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I Had A Moment

Last Sunday, I was not okay. I heard from the news reports that this week would be a “bad” week. That we needed to do our part by not going anywhere, including the grocery store if we could help it. Face masks were also now being recommended. So I made my list for the week and headed to my local store to get everything I needed for the next seven days, if not longer.

I put on my gloves and mask in the car and watched several people going in and out with the same protective gear on. It was one of the saddest moments in my life. I was on a surgical strike, as my husband calls his regular shopping trips. Get in and get out. No lingering or socializing.

But I like to linger. I like to make eye contact, smile at strangers and say hi. When I frequent the store in my neighborhood, I almost always see a familiar face. I like to catch up and it just hit me that, THAT was over.

Seeing everyone’s face hidden, walking by strangers in the aisles and both of us trying to pass as far away from each other as possible and not being able to exchange a smile, broke my heart. I saw senior citizens without masks and I wanted to give them mine. I wanted to help the person in the wheelchair grab something from the top shelf. But I couldn’t.

When I got home, I broke down and sobbed to my family who were all processing in different ways but were still empathetic to me. You see, I’m an instructor. My job is to teach healing and wellness from within using fitness. I’m smiling and “on” in every class I lead. Being social is in my DNA. I didn’t earn the nickname motormouth for nothing.

And now, I feel broken. I can’t have coffee in real life with my girlfriends. I can’t linger in Barnes & Noble. I can’t watch the eyes of my students light up when they tell me how much stronger they feel. It’s like I’m mourning.

I know this is all temporary. And I know EVERYONE is dealing, processing, and maneuvering through their own trials. I’m just trying to move through mine. But we’ll make it through. What a frightening yet incredible notion that our future is truly dependent on one another, now more than ever.

I’m encouraged though, that when this is a memory, we will be stronger with a better sense of our individual impact on our community. That when we feel helpless or that our one self can’t possibly make a difference, we’ll remember when we all stood still to shut this virus down. We’ll remember the sacrifices, so that our world could heal. We will see smiles again, and they will mean more than ever before.

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