The question gets asked often enough, “How are you doing?”, but unlike pre-COVID-19 and pre-George Floyd it carries a sincerity and weight that it rarely has before. In some ways the asker already knows the askees answer. Things aren’t great, but I still say “I’m doing fine.”
And while the answer is an honest one, I am doing fine, relatively speaking. I’m not worried about where my next meal is coming from or whether I’ll have a roof over my head in the coming months. And while my income isn’t what I want it to be the money is trickling in.
So “doing fine” is an honest answer I’m not sure it’s an accurate one. While talking to a friend/client last Thursday it occurred to me that maybe I’m just getting used to it. That we are getting used to it. Every time I hear someone say “the new normal” I cringe a bit, but I’ve got a peculiar relationship with words and language.
We’ve all been carrying more weight than we’re used to. And just when we need our friends and families to be close we’re more isolated than we ever have been. I’ve practically been prepping for social isolation most of my adult life. But when I dig a bit and rummage around my head and heart I realize that this just isn’t what “doing fine” feels like. I’ve never wanted to be this isolated. Maybe because it doesn’t feel like a choice anymore. Maybe I never realized the value of those little interactions with people, strangers and friends alike, at coffee shops, the store, on the street.
I’ll keep practicing my gratitude, and sitting on my zafu, and working on my websites and taking dad out hoping that one day we’ll get back to normal. We have to, right?
I’d like to see my friends. I’d like to take off my masks: the one I put on each time I go to the grocery store and the one I didn’t even realize I was wearing every time I tell someone that “I’m doing fine”.