How are you?

July 9, 2020 by Patricia Omidian

I don’t know how to answer this.  Where do I start to even answer this question? How much time do we have? How well do I know you so that I can gauge how much to tell you?

Maybe you are asking after my health. I can say: I am fine. My health is good, though I’m not trusting the situation enough here in the United States to make sure this is true. I don’t want to deal with any “existing conditions”. Even something as simple as a new pair of glasses takes extra thought and ends up being delayed. So I say: I am fine. And leave it at that. 

Then the conversation moves forward and we may talk about how it’s our 3rd month of being at home with no gym, no swimming, no friends, no family–only housemates. And I reflect: How am I? The answer is different from the “I am fine” response for my health. 

How am I? Maybe it’s about work. How is my work? I sit at my desk for 10 hours a day (early morning to late in the afternoon). I am busier because of online webinars and webinar support than I ever was before. I feel like I need a break from all this, sometimes. Do I take a day off? What is a day off anyway? I cannot go anywhere, other than a trip to another room in the house, or if it’s not raining, a trip to the backyard and maybe even a stroll in the neighborhood. Wow! How is this for me? 

I ask myself: How is my whole being? Am I well? I can tell you that my well-being is challenged as I work from home. I find that I have to put real effort into self-care now. I read books, avidly read science and health journals. I do jigsaw puzzles and try to eat right. I work to live in the present moment, leaving thoughts of the future to others. 

I have no control over where we are now or where we may end up. What I can do is work in community to see how I might influence our global future.

  • Can we use this time to ensure social justice?
  • Can we build toward a future where my grandkids can thrive? Where the color of my skin does not decide how I am or give me privilege I do not earn?
  • Can we make equity and kindness our new normal? 

How am I? I still don’t have an answer…