It has been an interesting 8 weeks, to say the least. This is the 8th week of staying at home with my kids. As I still continue to try to fully understand what is happening, things are become more evident.
At first, it was as if suddenly someone was doing a quick break-check on things. We sputtered a bit as things seemed suspended, and we all thought it was just a precaution.
Then, we came to a full stop. Within days, what we thought was just a momentary pause became something different. Calendars were erased, plans were cancelled, and we shut our doors.
The kids were home, offices were closed, groceries were a luxury. Instead of just a drive by, it became a “stop and look at what’s going on”.
It was nice to breathe for once, so I embraced it. No alarms in the morning, no taxi cab driving to and from activities, and no working outside of the house. In fact, no working at all. It was like the twilight zone – we were the last people on the planet, my family of six.
Days turned into weeks. And now, months. I will not complain since the weather has finally broken a bit, and the kids can at least get outside. But, where can we go? We can drive around in the car with the windows down, but it’s too crowded to go to the park to hike. We can’t get on any outdoor equipment. Bike riding in the neighborhood is even difficult due to pedestrian traffic. And, I have missed swimming – oh so much. So, here we sit.
This time we have been given, this indefinite quarantine, what have we done with it? True, it’s been hard on all of us. No one can deny that. And, yet, have we seen it for all that it’s worth?
I have noticed so many things during this time; it’s difficult to put them all down. I’m still processing everything that’s going on. But, I will say this: I will be forever changed. For the better, I hope.
You see, this time needs to be seen as a gift. Truly, that is what it is. A time to breathe, to slow down, and to figure things out.
I have heard it said, more than once, that our society was sick before this virus ever hit us. Divorces are at an all time high, kids are committing suicide, we have real issues with opiod abuse, and the list goes on.
Were we truly happy before? When we lost the “doing” and “being”, did we miss it? Honestly, I didn’t. I don’t want to go back to that. I still have the things that make me happy: my family, my Faith, my home, the trails, the trees….things that can’t be taken away. That’s all that I need at the end of the day.
This was a huge spring cleaning. Our lives were stripped down to the core, and we were left with the true fibers of what make us who we are. Are you happy with what you’re left with?
I have noticed that people’s personalities have come out more and more during this time of pandemic. Those that were always high anxiety (like me) have had issues with day-to-day stress. Those that have been innovative have continued to come up with new and exciting activities and challenges. Those that have been critical and negative have continued to be just that. We have all been magnified; for better, for worse.
So, what will you do with what you have learned about yourself? I, for one, am not entirely sure. I have discovered things about myself that I’m not happy about, and I have finally recognized some things that I have chosen to ignore in the past because I didn’t want to admit my faults. I have also found some new strengths that I didn’t realize were there. Good and bad, here they all are, and I can’t hide from them. I must own all of it.
Where do we go from here?
As we slowly define our new normal, will it indeed be new?
I hope that you are taking something away from this gift. And I hope that all of you, and your families, are well.
Run Happy. Run Long.