On Thursday I woke up to an earthquake. My first thoughts were, “You’ve got to be kidding me! This on top of everything else? What is up with this year?!”
I looked at my phone and my kids had texted asking, “Mommy, are you awake? Did you feel that? What’s our plan?” Thankfully, we were all OK, but I thought the same thing. What is our plan?
Plans and 2020 just don’t seem to be on the same page, do they? Earlier this week, I posted a quote on social media that addressed people’s sadness and gave them permission not to feel pressured to have a "good day," but to simply "have a day"... free of plans, to do's, and expectations. I said it’s OK not to expect to have a "good day." It’s also OK not to be great, or even OK. After all, we are living in unprecedented times, right?
The overwhelming response to the quote took me aback. It made me realize yet again that so many of us need a break and some relief, even if it’s simply being told you don’t have to have a great day and that you are allowed to simply “have a day.”
Who wants to be told “have a great day!” when you don’t have a job, when you’ve run through your savings, when you have no idea what tomorrow will bring? Maybe “have a day” is just the response of the day. Maybe it’s enough.
After all, there is a lot to absorb, a lot to process, and a lot to manage in any given day, so taking away the pressure of it has to also make for a good day in its own way. Trying to feel great is just one big thing we can all take off our plate.
So today, I hope you have a day. I hope you have one tomorrow as well and the day after that. The Sunday Paper takes a break every August to reassess, reflect, and retool. I do, too. I started doing it three years ago. I called it a “spiritual maintenance break” and people rolled their eyes. They asked me if I was OK. I told them that I was simply going to try stepping away from social media for a month. I was going to try stepping away from my reporting, from writing a weekly column, and from raising money for the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.
I loved my first August break, and I’ve continued the tradition ever since. That said, this time certainly feels different. The Sunday Paper is still going to take a break so it can “have a day,” but me, I’m not sure.
This August will not be like the others. As the late Rep. John Lewis reminded us from the grave this week, there is “good trouble” to get into. There are battles that need to be waged. (The election is in less than 100 days, so please make sure you and those you love are registered to vote.) There are things to speak about, including that it’s not in any way OK for a president to float the idea of delaying our election. That should put us all on notice.
There is a lot to do this fall. There is a lot to speak about. All of us need to be on our A game. So, earthquakes and pandemics aside, try and have a day today, and this month. That’s it. That’s enough for right now.
God willing, when I see you back here in September, we’ll see whether I got my earthquake plan together, whether I finished clearing out my storage units, whether The Sunday Paper found enough days to retool and regroup, and whether 2020 decided to calm down enough so that we could all “have a good day” again.
I’m planning on that.