Black face mask with broken white elastic band

I mended a mask today. Please, hold your applause.

It’s a small thing, I grant you, but so often it’s the small things that save my sanity. When I focus on all the climate change denial in the world, I find myself in a fetal position, sucking my thumb. I just watched the movie, “Don’t Look Up,” and now I just want to blurt it out, dripping with sarcasm, every time I see or hear someone willingly denying propositions of basic science. If you see a snarky gray-haired lady randomly snarling “don’t look up!” in the street one day, feel free to give me the same wide berth as do my neighbors.

But when I take a moment to sew an errant elastic band back onto a simple mask? I feel like I can conquer at least another hour upright and functioning. After all, I did have to wind the bobbin, thread the needle (a task growing increasingly difficult as my eyesight blurs), find an available outlet for the machine cord, remember how to turn the dang thing on, and catch the loose elastic when I sewed. I don’t want to brag, but I managed all that without drawing blood. This time.

Fixing this mask instead of tossing it into the Black Bin of Despair (aka the trash can) will not stop Greenland’s ice sheet from melting, but it affirms that I have skills and, yes, willingness to do something that makes a difference. However insignificant that something may seem to someone else, it means all the hopefulness in the world to me. Exactly what I need to pick myself up off the floor and dare to tackle yet another tiny-but-mighty task. I might even take on the laundry.

But let’s not get carried away.

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  © Cheryl Leutjen