• Jody Kussin

#52 Family Matters Balancing Act

In These Times by Dr. Jody Kussin, May 5, 2020

Sometimes I think I really must live in my own little world. I am surprised by things that ‘everyone’ else seems to take for granted. It reminds me of when our eldest started playing high school football and I was amazed at how the whole school showed up for the games. The head coach and athletic director, for whom I had/have tremendous respect, said, ‘How do you NOT know about Friday Night lights? Did you grow up under a rock?’ Nope. I did not grow up under a rock, but I also did not grow up attending high school sporting events. However, I made up for it in the number of games I attended as a parent, when two of two sons played every Friday Night over an eight year period….o.m.g.

I feel it’s somewhat similar during our local pandemic efforts. The notion that the most essential and first things to open up are those deemed ‘essential’ and ‘low risk retail and restaurants’ is fascinating to me. I had no idea that so many of us support and/or are supported by eating out. I’m in favor of employment for all and am not reacting against the plan, just kind of surprised that more pertinent than office worker jobs, are food service jobs. Wondering if my husband and I really should become more foodie-esque. I guess knowing the “good Denny’s” from the ‘bad Denny’s’ does not a connoisseur make. We seem out of the loop of the culture and community yet again, although we are mourning the closing of Steam Punk, our lovely quirky local café that had to go out of business due to the virus.

I’m somewhat relieved that our Mayor is not rushing us back to some kind of ‘normal’ given the data on our County and the number of our cases. I’m totally OVER sheltering in place, but, on the other hand, I’m totally in favor of slowing deaths in our neighborhoods.

I’m over lots of things, including how small my world has become. On the other hand, I am really impressed with the athleticism of the children on my street. There are so many kids balancing so beautifully. I literally saw a kid on a unicycle, so that won the contest for sure. But I also saw a girl using two scooters, one under each foot, rapidly chasing her sister who I swear was 18 months old, who herself was moving along on her own tiny little scooter.

But back to my unrelated ramblings.

For instance, should I not have some privilege regarding access to Clorox Wipes if I am an ORIGINAL customer and consumer, having started purchasing the product when it first emerged on the market over 20 years ago and not simply a Johnny Come Lately to the COVID-19 party of cleaning supplies? I feel that I should be given a priority number, like the wrist bands we used to get standing in line to purchase concert tickets.

Same with some of the things we need for baking. It’s wonderful that so many are just now starting to take up with baking, but, for those who have long been making yummy treats, should we not have a leg up on the flour and chocolate chips supply?

The whole process is fascinating if we take out the life/death aspect to this, which just makes it horrifying and scary.

It’s actually unbelievable how fast we’ve pulled off a complete stop to our usual society. It’s like we had an 18-wheeler come to a complete stop on the highway while doing 100 mph. In most places in the world, people complied, went inside, and stopped marketing. Now that the fatigue is setting in, its not unexpected that we are getting tired and cranky. Nor is it surprising that people are protesting – in some bizarre way, it’s good to have a place to put your anger (the government) versus turning it all internally against yourself, which ends up in lots of cases of clinical depression. On the other hand – my goodness people – sometimes we sound like teens complaining they cannot keep the car out all night and drive while on the phone and without a seatbelt….the parameters their parents provided were established to protect their kids, not ‘just to mess with them.’

I suppose in the end we need to learn from our children. It’s all about balance. I have no intention of taking up roller blading or even bike riding, let alone using a scooter, electric or otherwise. But I respect all the zig zagging I can see from my front porch. And it reminds me, one foot in front of another, head held high, focus on the horizon, breathe, and keep your balance.

Romper room memory for boomers (Miss Mary An:

See me walk so straight and tall. I won’t let my basket fall.

Eyes ahead and don’t look down, keep that basket off the ground.

Watch me hold my head up high, like a soldier marching by

A back so straight and strong you see, helps to make a healthy me

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