Do What You Can

Jan 8, 2022by tracey Comments


I feel terrible I didn’t wish you all a Merry Christmas.  I meant to.

Despite the lack of huge activity, I find I don’t do some of the things I mean to do. Like wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and then New Years.

I forgot to do that too.  I do remember. But then I become overwhelmed by inertia and do nothing. Or I remember the reality and I think perhaps it’s an empty gesture and I should just let it go. Or I sometimes forget many of you don’t follow me on Instagram where I do post more things than I do here these days.

The thing I should be slapped silly for is I never told you all how amazingly generous some of you were and how well we did on the coat drive.

I came in second for the second year in a row in the New York Cares Coat Drive.

Anyone who sent money got an email from me. So, I think that is covered. Just thought I would share the good results.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons the last – two years and then maybe if you toss in the four with Trump, it’s been six years of daily tumult and turmoil. All of us process stress, anxiety, boredom, fear, depression, fatigue, (pick your own description) in different ways.  If you’re like me, it changes daily.

I read somewhere that in COVID everyone has become either a hunk, a chunk, a monk or a drunk.

One of the COVID  lessons I learned is to leave myself alone. Not easy for me.  I have adopted several mantras to help,  “do what I am doing.” is one. I actually have to say it out loud to remind myself, as the art of distraction is something we have all become way to good at it.

If I am walking I don’t look at my phone. If I am marketing, I am not thinking about why I am not working. If I am with my kids, I try and focus and be in that moment.  I don’t always succeed, but it has helped get through this long slog monotony our lives have turned into.

The other thing I try and tell myself is “Do what you can.”  We have to allow ourselves the luxury of leaving ourselves alone. Many of our old rules simply don’t apply right now.

The thing I have had a hard time doing is the thing I do the best and love the most, which is writing.  Unfortunately, most days I am not motivated.  I have a million excuses. None of them valid.  But I just roll with them.  This may not be good. But I am not judging. Maybe I am. But I try not to.

I take myself on a walk and tell myself, do what you can. You’ve written a lot. You will write when you have something to say.

I have been reading a book about Paris in the 70’s.  And it was talking about Yves St. Laurent and how without stimulation, enormous amounts in his case, he could not be creative.

A bell went off when I read this. Two years of basically living in a bubble and seeing next to no one and outside of a few blissful months in the fall, doing next to nothing outside of  the house, I have had very little stimulation and thus I have very little to say.

Often when I think I should write I ask myself. “About what?” More COVID complains. Meh.

I know people who are living their best lives. I know people who have said, I am going to pretend this is over and it doesn’t exist. I know people who think you should just wake up every day and be grateful and show it and not complain. I know a lot of people and every one of them has an opinion. And everyone deals with this differently.

Someone wrote to me after my last blog and said, I was supposed to be grateful, and I should go reread my own book.

I have several rebuttals to that. Number one is I seldom revisit any of my old work. Unless it is required for an appearance or piece I am working on, and I need to see or hear something I might have said in the past. I am not really interested in my old work. So, rereading my own book on gratitude will not do anything for me, except make me miss the days on the road.

And if I talk about the many complex feelings we are all dealing with, and I include my own, which we all know is how I write, there is never a moment when we are only feeling one thing.

Gratitude and frustration can and do exist at the same time. I am deeply grateful for many things, but that does not erase being deeply frustrated by others. Sometimes the voice of frustration drowns out the gratitude. But, the gratitude reemerges.

You can love your children with all your heart and be upset with them about something they did. You can adore your mate and be exasperated when they never put the dishes in the dishwasher. I. am reducing these things to their simplest forms, but you get the drift.

We are entitled to be really upset at this point. Lean into it if you feel it. If you don’t it’s worse for you. And if you do, it does go away.  It comes back and it goes away again. It’s like the tide and we can’t control the tide any more than we can control so many of the elements that are presently shaping our lives.

This faucet of on again off again life has been one of the hardest things to deal with. After those first vaccinations, then the booster, life really felt like it was going back to normal. Now, it’s back inside. If you’re smart.

I am a cautious person. Always have been. Always will be. I am risk adverse in every part of my life.  I have no need for speed. If the waves are high, I don’t swim. If the stock is too pricey, I sell. I keep umbrellas and earthquake kits in the cars at all times. I have flashlights by every bed. I am not one for taking unnecessary chances. Which means we went nowhere for the holidays. Not on our trip, not to a restaurant nowhere for four weeks since Omicron came knocking.

I know many people who have and many more who have gotten sick.

Touch wood we are all still OK.

Which means I don’t have a lot to say, unless I start writing about my past, which I feel like is a sign I don’t think I have much of a future and I am not at that place.

The only way I would start doing that and I have thought about it, is as a way to formulate my memoir.  But not sure you guys need to be the guinea pigs for that experiment.

So, forgive me for not wishing you a Happy Holiday and A Wonderful New Year. I’m doing it late!

And if people hassle you or you find yourself drowning in all that is swirling around us, do what you can. I promise you  It will be good enough.