It warms my heart to read so many accolades aimed at what is called, essential workers. They include people who work in grocery stores, teachers, nursing, doctors, long-term care centers, volunteers, food shelters, restaurants, firemen, police, rescue workers, waste management, grocery and supply delivery personnel, postal workers (I don’t know about you, but I’m super impressed that I still get my mail every day!) and the list goes on. I personally know someone in almost every single one of the fields and it is to them that I address this blog. I don’t want to talk ABOUT them – I wish to talk TO them. So here goes…
Dear Essential Workers,
Many people are struggling during this pandemic. Whether they are like me and stuck at home, or they are heroes like you – in the fields, the trenches as it were, fighting the good fight and struggling to not only keep themselves and their loved ones healthy but working hard so we can keep ourselves safe. It’s a tough balancing act and you are doing an amazing job of it.
I think you are superheroes for a few reasons and please let me explain. A superhero embodies the ideals of being, ‘super’ human. It is a benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers. Some get their powers from biology or a science experiment gone horribly wrong while others are just born that way. We place upon these entities our wildest dreams of what we could do if we were able to do anything: fly, turn invisible, burn things with a look, or read minds! But you don’t have those kinds of powers. You have the power of tenacity, commitment, and resolve. I’ve seen you in your cars, wiping away tears of exhaustion. You step out the back doors of the hospitals and yell or scream or cry. You reluctantly pick up the garbage cans wondering if this is the can that carries the virus that can end up attacking you or your family.
Your superhero powers are not endless, though. I want you to make sure you CAN recharge. Sit for a bit, unwind just a tad, allow the world to keep revolving while you take a momentary vacation from it. The world is spinning at ~1,000 MPH and you swear at times you can feel every bit of that! People don’t understand you, some disrespect you out of ignorance or fear or anxiety. But there is something I really want you to remember…
Even superheroes have to wash their underwear. This image by the incredibly talented Jeremie Decalf helps pull this all into perspective. We don’t SEE superman in this image, do we? We see his laundry and we realize he had to take some time to wash it and hang it out to dry. He’s outside of the picture, hopefully taking a much-deserved nap, or getting lost in a book, or mindlessly surfing YouTube or TikTok videos. But the point here is – you not only deserve to stop for a bit now and then, but you also need to. We need you around and while you may not hear it or see it or feel it – you are an incredibly valuable resource to humanity right now.
In closing, I want you to know – to really KNOW – that you are appreciated, and respected, and loved, and adored…and even more…we totally understand if you need to stop your superhero duties for a bit, and wash out your underwear.