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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Takeout Tears

 


I cried over carry out today. 

 No. It wasn’t because my order was wrong or the food was horrible. 

 It was because I had to sit in my car for the umpteenth time and wait for a person in a mask and gloves to bring it out to me. 

 I cried because I had to ask him if they were doing okay, and he knew what I meant. 

 I cried because I left him a tip, and wished instantly that it would have been more.

 I cried because I am genuinely worried that some of these local places that I love so much are not going to make it, and it’s not because of any fault of their own. 

 I cried because I’m tired. 

 I’m tired of being scared, and causing people to be scared.

 I’m tired of wondering where people have been or if they are correctly following social distancing guidelines.

 And I’m tired of people secretly wondering that about me.

 I’m tired of the suspicion. 

 I’m tired of the hateful looks in the store anytime someone clears their throat or purchases something that someone else has deemed “non essential”.

 I’m tired of how angry everyone seems right now. 

 I’m tired of grieving the loss of important life events, and watching people I love do the same. 

 I’m tired of people being made to feel bad or guilty because they are grieving those things.

 I’m tired of hurting for people who are out of work and who have to rely on food pantries and government assistance-not because they are “lazy”-but because the government deemed their livelihood “non essential”. 

 I’m tired of worrying what “normal” is going to look like on the other side of this.

 I’m tired of wondering if we will ever truly recover, and how deeply this is going to change us. 

 I’m just tired. 

 And as I took my food in it’s tightly tied up bag and watched the server walk away, I vowed to just keep trying to be better.

 To always make eye contact with the person who is handing me my food and ask them how their day is going. 

 To always tip generously (which means more than 10% for those of you who still don’t realize that this is 2020). 

 To give grace in the grocery store, and on social media-even when it’s hard to do so. 

 To share more positive things. 

 To call my mom more.

 To play the board game with my daughter when she asks.

 To be a little kinder. 

 To practice patience.

 To stop judging people on social media about where they are and what they are doing. 

 To allow people to grieve the “small things”-no matter what that looks like. 

 Newsflash: we don’t get to decide how other people feel. No matter how much we think we do. 

 I also vowed to do my part to keep people safe-to the best of my ability. 

 To attend my local graduation when this is all over-not because anyone in my family is graduating-but because these kids deserve our support. 

 They deserve to be seen. 

 They deserve to have people cheering loudly for them as they head into adulthood, because the things they have overcome this year need more support from us than just sharing our senior photos from 15 years ago. 

 I vowed to continue to support local business now and after this is all over. 

 You know, I honestly don’t know what the world is going to look like on the other side of all of this.

 But, I do know this: 

 That God is the same yesterday and today, and He will be the same tomorrow. 

 COVID-19 isn’t going to change that. 

 And that I can either choose to allow God to use all of this to make me better or I can allow it to make me bitter. 

 I’m choosing better. 

 Just better.

 There is light at the end of this tunnel. 

 I believe it to be so. 

 But, until we get there, let’s continue to choose to be the best version of ourselves. 

 To let this break our hearts, but not our spirits. 

 To continue to choose hope-even when it’s hard to see in the dark. 

 To be sensitive and sincere. 

 And to choose to show love. 

 Not just to our people. 

 But to the people we don’t even know whether in person or on the other side of a screen. 

 So, let’s all choose better, okay?

 I promise. 

 We will all be so glad that we did.

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