Once upon a time
When we took the entire world for granted
We were privileged. Yes, we were spoiled. We had so much of everything. So many options and too many choices. Possibilities. We had them.
Think about the aisles in the grocery store if you do not believe me. Any grocery store, any aisle.
Think about the department store clothing shelves and racks of clothes and shoes and underwear.
Think about a tank full of gas, whatever the cost, and GPS. Where did you want to go?
Think about the train to Chicago, and the easy schedule you memorized, a train departing your local station nearly every hour.
Think about your excitement at arriving at your first destination, and planning your route to whatever exciting thing you had planned. Museums, theater, shopping, dining, river, and lake.
Think about the restaurants. Fast food, slow food, good food, independent restaurants, franchise restaurants. Think about the pub, the bar, the drinks, the chatter.
Think about decluttering your closet and cleaning your cabinets and bringing your unwanted unneeded, yet still good stuff to an open donation center.
Think about the trip you planned, the airline tickets you purchased, the hotel you booked. The money you set aside for food and fun.
Think about the art museum you love and visited so often you could find your favorite ancient horse sculpture even though you got lost trying to find a restroom.
Think about the movie you wanted to watch at the theater and the popcorn you called dinner (even though everyone knew that was a lie.)
Think about the parties and celebrations you held or participated in. The easy freedom you moved about, in your own special place, in your own extraordinary world.
Think about the hugs you gave and hugs you received. Think about the hands you shook and the cheeks you kissed.
Think about the items you touched without worry, without bleach wipes, without sanitizing, without gloves. So much touching. Thoughtless touching.
Think about how lucky you are
how spoiled you are
how privileged fortunate advantaged you are.
Are you now able to work at home? Millions are not. Are you now able to stay at home? Millions are not.
Were you able to do and experience the life described above?
Millions are not.
Do you have your health today? Does your family? Do your friends? Do you have a chance of getting it back if the answer is no? Do you have hope?
Millions do not.
This is how I think I should feel. What did I take for granted! So much.
I need a fresh supply of disinfecting wipes.
I need bleach that will disinfect instead of the splash-less bleach which is a cheating deceiver.
I need toilet paper.
I need to be able to walk into a store without fear and a face mask.
I need a face to face doctor visit, my teeth cleaned, and my dog’s dental surgery.
I need to see my friends and share a meal.
I need to see husband’s face across a restaurant table at our favorite pub.
I need to see my daughters in person, all of them.
I need to walk into a house full of family to celebrate anything and everything we missed.
I need, I want.
When and if we get that fearless freedom back, will we forget all too soon? Will we resume our fortunate lives unscathed except for memory? Will we disremember our anxiety and our worry and our loneliness and stress and fear? Will we be that fortunate?
Once upon a time, we took the world for granted. We were privileged. We were spoiled. We were lucky. We still are.
Millions are not.
And I still need and want what I took for granted.