Across the globe, a coronavirus culture is emerging, and forcing us all to adapt to a new normal. Here at Book Club Babble we send nothing but good thoughts, shine and healthy vibes out to our readers. We also want to encourage our readers to remember that connecting (especially during the tedious isolation of quarantine) is important. Rebecca Faye Smith Galli, author of Rethinking Possible: A Memoir of Resilience, is a weekly columnist who lives in Baltimore, Maryland and writes about love, loss, and healing. I can always count on the healing nature of her prose and wanted to make sure our readers did too. We have asked Rebecca if we could share one of her lovely posts (see below to share original post) with our readers today. She writes:
It’s been a tough couple of weeks, hasn’t it? It’s hard for me to admit, but I fit all the criteria—medical history, age, and underlying health conditions. All those annoying challenges from life as a paraplegic, the ones I try so hard to discount, are now highlighted regularly. Daily, if not hourly, I’m reminded:
I am susceptible to COVID-19.
There, I said it. It doesn’t make me feel particularly good to admit it. But the truth is, like most of life’s hard times, this one requires us to accept what we can’t change so that we can get on with living in and through this new reality.
For me, the most important thing I can do for myself (and everyone else) is to put my health first so I don’t require medical attention.
And I’m trying.
I’ve been self-quarantining for nearly two weeks and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I’ve stocked up on food, medications, and medical supplies. I’ve developed systems and protocols for accepting meals, packages, and even the mail. For my mental health, I chat regularly with friends, family, caregivers, and my team of medical professionals.
Thankfully, I am healthy and safe at the moment.
Yet, that word susceptible still stings from time to time. When it begins to darken my mood, drain my energy, or create a defensive posture that starts to shrink my view of the world, I remember my mom’s sage advice:
BB, honey. You need a change of scenery.
So I take my faithful companion, Tripp, and we go outside.
Nature has a way of infusing her confidence into mine. She never disappoints. In fact, when I am open to her influence, she energizes me, even encourages me with her unspoken message:
As I walked Tripp up and down the driveway, the steadfastness of spring’s debut prompted me to look at susceptibility in a different way.
Perhaps it could be a gift.
With a little effort, maybe I could allow susceptibility to enlarge my world instead of limiting it. Perhaps I could open my mind and be susceptible to the positive influences around me—the kindness and generosity of others, the creative expressions of love and concern, and the novel ways we’re all discovering to spend time with one another in this unprecedented time of social distancing.
This week, my four-year-old granddaughter asked a question that stopped me in my tracks:
What? (So glad she asked her father and not me!)
As I let the depth of that question settle in, I began to marvel at her profound curiosity, her attempt to understand things beyond herself, and her effort to personalize an abstract concept to her own experience.
Her simple question ushered in a new perspective. Maybe we are feeling the roundness of the world as COVID-19 connects us in ways we never imagined. Maybe if we could feel the “roundness” of the world, we could trust more and fear less.
Granted, we’re all susceptible to dread, anxiety, and the uncertainty of not knowing what’s coming next. But maybe we could also be susceptible to the assurance that our connectedness provides—we are not alone.
No matter what, life goes on. The question is:
How do we want to live it?
This time my father’s wise counsel comes to mind:
No experience is wasted unless you let it be. — Dr. R. F. Smith Jr.
Yep, my body may make me susceptible to COVID-19, but I’m determined to keep my mind in learning mode, susceptible to all the positive influences I can find.
And on we go.
My best – always,
Becky (Nana B)