Alone, together

The gray hairs are starting to peek out, the nail polish is already peeling off, it’s noon, and I’m are still in my pajamas. Suddenly the thought of exercising feels more like a vacation rather than a punishment. Everything has changed. You’re more worried about your parents than your kids. Slowly, slowly, the evening conversations grow longer. You get to talk about all those things that you never have time for.

I remind myself that I have to be careful about this. Sometimes I just say in conversations about nothing that go on and on. In other words, I admit it… I don’t shut up about it., ran my mouth. And we still have many more evenings together alone. (Lucky for him, he is still working and most of the time, he isn’t home). I remind myself that it’s OK to be silent together. I was once afraid of this. Not anymore. Now it actually feels good.

I have a long conversation with a friend over the phone and not just to make plans to meet up. You understand that there is no point in telling the kids to do something. There is nothing for them to do. They aren’t the only ones who are bored. You are too. It’s a weird feeling.

All our lives we are running around, never managing to do everything we need to do, always in a rush. And all of a sudden, our calendar is empty. And it’s so weird; we are alone and we’re all going through this together. I’m re-arranging closets, arranging and throwing away things that should have been disposed of long ago. Every bag that comes out makes me feel lighter.

And I don’t t ask myself how much weight I’m gaining. I didn’t really eat anything…just a few snacks…

I find an old bucket of paint, and fix that peel on the wall that had been irritating me for the longest time.

This Coronavirus has closed us up, and brought us back inside. Home.

On WhatsApp all our self-employed friends are talking to you about how all of them lost their jobs. Those still on a payroll are currently on unpaid leave and worry if they’ll even have a job to come back to.

My mother talks to me on the phone. She’s debating whether or not to close the store for a few days. Only for “a few days”. For 37 years, the shop opened every day. Every day. She doesn’t know what one does besides work.

I remember Grandma Zipporah who always made sure she had enough money for the last cup of tea and it scares me what will be here after it’s over.

How many people will find that everything they knew is no longer the same. The Coronavirus entered our most exposed rooms, our fears, our worries of the future.

But it has also brought us back to our core. To what’s important. “I only worry about the family”, my father said to me last night. On Sunday he needs to go back to the hospital, for another treatment. For six months he has been fighting for his life, and we have been worried about him. Now, he worries about us. What will tomorrow bring?

My only response to him is “be healthy”. And I don’t tell him how scared I am for him.

Health. Family. Home. Love. *The* basics. Also, mutual responsibility. We got back to remembering what is important.

I hope we remember this too, when the doors re-open.

Lihi Lapid

Lihi Lapid, Momentum Israel Public Council Member is a bestselling author, journalist, and speaker about contemporary women’s issues.

A weekly columnist for Yediot Ahronot, Lapid has also written three bestselling novels, Secrets from Within, Woman of Valor, and I Can’t Always Be Wonderful, as well as a bestselling children’s book. Woman of Valor explores the real life struggles of women in modern society and tells the story of her life as a mother of an autistic daughter.

Before becoming a writer, Lapid was a professional news photographer and the first in her field in the IDF.

Her husband, Yair Lapid, is the founder of the Yesh Atid Party and a respected politician. Lapid lives with her husband and their two children in Tel Aviv.


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