Carrie Knowles

The Covted Medal of Valor for making it through another day.

Source: Carrie Knowles

We are nearly one year and counting with Covid, working from home, homeschooling, wearing a mask, worrying about every cough and sneeze, ordering groceries online to avoid going into a store with people who might infect you, social distancing, cooking and eating three meals at home every day, celebrating holidays at home alone, Zooming, Zooming, Zooming until you just want to crawl under the covers and sleep until it’s over.

There have been good days and bad days for everyone. However, no one is going to pat you on the back for the good things you’ve done today or forgive you for not making your bed or “going to work” in pajamas from the waist down and waist up in some semblance of work clothes, albeit wrinkled and perhaps not that clean. I mean, if you’re not going outside, how dirty can your clothes get?

Bottom line: Whatever petty crimes you’ve committed by giving up on cultural norms and occasionally wallowing in a wee bit of self-pity and depression (or maybe more than a wee bit), are yours to keep.

Hang in there, grasshopper, there are many more months to go, but all is not lost!

The time has come to give yourself a medal.

I hereby declare the month of February, once known as the month of love, to now be, the Month of Ordinary People Who Have Persisted in this Daunting Pandemic and Deserve the Coveted Medal of Valor.

Check the list and see if you qualify. FYI, you only need to have done one thing on the list today in order to receive your medal.

You got up this morning and got dressed even though you didn’t have anywhere to go.

You made your bed and brushed your teeth.

You did not eat left over cold pizza or store-bought cookies for breakfast; instead, you made yourself a cup of tea and a couple slices of toast.

You called your children, your parents, or a friend, just to check on them and say hello.

You put on a mask and took a walk around the block.

You “went to work” virtually and got something done. No big deal done, just something.

You homeschooled your children and helped them get through at least one lesson on the list for today.

You did something to help someone else.

You put all the dirty dishes into the dishwasher, ran it, then put the clean dishes away.

Instead of mindlessly surfing the Web for most of the morning, you read an article from start to finish about something other than: A) the pandemic, B) politics, C) some scary bit of coming doom. (Articles about penguins, how to make the perfect apple pie, or an article about the world outside your own world qualify.)

You did something, anything, that you have been meaning to do but didn’t have the time to do before Covid when you were too busy doing things to take care of everything. (This includes: sewing on a button, painting your bathroom, learning how to bake bread.)

You washed your face, combed your hair, looked into your bathroom mirror and decided you didn’t look half bad for someone your age. In fact, you looked damn good.

You smiled. Better yet, you laughed at something…perhaps you laughed at yourself (that would give you a bonus point).

You got through your day with a slightly lighter heart and a sense of grace.

Congratulations. Find a medal, pin it on, and wear it with pride.

A Coveted Medal of Valor could be an old Boy Scout pin, a gaudy piece of costume jewelry your grandmother left you, or even a Kiss Me I’m Irish St. Patrick’s Day button.

I bought my Medal of Valor at a sidewalk sale, long before I’d ever heard of Covid. It cost a dollar. I didn’t even know it was an official award pin until I found it in my drawer and put it on the other morning. That’s when I noticed the label on the bottom of the little plastic box says: Bronze Award Pin.

I wear it to remind myself that it’s not so easy to make it through every day, day after day, 24/7, mask on, social distancing, three meals a day at home, while no longer feeling the miracle of zoom in Zooming.

Put on your pin and hang in there, we’ve still got a long way to go, but we will get there.

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