“How many times have you noticed that it’s the little quiet moments in the midst of life that seem to give the rest extra-special meaning?” ― Fred Rogers
I live in Ohio and where Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton have mandated a stay-at-home order to ensure that we are all doing our part in taking the social distancing seriously, working together to flatten out the curve and lessen the spread of the Coronavirus. These are uncertain, strange, anxiety-inducing, incredible times we are living in. Each and every one of you must be feeling your own wave of emotions with each passing day. It has been overwhelming, to say the least, that we’ve had to simultaneously just stop life and automatically become something or someone we never imagined or intended to be. We’ve been asked to jump on board without little preparation to turn rooms of our homes into make-shift offices and multi-leveled classrooms, have lost income and precious resources, and halted our livelihoods and meaningful recreation. Our stability and emotional composure feels wobbly and uncertain, at best. We’re all in this together, we are. I have hope that we will get through this, and that the drastic measures put into place will get us through the worst of it and save as many lives as possible.
Last week, my children had their first week of online learning. Their schools are honoring spring break this week, as planned. On Monday, we will start up once again for virtual schooling, until we receive the okay to return to their dearly missed school buildings, classrooms, teachers, and friends. Who knows how much longer this quarantine will remain in place? If I had a hunch, this will be the new norm for the foreseeable future.
On Monday, I felt long lulls of boredom and a few moments of anger, exasperation, sadness, and stress. Today, I’m feeling better. After sleeping in a bit, then finishing my morning reading, I realized that I’ve been in serious, get-things-done mode, cleaning a bit obsessively, putting my family first, and resorting to neglecting myself. Other than sticking to my daily walks, everything I have been focused on has been related to the upkeep and re-organization of our home, schooling, the health and well-being of my loved ones near and far—all without a break or alone time built-in for myself. So, as I’ve set a loose schedule for my kids, I’ve also set a loose schedule for myself, one where I am prioritizing well-being over doing.
One of my best friends asked me yesterday about my “silver linings” in all of this craziness. To be honest, there has been an abundance of good despite the hardships that have arisen because of the many, great changes. These small glimmers of hope are sustaining me through the tough, isolating moments. When I witness, first-hand, the resiliency of all my children and their good-nature despite cancelled plans and missing their beloved friends, classmates, teachers, and schools, it sets hope straight out in the forefront, and a newfound awareness that my kids will be alright, they’ve got this, they’re going to be better for having gone through it all together. When I can literally see my husband work so diligently at supporting his family, it causes a surge of love and appreciation, gratitude and relief within me. When all of us can join together around the table for meals without anywhere to go, except to the cabinet for another board game or card game once we’ve finished our meal, our family bond is fusing together stronger and happier than ever before. When my kids automatically run for great lengths once we reach the path paved along the perimeter of the neighborhood we live in, I see the natural runners they were born to be. Phone calls and texts to loved ones are on the increase. Letters and cards are being sent and received. Creativity and stress-relief are soaring. Out in nature multiple times a day, our bodies are healthier and leaner. Sleep comes more easily, and as I arise each new morning it feels like a blessed miracle; an ever-precious phenomena.
If you are reading this, then my hope for you is that you are able to seek out your own silver linings and threads of welcome joy, and feel peace during these uncertain times.
“We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.” – Joseph Campbell