This past week I marked another birthday. I know age is just a number, but when consulting high risk categories for bad things, I’m toeing that line and wondering what lies ahead.
I usually get taken to lunch by friends on my birthday and Hubby takes me to places where I can eat for free, like Denny’s and Golden Corral. This year, that wasn’t a possibility. However, I got to do the next best thing. I got to see my friends.
Five of us (see my book about the five grannies) met in a large front yard on a warm sunny day. We each brought our own lunch and lawn chair. Our hostess had decadent cookies delivered for dessert. She had marked out the appropriate social distancing spots for us to sit. No hugging or touching was allowed but our voices and laughter crossed the distance to blend in friendship and love. We’ve all been staying home, communicating only by text, but for that three and a half hours, we talked face-to-face. It was like an invigorating rain after a long dry spell. We all left lifted up and revived. And sunburned.
I felt guilty for enjoying myself so much…almost sinful. Others are shut in at home alone. I was having a good time with friends while doctors and nurses can’t go home because they’d expose their family members to the virus. Others are willingly exposing themselves to keep food on our tables. So many are scraping to get buy, and we sat well fed and comfortable. All the shutdowns, stay-at-home orders and plans in limbo get me down some days, but I understand why they’re needed. We’re protecting people, especially the ones we love.
Sometimes, it’s okay to think about just yourself. Jesus said to love others as you love yourself, which implies you love yourself. Taking a little time to feed your own soul is a good thing. That removed my guilt about having a picnic. It’s okay to refresh your own soul when it needs it.
I hope this serves as a reminder that it’s okay for small groups to be together as long as they observe social distancing rules of six feet or more. I’ve seen cars backed into a circle with three or four people visiting. We visit with neighbors, each of us staying in our own yards or on the sidewalks and porches. Human contact is vital to most of us and getting it even in small doses does a world of good. If you know someone who needs a lift, go stand in their yard and say hello. Let them know they’re not alone.
I had a wonderful birthday. Hubby and I had a special supper that evening. I read through a bunch of cards I got in the mail and all the Facebook greetings. It lifted my spirits much higher than they’d been in a while. Thank you to everyone who did that. It meant a great deal and lifted me up. I’m hanging on tight to that feeling and wishing you the same.