America, I’m tired.
I’m tired of one-ply toilet paper.
I’m tired of people who don’t have to worry about money telling me to stay home.
Yes, Terry Bradshaw, I’m sure you WILL be alright. No doubt in my mind.
Meanwhile, I’m tired of eating rice.
And potatoes because they’re cheap.
Hashtag, WeAreInThisTogether. Are we? I don’t know.
I’m tired of nobody pausing.
I’m tired of institutions making decisions 30 days out, and then three days in making another 30 day decision.
I’m tired of Prime not being 2 days.
I’m tired of people shaming me for going out.
I’m tired of the shame for staying home.
I’m tired of standing in lines.
I’m tired of how quiet the stores are.
Well...actually, no. I’m not tired of that.
But I am tired of how quiet churches are. The bells, they still ring though. A sound of hope.
I’m tired of staring across an empty classroom at a student wearing a mask and waving goodbye when all they wanted was a hug I couldn’t give.
I’m tired of not hugging.
I’m tired of people not believing scientists.
I’m tired of scientists who forgot blended families.
That no one realizes one child in two houses--both with step-siblings, who have other step-siblings in another house--who all have different half siblings in a third house can touch at least 25 people within the course of the day.
That “stay at home” is a traditional response to a modern problem.
I’m tired of no one sounding the alarm on how that pervasively undercuts the integrity of this plan.
But I’m not surprised. Who would volunteer to be without their children?
I won’t be sounding the alarm. I hope you won’t either.
This will remain the secret of the silent majority.
I’m tired of conservatives. I’m tired of liberals. Both.
I’m tired of people forgetting that the CDC has seen a steady rise in disease since the invention of--you guessed it--the dishwasher.
I’m tired of people forgetting that it was linked to the concept that over-sanitization doesn’t actually create a rise in public health.
But I’m also tired of people who act like everything someone else says is true without fact-checking.
So check that out. I might be wrong.
Visit this upon me, please. But leave the children alone.
I’m tired of kids not being in schools,
at summer camps,
on sports fields,
Children need each other.
I’m tired of silent neighborhoods.
So many huge maybes are looming and I’m tired of them all. In the wake of so much uncertainty, I find myself only capable of processing small disappointments. Fear of Maggie also not getting a sophomore lacrosse season assaults me. A lifetime dream--will it be gone too? And I get that it is small compared with the sadness of the world.
Egocentric. Self-involved, even.
But it is still a loss. Still a profound sadness.
A profound fear that the world will always organize the influx of good news around football season (mark my words), but that spring will be forever gone.
I’m tired of not sitting on sidelines.
I’m tired of virtual graduations.
Will graduated college this year. Did you know that?
I watched his name on a screen.
I’m tired of the inevitable choice between life and livelihood.
Because that will be a very real choice soon.
I’m tired of wondering how long we can wait before protecting inevitably has to give way to preserving.
If I don’t have a job because kids can’t be in school--who will feed my family?
No. Who? Answer me that because I’m tired.
I’m tired of losing $200 in extra duty payroll a month.
I’m already tired of the thousands I will lose by not being at the farmer’s market this summer.
I get it. I do.
But I’m tired.
I’m tired of asking God to help us with our daily bread.
Surely God is more worthy of greater things than my insular, self-serving prayers.
I’m tired of no good reason to avoid this Couch to 5K app anymore.
Damn you, free time. Damn you.
I’m tired of nobody being willing to consider that an anomalous virus may be behaving anomalously. I’m tired of no one entertaining just the glimmer of possibility that our view is inverted, coastal bias. Yes, fashion comes in on the coasts. Yes, international flights. But food comes from the MidWest. The Plains.
Chicago, Dallas--also international airports.
I’m tired of everybody forgetting that.
What if? What IF it started in the center of the country (the beef, the bread, the grain, the milk) and is on the way out? Can we hope for that? Do we ever get to hope for anything?
But, then, I’m not a scientist. Theoretically I understand the concept of exponential rates and viral patterns. But I have no hope of actually applying that knowledge in any way that makes sense.
Still, I’m tired of there being hope nowhere.
I’m tired that the battle for public opinion still rages and brings no relief in our living rooms.
I’m tired of not knowing when I can have a book launch party.
I’m tired of not knowing when I can have WIll’s graduation party.
I’m tired of so many incredible accomplishments put on pause. Muted.
Someone said--not to me, but within my hearing--recently, “This is all a ploy because the president was too popular. The economy was too good.”
I laughed out loud. Thank God I was busy free-reading the People Magazine at the grocery store--so my laugh looked to be otherwise directed. We help ourselves to such preposterous arrogance in America, do we not? A world-wide pandemic, brought to our shores months after it leveled the rest of the world. Our puppet masters must be clever, indeed. How diabolically Machiavellian.
I would actually suggest that we all would just LIKE to believe this is a people-driven crisis. Because then somewhere, somehow people can solve it. The flip side would be to have to face how very precariously humanity is placed. To admit that our lifestyles, our economy, our lives, our families can be brought to our knees by nature, by something not even visible to the naked eye? Why, that would be beyond frightening to admit. Imagine all the other problems we would have to consider solving if we admitted that.
But what do I know?
I’m tired of politics anyway.
Tired of the rain.
Tired of the overcast skies.
Tired of the people who feel like they need to be all on one side or the other.
So opposed to sitting, uncomfortable but truthfully, somewhere in the middle.
In the middle of a world.
In the middle of a mess.
And admit there are no easy answers.
But hope persists.
I’m disconnected, yes. Tired, yes.
Peaceful, yet prickly. I admit it.
Afraid in my mind, but not fearful in my heart.
The fear, sometimes it overwhelms me,
but it does not overcome me.
I’m tired of those who will steal my words and use them to argue or debate.
Don’t use my words as a weapon, you do not have my permission.
Just be quiet.
Maybe let’s just come together.
Maybe just admit you are tired with me.