New York is the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.
To be safer I’m risking going outside only twice a week.
Walking outside I was suddenly grateful like I hadn’t ever been before for things I took for granted:
In 1999 I moved to Brooklyn when it wasn’t popular to do so. I wasn’t guilty of gentrifying a neighborhood by moving there.
I’m grateful that no one wanted to move to this area. It’s mercifully free of hipsters and multi-million apartment high-rises like in Williamsburg.
I was not ever as grateful as I was this week to be able to walk a long, long distance to and from a food market.
Grateful for my 2 feet that I can use to walk wherever I want to go.
Grateful for the air I breathe.
Grateful for the organic food I could find in the market.
Grateful that I had lifted weights for the last 9 years.
This gave me the strength to carry 2 tote bags filled with 50 pounds each of groceries.
I was also grateful that a woman asked if I wanted help carrying the bags. Even though her face was not covered.
“No thanks,” I told her.
I was also grateful to be able to use a spare orange bandanna to cover my nose and mouth diagonally.
You’re not supposed to buy masks. This diverts the masks from medical staff.
I was the only one on the street wearing a colorful bandanna as a face mask.
It matched the orange FreshDirect tote bags I carried. An unintended fashion statement.
It was a scary experience having to breathe through a bandanna.
That’s when I was suddenly grateful for the air around me.
I tell readers everywhere:
Live with gratitude. Take nothing for granted.
Live for today. You don’t know when it will be gone.