by Rich Hannigan
As so many of us hunker down at home—some of us fortunate enough to work from home, others not so much—I’m finding it important to stay in the present.
When I focus on what I’m doing, right now, whether it be washing my hands (again), wiping down my kitchen counters (again), or participating in a Google Hangout or Zoom meeting (again), my anxiety subsides. It’s much harder to sustain a three-week (or three-month) quarantine than it is to sustain a series of one-day-at-a-time quarantines. The past is the past, the future is harder to gauge than ever, so we might as well live in the present. Which is, if blessings can be found in midst of a global pandemic, not a bad adjustment to make to our way of being.
I allow myself just a few exceptions to this commitment to stay in the present. A big one is the prospect of moving a mile or so down the road from where I live now and into Bay State Commons.
The coronavirus crisis hasn’t changed the primary reasons I’m looking forward to living in a new, intentional neighborhood with a group of people who are willing to invest a lot into being good neighbors. To list just a few of these reasons, I’m eager to see familiar and friendly faces every day, to enjoy the fruits of our collective labor and imagination, to rely on others for help when I need it and provide help when others need it.
My new reason for looking forward to moving into Bay State Commons is this: It’s a reminder to me that while, tragically, not all of our loved ones will make it through this crisis, and many, many people will need help rebuilding their lives when it’s over, there is something good awaiting me and the other members of Bay State Commons at the other end of this ordeal. It’s something that we might need even more than we realized before these current troubles arose: a community in which all of us can find, as the late, great Bill Withers put it, somebody to lean on.
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