I had been blogging here for quite awhile, then I could not find the blogs. Hopefully, I will find my way back here. 2020 was quite a ride, huh? I'm not sure what it was like for you, but I remember, quite vividly, my last day of normalcy in 2020. I have a group of friends I went to grad school with. We and our husbands all get together about every three months or so (we live in different parts of the country) and have brunch or dinner and just sit around and catch up. It's always just wonderful, whether good or bad things are going on in our lives. We love and support one another. Early last March, we all got together for brunch. Already, we all brought along hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes and were talking about that flu in Seattle and how bad it would be when it made it East. In the cab on the way home, I remember thinking what a beautiful day it was and how eerily empty the streets were for such a glorious day. Little did I know . . .
That was our last day, before. On that day, when I was looking at the menu, and deciding between eggs Florentine (light on the hollandaise) and chicken Caesar salad (no croutons, dressing on the side -- how much of a Sally would they tolerate?), I had no idea that this would be my last meal out with friends in, perhaps, a year or longer. That I should have savored the company, the conversations, and worried less about the food.
That Jenny Craig's menus, which I had once merely tolerated, would become a source of comfort and grace as the pandemic raged through NYC, the eerie stillness punctuated by ambulance sirens. Perhaps it was not so odd that in a world that had been turned completely upside down, I began to count on ritual to keep me centered. Morning meditation followed by weigh-in. A healthy breakfast with a mug of tea. Journaling. Sometimes I watched television. Sometimes I played on the internet. My husband and I played a game called Spelling Bee we discovered on the New York Times. It is akin to Scrabble, and has lots of encouragement. Perfect for trying times. My husband and I would have lunch (I would eat my Jenny Craig; he would eat his own lunch). Afternoons, I would spend on the internet or reading. Then, dinner. I would eat my Jenny Craig, and my husband would eat his own dinner. I retreated to the bedroom after dinner: Netflix and tea, or phone calls. The rituals of life, made easier by the presence of Jenny Craig. I felt so lucky, in the midst of the chaos, not having to give too much thought to my meals. It sounds stupid, but it's the truth. It doesn't hurt that the food tastes good, of course.