“Why is she sitting so close to me?” I think, as I feel my heart rate going up.
“If I stretch my legs a bit, maybe she’ll scooch over.”
“It’s fine. We are outside, on a boat – the air is constantly moving.”
“Let it go, Karen. She is staying at your house and that’s indoors.”
Yes, this is my internal dialogue on almost a constant basis. Obsessively analyzing the situation, calculating six feet, looking at air flow and wind direction.
We had a family of four staying with us through New Year’s Eve. We all got tested. They all got tested. They drove here. On day three, we took a boat ride and one of our guests sat frighteningly close to me on the boat. Remember, she had been staying INSIDE my home, sleeping in one of our bedrooms and eating in our kitchen.
Have I completely lost my ability to think rationally? I watch movies and cringe at a full elevator, people hugging hello, a simple handshake makes me nauseous. I just listened to a book in which Matthew McConaughey describes giving someone a bear hug. DON’T DO THAT! Is my first reaction. Which is why, as we enter 2021, the meme I most relate to is:
I literally cannot imagine what 2021 will be like. I do not know what to expect or anticipate. I want to believe that at some point I will walk into my parents’ house and give my mother and father a hug and a kiss hello like I have been doing for 54 of my 55 years. I would love to plan a party for our youngest daughter when she graduates from college in May. Wouldn’t it be fun to rent out the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville and go country line dancing with all her college friends and their families? We have always wanted to rent a pedal tavern – that’s outside and moving, seems like it could work. But could it?
Maybe I am limited by my imagination. I clearly remember when Trump extended the two-week country-wide shut down to April 30th. I said, “I don’t think I can do this.” But I did. Maybe I just couldn’t imagine doing it. The thought of not being close to friends and family, not going out for dinner or into a store – I couldn’t envision it. Really picture what it would be like. So, I put my head down and carried on. I had no choice. In retrospect, it all just unfolded. I didn’t need to imagine it, anticipate it, I just needed to do it.
Is that what 2021 will be like? Am I self-aware enough to understand that just because I can’t imagine hugging my parents, doesn’t mean it won’t happen? The thought of a handshake makes me nauseous – will I actually touch the handrail on an escalator? I saw two Broadway shows in March of 2020 – really, like really, Broadway’s lights may turn back on?
I like to have things to look forward to. In fact, sometimes I have to remind myself to live in the moment and not always think about the next thing. Usually, the next thing involves travel and seeing someone important to me. I have not let my mind go there for so long, I can’t seem to get it to. I am hoping the limitation is my imagination, not reality. In the meantime, move over, you’re sitting too close to me!