My Word for 2022 is ‘Expansiveness’
While I waited for the subway for the second time this week I smiled because when I stopped looking at my phone and fidgeting with multiple masks, I noticed that there was some decent live jazz being played by a trio of buskers on the Uptown F & M subway platform one level up. Hearing their music made it feel a little more like pre-pandemic times. As a native New Yorker it feels weird to feel weird choosing to ride the subway, but that’s where I am at this Omicron-February while I try to embrace my theme for the year: expansiveness.
Two days ago, the thought that my world had gotten quite small due to Covid, bubbled up to the surface of my consciousness. It had been there lurking below the surface and revealing pieces of itself as separate musings. For example, I noticed that my social life had dwindled. Many friends had moved away from New York, and others were still here but stuck at home because of childcare or like me, they were hesitant to get on the subway. I also noticed that I rarely ventured out because I had felt I had to be extra cautious and not be exposed to Covid so that my daughter could continue to go about her increasingly expansive high school life, and so that my mother could remain healthy and travel to Antarctica — a delayed and much anticipated adventure. (I think part of being sandwiched between two generations means being prone to thinking “now is their time.”)
And I noticed that date night felt too hard to do if my husband or I didn’t want to eat inside. (We didn’t want to eat inside.) And I also acknowledged that while, professionally my world had grown tremendously — people are reading my book, Lifting Heavy Things, all over the world and asking me to speak to their companies, communities, and organizations — I don’t get to feel that growth in my bones because I am working from my home and presenting through digital platforms. My whole book tour occurred in the same thirty-six square feet where I spent most of my time writing. And at the end of each event, even the launch, the screen just goes blank and I am alone with all of the nausea and flutters stirred up by the adrenaline of sharing my book with the world.
When I reflected on all of these observations at once last week when I had run out of shows I wanted to watch on…