“Don’t it always seem to go— Joni Mitchell
That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?”
Late last winter, I came down with a nasty cold that wrecked my vocal cords for months, and I learned not to take my pipes for granted.
A week later, our campus closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, and I learned not to take in-person teaching for granted.
Campus reopened briefly in October, but the state ordered my boss to take all the flexible seating out of my classroom and replace it with traditional desks, and I learned not to take my professional autonomy for granted.
I came down with the coronavirus in November, complete with several weeks of brain fog that screwed up my ability to get words out of my brain and onto the page accurately, and I learned not to take my intellect for granted.
The virus also forced me to quarantine, and I learned not to take my pantry and freezer for granted.
In the middle of all that, one of my oldest and dearest friends died, and I learned not to take people I love for granted.
Last night, a colleague and I realized that our usual regional inservice day — which everybody generally hates — will happen online this year, in a scaled-down form, and I learned not to take free doughnuts and coffee and a day of bitching about consultants behind their backs for granted.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been on doctor’s orders not to run again until I can walk three miles without feeling winded. Ramona the Pest and I walked 3.8 miles today, and I feel better than I have at any point since last spring. I did not take that for granted, and I am looking forward to a gentle run later this week.
After a year of loss, I think a good workout is going to feel a lot like slashing the tires on a big yellow taxi.