We are now weeks into isolation with no end date. Everyone is guessing and as the medical expert, Dr. Fauci, keeps telling us, the virus will tell us when it’s over. I spent the first few weeks feeling confident that I could handle the situation. Then, I was handling it, but not liking it. Now, I have had a few aha moments. You know, those moments when you realize that there are some aspects of this that aren’t all that bad. Those are the ones I want to remember. Not the days when I was frustrated, bored, or exhausted. I want to remember the ones that make this time memorable. So many of us are so focused on how we are suffering, but in comparison to what others have lived through like the Great Depression, the World Wars, and big tragedies, this is a walk in the park. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s up to you to determine what you will find in that light.
I had to call upon some of my rusty skills like sewing. I made face masks. Yeah, they could’ve been better, but they work. We have an inventory list of food supplies that allows me to mark off and know exactly what is needed from the grocery store. It’s a real time saver. I was never what we, in our family, affectionately call a “runner”; a person who just feels the need to get up and go somewhere every day. It has made me appreciate the time I have to get things done around the house. It also makes me chuckle at my husband trying to find a reason to go somewhere. I keep foiling his plans. It’s a good thing.
It’s also given me a chance to share things with my grandkids that I might not have gotten around to. We share stories about when I was a kid. Today, we looked at family photos. Music lessons are in the works. We have certainly explored our artistic sides! I hope I can teach them many more things in the future, if they will let me. I hope they remember this time away from teachers and friends as that time we spent with Grandma and Grampa learning all these cool things.
What we considered our ‘normal’ before this virus changed our lives, might be completely different when we re-emerge from our cocoons. I hope things go slower. I hope we have realized how important it is to spend time with family, to check on neighbors, and to offer a helping hand when it presents itself. Maybe we will recognize things about ourselves that we never realized. It might be new things we enjoy doing or things we used to do, but never had time for. Do we really need to spend so much time at work? Were we wasting time on meaningless things? Were our priorities all mixed up? Could we live a simpler, more meaningful life?
I’d like to see if we could go back to stores being closed on Sundays in favor of worship and family time. I would like to see people paid what they are worth and not having to kill themselves working ridiculously long and dangerous hours. I’d like people to see that spending time with their kids at home or doing activities together just might be more important than having them signed up for multiple things like dance, sports, or gymnastics and spending all of their time in the car going back and forth, eating on the run, and being irritable because no one is happy. There should be a resurgence of board game playing, visiting people, and service done out of the goodness of our hearts. We should be able to appreciate our elderly for what they know and the children for what they can teach us that we have forgotten. The importance of witnessing weddings, attending funerals, and celebrating beautiful times in our lives should be part of that norm. Appreciating those who serve us, those who care for us, and those that are our helpers should be remembered.
Easing back into things should be done slowly and only reintroducing activities that bring joy and meaning into our lives. Don’t put things off. Don’t put people off either. Be present in the moment, not distracted by a million other inconsequential things. Be mindful of what our presence means to others around us. Recognize a need and address it. Find the common ground in relationships and build on that. Make each moment count like it’s the only time it will happen. Live for today because tomorrow is never promised. Take a deep breath and go towards the light!