No other time has this old Yiddish adage proved truer than now. As we all face life in this COVID-19 reality, most of us are facing plans squashed dead in their tracks; that special anniversary vacation to Italy is definitely gone, that family dinner to celebrate a special holiday or occasion is on indefinite hold, and that new career you were going to start is now uncertain.
I find myself in the latter group, but let me preface this with the blessings I still have, so far—my health and that of my loved ones. There is no denying that at times like these, we are hyper-aware of what matters most, and beyond having your sanity and health, nothing else can compare.
But there was a time back in B.C. (Before Coronavirus) when we did make plans, and looked forward to them with anticipation and giddy excitement. I experienced this firsthand when I took early retirement, marking January 1, 2020 as the memorable year—I decided I would do something else with my life.
I never dreamed that I would be slowly learning about a virus that would originate in China and soon go VIRAL; only sadly, this time we are not referring to the internet. I had left my long-standing job, feeling that at the sage age of 57, I would launch a new career as a Foot Reflexologist.
In order to receive my registered foot therapist certification and good standing, I would need to pass a written theory exam and then a practical one, demonstrating to an examiner that I know what the heck I’m doing. I selected this particular form of alternative therapy because I loved the idea that I could solely concentrate on one part of the body—the feet.
The feet represent a microcosm of the body
At its core, reflexology is a natural, gentle form of therapy that maintains that by applying specific pressure techniques to a series of precise reflex points on the feet, the result will be a good bioenergetic flow, which is vital to our health.
The feet represent a microcosm of the body, as all organs, glands and other body parts are laid out on our feet. A doctor can tell a lot from the health of your feet; and right now, if one were to look at mine, they would scream—Fear, Anxiety and Worry!
Prior to this outbreak, I was already adjusting to a new routine. No longer was I rushing out in the morning, skipping breakfast and carpooling with my husband to my sedentary job. I found myself, for the first time, free-falling into a whole new non-schedule.
To be honest here, I was already experiencing isolation. With most of my friends still working or devoting themselves to parenting, I found myself not fitting in anywhere. I was so grateful that I could practice my reflexology craft by volunteering my services at a Cancer and Wellness Centre.
I was in the groove of having a weekly routine and seeing the benefits reflexology was having on people who were suffering from far greater problems than my feelings of seclusion. Every week that I was helping someone, even for an hour, the boomerang effect was simply energizing and inspiring.
As the Coronavirus started to spread and we globally paused, so too did my studies and volunteer work. Now, as we all face these uncertain times and prospects of unemployment with nothing short of warranted hyperventilation, I wonder what this new world will look like.
Will we ever trust human contact again? The two-cheek greeting kiss and handshake will be replaced with maybe a handheld emoji paddle describing what we are feeling, along with a big happy face emoji for ‘nice to meet you’!
No one knows what lies ahead. In the meantime, my husband is the satisfied recipient of my reflexology studies and expertise thus far. I run the full hour reflexology routine on his feet and watch as he blissfully falls asleep, looking serene and calm.
Some say that after this horrific and tragic storm passes, we will hopefully have changed, maybe even for the better. We will be kinder, more sensitive and more supportive, and we’ll celebrate each other’s differences. We will finally recognize the significance of being grateful for having jobs (even ones we dislike), a roof over our heads, family, friends, good health and even a fresh start—Man Plans and G-d laughs!
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