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Being thankful or grateful or just trying to be.....

It's November, which for me as some people know, is sort of the start of winter, which means my golf clubs and summer clothes leave Michigan for their winter home in Marco Island, above. A friend and I drive down every year, spend a few more days each year it seems and thus starts a slow and timely partial exodus from cold and snow. This year it seemed like more of a cautious escape than a true beginning of a season. The election is over, although it doesn't really seem to be. Each day is filled with more and more annoying stories of why the election isn't over, or it is, or maybe it is, or of course it is and why is the losing side just being so obtuse. Losing sucks, it does, but someone always loses, don't they? In the meantime, more people are getting diagnosed, more and more people are dying and getting sick, including it seems more people I know or know of; as though walls are closing in in a way. As I have talked about before, it is just tiring. As it keeps going on, I cannot recall stories, maybe 9-11, where the news was just more depressing every day, where as much as you tried to escape you can't, and where an end seems so far off it is almost hard to contemplate.

I spent about a week in Florida with my previously infected friend. I hate to be that person and I try and pride myself on keeping my anxiety level at about a five, not ignoring but also not cowering with the cat under my covers. Plus she scratches. But as I walk into Joey's Pizza in Marco, and yes I am calling them out,, and seeing just a gross display of virus spreading, I felt like "that guy". Two deep at the bar, every table packed, people crowded in the waiting area, I mean not even an attempt to get people to not breathe on each other. So we left for Joey D's. What surprised me more than anything was just the rank ignoring of everything we have been told is dangerous. I get that i do not have to eat out, and I admit a huge conflict of what to do with this, but some common sense just seems needed, or at least try. Florida I guess is Florida, the wild west of infection.

Dinner in Marco above, me on the right.

But so nice to be somewhere different, somewhere warm and sunny, and realizing that you can get away, that there are options and it always is just the level of risk you want to take. Being outside just feels safe, the sun and warmth seems to make you feel safe, just avoid the stupid places and people who pretend this is really nothing. And flying back in a big first class seat helped too.

But Thanksgiving, and gratefulness? It's a week from now, and I wish I cared more. I will make the best of it, try and make it nice for someone, have a small for gathering with my parents, I sort of shudder to call it a thanksgiving meal, it's really just a hang out. I am sure it will be fine, but I can't get excited. I have never been a huge thanksgiving person but I get the symbolism, last year I went to Boston and had a truly odd meal with Mari's roommate's father's family. Despite the abject horror of seeing a man shred a turkey with his bare, greasy and kinda dirty hands, it was fun. It felt like it should. This year the anticipation of it is the polar opposite. I miss my kids, I have seen my oldest, Alex for four days since the middle of March, and while I had my youngest for four months, it seems like forever that I have spent time with them. It's not that I hover, much, they are 700 miles away, but I miss the interaction, and sometimes even the silence when they are just here. It's doable, I'm not sobbing in my snapple, but it sucks a little bit more these days.

But more than anything, it just keeps being tiring, exhausting. Trying to not talk about it, but knowing you have to. It's like the elephant in a room gets bigger so why ignore it? I had my Florida Covid test, no issue, but weird knowing I had to pass what seemed like a litmus test before I saw my parents or went to work.(I did pass) The governor has shut down restaurants again, I ate outside in the cold, it was ok, refreshing, but I don't want my eating out to be refreshing. I think we cling to a longing for normalcy while at the same time knowing we may never have what we thought that was again. But like anything we adapt and move on because at the end of the day I am not sure there is a choice?

It's not all depressing. I have found that I am watching utterly stupid things I might not watch otherwise. I mean really, would I be watching Emily in Paris on Netflix in a non pandemic world?(doubtful but just watching the chocolate croissants brings hope). The bachelorette? And it's not even a good season. I keep buying stupid things on line, and some not even stupid, but buying an Echo from Amazon at 1:00 am in the dark under the covers just somehow seems normal. I listened to my first podcasts too, I guess welcome to 2015 huh? and sometimes don't you just have to lay back and just starting thinking how awful things are but how sometimes the absurdity of it all just sort of keeps you on your toes. Happy Thanksgiving, whatever that means for you.

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