The same can not be said of the world. There's a lot I could say here and probably will at some point, but right now I'm in week 4 of working from home and self-isolating as part of the coronavirus pandemic. I have it better than most. My job is secure. I'm financially ok if things go south. I'm in walking distance of things I need and am able to help others. Which means I'm going to talk about privilege.
It wasn't that long ago that I wasn't in a good place. I had years of living paycheck to paycheck and sometimes less. I went grocery shopping with a mental calculator in my head. I ate beans and rice or noodles with parmesan until payday. I felt rich when I could buy a mocha instead of drip coffee.
How I live now has a passing resemblance to how I lived then. I've inventoried everything with a long shelf life in my kitchen so I know exactly how long I can go until I have nothing. I couldn't get tortillas a few weeks back and felt like a princess when I ate two of my last four for lunch. I only have enough quarters left for two loads of laundry, so the sheets are going to have to wait for a couple more weeks. I'm having to get real creative about keeping myself entertained.
But there are two huge differences. First, I appreciate everything I have so fucking much. This is a partly a survival tactic. I definitely have bad days and dark moments, but overall, I have it good and am remaining positive. Second, this is a choice. Both how I am consuming and moving in the world and how I am able to appreciate it. This is where my privilege comes in. For me, now, at this point in my life, this is temporary and little bit fun. Tortillas were on the shelves in abundance last week and I could go back to making tacos when I want tacos. My rent for the month is paid and I didn't have to endanger myself to pay it. This is a crisis for the world, but I'm reasonably certain that unless I get sick I'll survive it. This is not true for many.
I want to use my privilege wisely. I'm not shopping for a few more days until people with monthly benefits can get what they need first. I'm making donations, mostly to relief funds and food banks. I'm ordering takeout from local restaurants once a week or so and I'm tipping big. I'm sending treats from local business that are running mail order to loved ones to let them know I'm thinking about them. I'm trying to extro- my introvert. I'm checking in with my people and trying to think about who might not have people. I'm listening harder. And I'm sure it will never be enough.