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Essay pitch

Sunday 5/16/21

Idea. And a confession. Don't hold it against me. I see people rejoicing about not having to wear masks any longer. I never wore a mask in what became the most productive period of my life. I live in Boston, and in this year plus, I've walked over 3000 miles, getting in better shape than I've ever been in. I've never been healthier. I've run hundreds of thousands of stairs. I've written three books. Written hundreds of pieces. Published dozens of works. I've had a focus that is beyond even the extreme focus I usually have. I've talked on the radio seventy times. I've written 400 blog posts.

And you know what? I had less than six people say a griping, complaining word to me in all of my travels. In a major city. (And in its fancy suburbs, a la Brookline.) I'd don a mask when I went into a store, but it came off the moment I came out. I put my trust in mental health, physical fitness, self-reflection. Stairs were my vaccines. Not taking a single drop of alcohol was my mask. Having a healthy diet was my quarantine. My counsel was the music of Billie Holiday. I read all of Shakespeare. I studied the operas of Mozart. I published my first novel, and placed my second.

What did I miss out on? In truth, I don't have much of a life at this point, given certain life things. I focus on my work, my growth. Control what I can control until things improve for me on the personal front. But I was a regular attendee, every week, of the symphony, the art house cinema, the ballet, the museum, women's college hockey games. I've lost out on those passions, but I decided to use the time away to focus on creating more art. And getting healthier to live longer, so I can experience more, grow more. I believed in fresh air, the science I read up on; not the fear-mongering instilled by people I deemed obsessives over a piece of cloth and the value of said cloth at six in morning with no one else within the space of a city block.

I've come out stronger, more driven, and in better fitness, with a huge body of work from this period alone that is the stuff of multiple lifetimes for many people.

It was a very different approach, and one that I think translates to post-COVID times.

Give me the go-ahead with this one, and a little space, and I bet we'd light it up pretty good.

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