Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

I owe you updates upon updates. To begin, an update on “A Little Bit of Everything: The Forty File” is coming soon. But for now I need to turn my head and heart back to this pandemic. Since March 2020 I’ve been COVID-19 obsessed. I want to be clear that I accept and own this because it would be a downright lie to state otherwise. My worries, pre-pandemic and now, are one in the same: are we taking care of each other and making our mark? I’m a little extra with this right now. i.e. Covid.

I don’t have a cure for Covid just like I couldn’t solve the epidemic of empathy, or lack thereof, before Covid came to be. We’ve long needed to inoculate more patience, love, and understanding of one another into the world, especially with and through our differences. And if this feels annoyingly apostolic, my apologies. Truly, I’ve been wanting the best for people for so long that I sometimes forget what a weird road it is to walk. The only thing more toxic than toxic positivity is a void of compassion, grace, and gratitude.

18 months later and I’m struggling big time. Where is all the gratitude we felt for healthcare workers in the early days? Why do we demand more from our educators and critique them so readily while forgetting that many of them, like us, are struggling to stay afloat? Where’s the sentence that starts with “I’m listening,” before we go and tell someone what to do and how to feel?

For the record, before you wonder, I’m team science. It doesn’t make me a sheep or a fool. Merely, it’s what makes me comfortable in an age where most days I’m anything but. Before this pandemic I anticipated a mid-life crisis, but now I’m in a full blown Covid crisis.

How does this end with us loving one another?

I have no answers.

I’m exhausted. Like everyone else in the world, I’m over Covid. So maybe we start there. This hasn’t been easy for anyone. This is no longer about how this ends. It’s about how we live and love through it.

I have to believe in and seek out the good. I have to extend empathy to everyone, including and especially to those who believe differently than me. I have to take my worries and work them into something that allows me to make my mark.

Again, you might be sipping your coffee and saying “this lady doesn’t get it.” Trust me, I know the world is relentlessly challenging and complicated. I’m entirely too familiar with anxiety and self-doubt. But the sun will rise from this darkness and I’d like to emerge knowing I worked to be a better person.

If you’re tired then rest, but don’t quit. If you’re skeptical then ask, but don’t dismiss. If you’re sad then be sad, but try to remember and rely on the good.

Choosing optimism in this pandemic isn’t weak or wrong. It’s brave.

For now, and for always, I’m thankful.