I have a pal who runs a construction company and some mornings he sings a song: “I hate everybody and everybody hates me. That’s the way it is, and that’s the way I like it to be.” I sing that song throughout February.
I casually asked a colleague one day last week if he’d seen the Dow. “Don’t tell me!” he shrieked. “I don’t want to be sad or happy!” You’ve got to keep an even keel, in February.
There being no pleasure available in February, the only way you get through to March is to plan things for sunnier days ahead. But this endless COVID shell game—you know, the one that makes a potential nuclear standoff with Russia and China seem kinda refreshing?—makes it impossible to be able to count on anything.
And then you do plan things, and the things get canceled. Boxers know that nothing in the sport is more deeply exhausting than taking a big punch, and missing.
A speechwriter from Vienna asked me how it was going in Chicago. I tried to describe to him the filthy, frozen streets. I came up with: “It’s like Berlin in 1946—except more depressing. And with more rubble.”
(See Chicago artist Tony Tasset with his “snow sculpture,” below.)
I’m sure you’re waiting for an uplifting conclusion. Here you go.