Taking Back Time

TAKING BACK TIME PERSPECTIVE BY BAI LEY GRAVITT

T E X A R K A N A M O N T H LY

B Y B A I L E Y G R A V I T T TAKING BACK TIME

A m I the only one who feels like the ”Tiger King” era of quarantine was a million years ago, or that it was just some strange fever dream? Can we please go back to those much simpler times, please? Ahhhh, those were the days. Since then we’ve received stimulus checks, cringed watching our adult family members attempt to make TikToks with their kids, and almost killed our siblings a time or two. Where’s my receipt? I personally would like to return 2020 for a full refund. At the beginning of quarantine, I was so restless and yearning to shake things up so much, that even deciding between Zoom and FaceTime to call my friends became a choice that could bring at least a small amount of excitement into my new lackluster life. Nothing down here on God’s green Earth was worse than when Texarkana dropped the curfew bomb on us, though. I panicked in disbelief when I saw the announcement and started doing the math in my head about how I could get to Whataburger for my midnight Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit if we weren’t allowed to come out of our house after 11 p.m. Do the people who put us under these restrictions not understand what it’s like to go your entire college life eating a Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit at midnight and then have it suddenly snatched away from you as if it never mattered? No, unfortunately, I don’t think they do. I tried to invite the escapism of trashy reality television in to bring me some comfort. I read my Bible in the bathtub until I fell asleep. I made a video with my best friend that went viral on Facebook. I had several thoughts of going outside and doing

yard work. (I didn’t go outside, and I didn’t do any yard work.) Even all of that didn’t keep me busy enough. I was still desperately trying to fill the hole left in my schedule by being furloughed from my job. I began receiving unemployment checks, but spending them got tiring very quickly after discovering all the shirts I bought were too small because the dressing rooms were all closed! Ugh! Well, my unemployment money may have stopped coming in, but my lust for life after being yanked out of it for such a long time, is all the currency I need right now, and I know I’m not the only one. With the million little ways we can probably all relate to each other during these trying times, we shouldn’t feel ashamed or alone when we realize we have no idea what day it is… or what month it is for that matter. Until recently, they’ve all seemed to run together. It’s hard to really know if we are actually even living in the year 2020 or if we’re just stuck in that fever dream, asleep in our beds back in good old 2019. When you’re used to a fast-paced lifestyle, then you’re suddenly catapulted into spending day after boring day, scrolling through the internet and social media, with only celebrity gossip to sustain us, it’s understandable that our days would run together. It is kind of cool though, knowing we have all been bored together, and have been experiencing some of the strangest times in recent history simultaneously. Don’t you think? How many of us have been depressed about not being able to hug our favorite elderly family members? How many of us had to face losing our jobs for a little while and the unsettling hopelessness that comes

along with that? How many of us were in the Whataburger line at midnight for a week straight after the curfew was lifted, gaining 15 pounds, eating Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits to make up for lost time? Just me on that one? Yes, we’ve struggled and suffered, but haven’t we struggled and suffered together? I’m trying hard not to get too corny on everyone here, but isn’t the exact purpose of everyone being here on Earth, crowding up Target on Black Friday, ultimately so we can carry each other’s burdens? Here we are presented with the most perfect opportunity to exercise that purpose, even if it means doing it while properly socially distanced. As more and more places and opportunities have started opening back up, and with that, more and more debates over wearing masks in public and other divisive topics, we should be careful to make sure we are spending every moment together, those moments we’ve been longing for these past five months, focusing on the things that really matter in this life. Since COVID-19 has taken so much time from us, our best revenge isn’t arguing, or getting mad or being spiteful, it’s taking that time back and saying, “we DO know what day it is, and we’re going to live it like it’s our last!” I try to live life embracing all the beautiful disasters ahead of me and determining to help others in the process. Let’s remember that we are still alive and kicking for a reason. There are still amazing times to be lived ahead of all of us. Hope is not always easy to hold on to, but it is possible if you have a tight enough grip.

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T o say 2020 has been full of the unexpected would be an understatement. From COVID-19 and wildfires, to murder hornets and riots, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been dealing with a little extra stress this year. Add to that the fact that it’s an election year with all the political hullabaloo that accompanies it, and you’ve got yourself a year that will definitely be mentioned in history books. This “Groundhog Day” scenario we’ve been living has been a little disorienting, and one day has rolled right into the next with little fanfare. We’ve been longing for the day when things get back to “normal.” For a while it felt like this storm may never end, but it’s starting to look like there may be a break in the clouds and a little sun may be shining through. Schools and sports have made a comeback, Churches are meeting together in person, and the limited capacity tables of local restaurants are filling up. As we slowly start stepping back into our pre-pandemic routines, it feels like perhaps the end of the world may not be imminent after all. While remaining vigilant and careful, wearing our masks, and remembering to wash our hands, maybe it’s time to shift our focus away from all the things that seem to be falling apart around us and set it instead on things worth celebrating. For us at Texarkana Monthly, September is going to be a month dedicated to doing just that. There’s always something to celebrate if you look hard enough, but if you can’t seem to think of anything, we’ll be sharing some of our ideas. It’s time to look on the bright side. We invite you to celebrate with us!

SEPTEMBER 1

National Chicken Boy’s Day

National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day

SEPTEMBER 2

National Blueberry Popsicle Day

National V-J Day

SEPTEMBER 3

National Welsh Rarebit Day

U.S. Bowling League Day

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SEPTEMBER 4

SEPTEMBER 5

SEPTEMBER 7

National Cheese Pizza Day

National Wildlife Day

National Beer Lover’s Day

National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day

National Be Late For Something Day

National Newspaper Carrier Day

National Grandma Moses Day

National Tailgating Day—First Saturday in September

National Macadamia Nut Day

National Acorn Squash Day

World Beard Day—First Saturday in September

National Lazy Mom’s Day—First Friday in September

National Salami Day

National Food Bank Day—First Friday in September

SEPTEMBER 6

National Grateful Patient Day

National Coffee Ice Cream Day

National College Colors Day—Friday before Labor Day

National New Hampshire Day

National Read A Book Day

National Labor Day—First Monday in September CELEBRATE THE DAY!

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