about the new variants of COVID and if they’ll need a booster (Hello? Some of us would like that first basic dose!) I am frustrated by the fact that ski patrol in New Hampshire is being vaccinated before public school teachers. I’m just…
I’m guessing a lot of you are tired, too.
It’s really hard to create when I feel this way, and yet, I go up to my computer every day and plug away at my work in progress, because I am also aware that there are a lot of people out there who need stories to help them escape the reality of the world right now.
So today I’m going to ask something of you. Take a moment, and thank an author. Not me (I’m already very grateful for all of you) – but someone else whose writing you admire. Someone whose novel swept you away for a few hours during this pandemic. Find them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. And send a message saying thank you. Authors are often the first to hear when something is wrong (you didn’t like a book, your copy arrived with pages missing, your local bookstore didn’t stock it) but readers don’t always take the time to say You brought me joy. I can promise you that whatever author you reach out to will be so, so touched.
And will feel a little more hopeful.
And a little less tired.
Thanks for helping me spread a little joy when we all need it.