If you can, get yourself a newspaper column. It’s a great opportunity to offer advice for which no one has asked. There’s implied permission to shoot your mouth off about whatever you like as long as it falls within your column’s theme. However, you must always be ready for things to change. Sometimes a pandemic takes over the town, county, state, country, world and things largely shut down. You’re left with a column called Narrowsburg News of which there is very little during self-isolation.
That doesn’t mean that the current situation gets to shut you down. You’re better than that! Me, not so much. I’ve pretty much wasted the only Wednesday, April 29, 2020 I’m ever going to have pondering whether I’ll be able to return to some of the best parts of my life when this is over. I’m not optimistic, which is rare for me.
Today I’ve been focused on my own small losses. My college reunion was postponed for at least a year, leaving me unsure when I’ll see my family next. I miss my friends from work. Most of the tour dates I had booked in 2020 have been canceled which is financially stressful. And I can’t stop wondering if anyone will get to see the costume I have planned for Zuzu at this year’s River Fest Dog Parade.
So, learn from my mistakes. Do—don’t dwell! Don’t let self-isolation isolate you. If it is at all possible, make this time about something constructive or joyful.
Allow me to share the memory that pulled me out of today’s wallow.
Nearly eight years ago, life hit a rough patch. Times were as hard as they’ve been for us. Rather than letting 2012 be defined by our problems, we decided to get married. Take that, things over which there is no control! Eight years later, I’ve got a pretty ring and memories of one of the best days of my life.
So perhaps the next time you’re feeling a little cabin fever or a dose of despair, you can ask yourself what else you want this time to be about and set about making it happen.
That’s what I’m going to do—now I’ve just got to figure out what that is.
Now for a bit of Narrowsburg News:
The DVAA is doing a great job of virtually morphing their normally wonderful in-person programming. Check out www.delawarevalleyartsalliance.org for details including online galleries of art shows, the DVAA Art Challenge and the Live@Home streaming musical performances, artist talks and studio tours.
And finally, a shout out to the Narrowsburg Inn and Tusten Hope. Tusten Hope is a group of volunteers and neighbors coming together to supply 50 bags of groceries each week for Sullivan and Wayne County families in need during the pandemic. Pick up is at the Narrowsburg Inn parking lot on Tuesday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m. Details and registration instructions can be found at www.tustenhope.com/#home. How nice to have this time defined by support and generosity instead of fear—well done and inspiring.
Note, the Tusten Hope website does ask people to follow social distancing guidelines, which is always a good idea. Regardless of your own feelings and boundaries, you’ll be protecting someone else’s peace of mind when they’re out in public. It’s seldom a bad idea to lead with kindness during a time of heightened stress such as this. Masks, gloves and a distance of six feet are sure to be appreciated by someone.