Dear Annie: Just adding my opinion about coping in these difficult times. I don’t want to be identified, even by the area of the country I live in, because millions in our country are doing the same things to endure and triumph over our present hardships.
My husband has been suffering from cancer for the past four years, and we have come to terms with the expected outcome. I have several serious age-related health issues, so we are like many elderly in our country.
Here’s what we do every day:
» We are kind to each other, regardless of the irritating things we both do.
» We find things to laugh about in something we are reading or watching on TV, and we share those things throughout the day.
» We each have a prayer life and spend part of the day in private devotions. We give God thanks over every meal, even if it’s just soup.
» We contact family and friends by phone or text or email.
» We listen to and pray for the concerns of those family and friends. We share laughter with them.
» We limit news encroachment to reading the newspaper in the morning and tuning in to one TV news program that we like to follow.
» We each work on a hobby we like — for fun rather than feeling like we have to.
» We try to get some exercise every day — mainly walking.
» We don’t spend time thinking about “what-ifs” or speak them out loud.
» We try to uplift those around us and ourselves in small ways because those small steps contribute to the larger journey, both personally and in community.
— Just Ordinary Folks Making It Through Together
Dear Ordinary Folks: In doing these daily activities with great love and intention, you are living an extraordinary life of gratitude. Connection to family, kindness, laughter, prayer, having fun and exercising are all wonderful suggestions to make the most of each moment.
• • •
Dear Annie: A friend forwarded to me the following poem by author Haroon Rashid:
“We fell asleep in one world, and woke up in another.
“Suddenly Disney is out of magic,
“Paris is no longer romantic,
“New York doesn’t stand up anymore,
“The Chinese wall is no longer a fortress, and Mecca is empty.
“Hugs and kisses suddenly become weapons, and not visiting parents and friends becomes an act of love.
“Suddenly you realize that power, beauty and money are worthless, and can’t get you the oxygen you’re fighting for.
“The world continues its life and it is beautiful. It only puts humans in cages. I think it’s sending us a message:
“You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters’.”
— Our World
Dear Our World: Mother Earth is a magnificent force that should be treated with love and care. One outcome of the stay-at-home orders during this pandemic is that from China to the United States, and everywhere in between, we have seen better air quality than in more than 60 years. This is a great reminder of how precious is this Earth.
And I would disagree with this beautiful poem on one point: You are necessary. Sometimes, it can be difficult to remember that we are each necessary, capable and loved. Please, check in with loved ones during this difficult time; they, too, are precious.
Let’s protect our earth while continuing to look out for each other, especially as we restart the economy in the months and years ahead.
• • •
— A native Californian, Annie Lane writes her Dear Annie advice columns from her home outside New York City, where she lives with her husband, two kids and two dogs. Her debut book, Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie, features favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette. Email your Dear Annie questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.