Be Great.

I have a Boys and Girls Club T shirt that has that written across the chest. Be Great. I sort of love that.

Be Great. 

It means so many things. Be a great human. Be a great parent, a great partner. Be great at your job…but what does it really mean to be great at any of these things? OR, to be great in a crisis?

Here we are, at arguably one of the strangest times in our history. This  period of time will be taught in schools in 20 years. Our grandchildren will be learning about this year politically and economically. And then, the obvious: Covid-19. The year: 2020. The time: when the world shut down. 

The time when our students were home. Our businesses shut down. We stopped touching one another. We cleared out the shelves of every grocery store. Our sports teams stopped playing. Theater went dark.  Our loved ones in Senior Homes could not be visited.

So strange. And scary. Anxiety is riding high. It’s true. We here in my household, are pretty guarded and pretty cautious, while trying not to start a panic in our own home or that of our kids/loved ones. We for sure stocked up on paper goods, canned goods, cleaning supplies and alcohol. No shame. We are small business owners and this shut down is excruciatingly scary. So, no shame coming home from our secluded office and having a drink or 2.

We are worried about our kids. My parents. Siblings. Our business. Paying our bills. Each other. 

In order to help lift my self up a bit, 2 days ago I put on a fancy skirt and heels just to go to the office. I was not going to see anyone other than my other 2 family people sharing the bubble with me. Yesterday we went to the office, and even though the St. Paddy’s festivities in the City had been cancelled,  I still put on my green accessories and tried to feel optimistic. 

Be Great.

What does being great really mean? Great when times are sort of tough? Great when they are REALLY rough? Great every day? 

Great can be a state of mind. Or, it can be a decision. A decision we choose every day in good times and bad. Hear me out…I am Jewish. And proud. I don’t claim to be the best representative of my heritage, but I do represent.  And, right or wrong, I do expect all my fellow Jews to stand up and be proud. And to do the right thing. I expect greatness.

As a minority, and a minority that has faced racism, death threats, extinction, it is my goal to constantly promote my religion to its highest. To not knowingly place any negative light on my religion. I feel that way about being a woman too. Not saying I always handle myself to perfection, but I try.

It seems as of late that there have been several high profile Jews in the news. And not for their philanthropy. For high profile negativity. Not choosing greatness. What makes it so much more infuriating is that these people were amazing at their jobs and had over the top, freakishly amazing lives. And yet, they fell. They fell hard. All of their own doing. Not because of an economic downturn or a pandemic. Because they forgot to choose great. They simply thought they had become impervious to needing to be great. The Weinsteins, The Epsteins, The Greens. Just to name the bigger of the names. They forgot.

Yesterday we were on our way home from the office, and we went through a drive thru for dinner. (Trust me we have plenty of food at home in the freezer and pantry, but at some level I feel so bad for the Gen Z stuck with us in our new 3 pack bubble.  College closed, no parties, no friends, just 2 of her parental type people and her phone showing her that many of her peers are not heeding the call to lay low.) Anyway, in the hopes of helping her feel somewhat normal we stopped at the drive through…and while in line we saw a worker sanitizing the main door to the restaurant and then we saw a guest leaving with a napkin in hand to open the door. As soon as she exited she tossed the napkin to the ground outside. Is this greatness? $%#@ NO! 

We forget. Can anyone of us, no matter our lives or our situations become impervious to being great? Large or small? No. The impact is too great. 

Who do we want to be? Who do you want to be? In a time of crises do you want to be known for making good decisions or bad ones? Do you want to be a macher (Yiddush for big shot/important person)? On what side do your morals fall? 

When times are tough, whether it is globally or on a more personal level how do we handle it? Do you lean in on your person? Or, do you need to distance yourself? Do you go healthy and need to take care of yourself? Or, do you eat your feelings and lean in on Ben & Jerry? Do you bury your head or figure it out? These questions are not judgements but rather questions, as we truly all have our own style of handling what life throws us. 

I am determined throughout all of this, to eat healthy and get fit, and figure things out alongside my man. I am determined to work on my anxiety and stay as optimistic as I can. This clearly does not mean I will be perfect. We are going through challenging times globally, and in our own personal bubble world, as we prepare to honker down financially.

Somewhere, deep down, I am hoping that this helps bring a return to appreciating some of the simpler things in life. Family dinners vs Influencer dinners. Bags of groceries for the needy vs fancy handbags. The act of kindness vs shaming others on social.

That being said, I have been brainstorming on distractions/things to do while the world feverishly works to regulate itself, and I thought I would share with you all.  Please post here any other suggestions you might have. And post any uplifting sites you might have come across.

Be Great.

*If you don’t follow @jennifer.garner on insta, I am sorry. She might be America’s greatest treasure, with her sense of humor and her work with @onceuponafarm and @savethechildren. With the world in a state of flux, she has started #heyjenlookatme. This is taken directly from her INSTA post.“This time of year has so many people, from pre schoolers to professionals, working their tails off to perform. And now-the games, the meets, the recitals, the productions, big and small-are shut down. Well, the show must go on, people!!!Break out your your oboes, belt out your torch song, run in place-I don’t care.Show us what you’ve been working on and we will show it to the world. Use #heyjenlookatme, because I want to see”. GO. POST. LET’S CHEER TOGETHER.

*Watch snippets of The Ellen Show on YouTube that involve amazing kids. Inspirational kids. Funny kids. They will always make you smile and feel good and positive about life.

*Stop watching the news. Not all of it. Life is changing so quickly so we do need to be informed, but right now being a news junkie, at least for me, is not helpful. So, I will watch some, but keep it limited.

*Share some creative recipes here that involve the staples in your pantry. Post them on social. Do you have a creative use for the 25lb bag of rice from Costco? Let us all in on it!

*Keep your routine. Get up at your normal time. Take a shower. Wash your hair. Put on makeup and get dressed. Go for a walk outside.

*Watch workout videos on YouTube and choose a different body part to target every day.

*Make a fancy family dinner where everyone dresses up and sits together and has a special meal.

*Reach out to the underserved in your community and offer sandwiches for kids who are not getting free lunch because of shut downs, or reach out to neighbors. Especially older ones.Check out what one Vermonter posted  yesterday! You can leave food at someones door step.

*This is definitely a good time for cute puppy and baby photos. Especially if they are doing something super cute!

*Do something uplifting without expectation of receiving anything back.

In good times or bad, the decisions we make daily can effect us, our loved ones, our heritage. It is all about how you want to be remembered. All our good can be undone in a single bad decision. A napkin tossed on the ground. Hoarding instead of sharing. Mistreating another instead of lifting them up. So sad. 

Tough times show us what we are made of.  Sometimes we need to make an actual decision on the kind of person we are choosing to be. I know I want to be a strong partner during these rough times. I know I want to stay as positive as I can so as to not add worry to my people. That is what I am choosing. And, while it might not be mind blowing out of the box greatness, it will hopefully be great to those around me. Every day, one small step.

Wishing you and your loved ones much good health during these trying days; physical, emotional and fiscal health. And, may your kitchen pantry and your proverbial pantry of goodness always be well stocked.

Mad love all!

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