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Birthday: 2020 Edition


Like countless other Americans, I celebrated a birthday during the COVID-19 epidemic.

My birthday was this past week and I got to spend it under stay at home orders. I spent time on the phone talking to relatives, friends, and others. My now virtual exercise class decided that they would be my teacher for the day, which just brought me smiles. The day ended with a surprise zoom call from friends and family.

Yes, I couldn't go out to a restaurant, go shopping, or do anything else that would have seen so normal just two months ago. But, I did realize how very lucky I am.

I am lucky that I was able to be at home. I am lucky because I have a beautiful home filled with comfortable things. I have oil for my heater because it is freezing outside even though it is late April. I am lucky that my home is filled with food including pantry staples and fresh vegetables. I realize I am lucky that I have the choice to be vegan because I am able to get the fresh fruits and vegetables to sustain this lifestyle choice. I am lucky because I enjoy cooking. I am lucky

to have a dishwasher to wash all my dishes. I am lucky that I spent the day with my kids. This is a really scary time filled with so much sadness and anxiety, and yet I am able to have my children home with me as we ride out this part of the pandemic. I am lucky that I received an education that has afforded me the logic and wisdom to sift through the endless amounts of information. Due to this, I am able to critically determine what will keep me safe and what can harm me.

I realized on my birthday how lucky I am about my health. Yes, there are things we can do to improve our health such as eating right, exercising, and reducing stress- but the random and unforgiving nature of sickness is just so apparent right now. There are so many people who are ill and fighting for their lives; one can get overwhelmed by the sheer uncertainty of it all.

I have spent the last several years building a business, dedicating my volunteer time to an organization that I love, and spending so much time running around that now that I am forced to hit the pause button. I realized what I was missing.

I was missing the joy of just being. I was missing the time to sit with a cup of coffee or wine on

my deck and listen to the birds. I was missing the time being out in nature and enjoying the world instead of hurrying through and listening to a podcast with my headphones. I was so busy, and I don't think I was appreciating the being.

Yes, like everyone else, I look forward to being back out in the world, but it is going to be different. Not just in the CDC mandated rules, but with how I am going to approach my post COVID-19 life. I am not going to exhaust myself rushing through my days only to start the next one on an endless rollercoaster. I am going to go slower, be more reflective, have more downtime, and most of all: enjoy just being.

Stay healthy and be well. And as always, if you need help or need some personal guidance, reach out to me- your health advocate. www.melissahakim.com, melissahakim@melissahakim.com, 484-533-7822.

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