I normally write about my grief experience. I am still grieving, yet today my mind is filled with thoughts on this Pandemic. It has taken a space near my grief and thus, I need to write about it.
Let me first say, there is nothing positive in illness and death, especially the ones we are seeing now caused by CORVID19. Yet. perhaps there are some ways this virus may change us as society and our future, in a good way. We have been forced to live in an uncertain, scary, self-sacrificing world lately. When all this ends, and it will end, I love to see us all to emerge filled with growth and betterment. So, while this is a horrible thing to have to live through, I do have some thoughts, hopes and wishes, to share that perhaps will bring in a tiny bit of positives.
I hope eating meals around the dinner table has made a comeback in families. When I was growing up, the kitchen table at dinner time was where we had our fights, I mean, discussions. Peter and I always made it a point to eat together as a family. And now, with the virus having slowed down the hectic lives of the family, we have been forced to share a meal while connecting. Since this weird and uncertain time has pulled parents and kids back from soccer games, dance recitals or whatever club and activity they participate in, more time at home has been available. Hectic time schedules to get from point a to point b with fast food hamburgers thrown in the travels have halted. I am not saying extra-curriculars are wrong in any way. What I am saying is a break in frantic routines can be rejuvenating for a family, perhaps even a connecting point.
I certainly hope the art of conversation has returned. Sure, there are still texts flying out of people’s phones, and Instagram and Twitter and Tick Toc, whatever that is. But now is an opportunity for conversations to grow. Zoom and Google Hangout has exploded Playing board games or putting together activities for a household can spur on discussions. And since our lives have paused in the outside world and can no longer be the fodder of our conversations, perhaps we can have dialogues about sciences, arts, books, politics, spirituality, and even our emotions. This is the time to resurrect our knowledge, our feelings, and our commonalities. Those discussion we never seem to get through because we want to hurry through a synopsis of our day, can now take place. We have the time. Why not use it to expand our minds?
And expanding your minds includes reading. God, I hope people are reading more. The number one excuse I hear out of people for not reading is “I don’t have the time”. Well, now you do, we do. We may have books around the house we’ve put aside in a ‘one day’ thought that we can now pick up because now is the one day. We can read ebooks off our tablets, our e-readers, our computers and phones. Or, listen to an audiobook with your favorite cup of tea. Even though libraries may be closed, ebooks and audio books are still available in abundance. Books are Life’s best escapism, and let’s face it, this is a time where we all need to disappear. So, I hope we can take this time to loose ourselves in a book, a good story.
Chores. This is the dirtiest, raunchiest, filthiest word for me, like ever. I hate the ch-word. But I know when I complete one it feels like the adrenaline rush of the volleyball games I used to play. I just cleaned out my secretary that held papers from ten to twelve years ago and empty jewelry boxes which I can’t remember their origins. But now it’s cleaned out and I can give out a great big ahhh. What a great feeling to purge. I know, most of us have that chore monkey on our backs. Get it off. Honestly, it feels great! And it goes faster listening to a great book, or music you love.
How wonderful to see so many people out and about walking together, riding bikes together as a family, as partners, as housemates. Even us solo walkers are wonderful to see. Those videos popping up with neighbors six feet apart doing exercises together are awe inspiring. We’ve become a couch potato society. Oh, I am the queen of this society, especially within my grief. This chance to get up and move is right in front of us. It alleviates the boredom and gets our hearts amoving. Not only that, we can look around us to see the grass coming in, the buds on the tree erupting, or in my case, the hawks flying overhead. And we can listen to the music, or a podcast, or yes, even a book while we move.
This is a time for reflection, meditation, prayer, whatever your word is for it. As I have said before, my apartment, Discovery, gave me the time I needed to be in my own head. Yes, being alone, being stuck in in one place, can be a lonely experience. Yet the loneliness and boredom, allows us time to feel and reflect and become better acquainted with ourselves, and develop stronger self- love along the way. It reminds us when we are forced to still ourselves, it’s only us as our own company. Better embrace it. There will be times when it will be only us. And this period right now is a great teacher on how, if we let it, to be centered. It’s a perfect time to silence our angst, turn off the blare of the television with its constant information on a pandemic we can only do our part in stopping. It’s a perfect time for just being. “The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still.” Leon Brown
Finally, remember, this time is for us to truly understand we are all in this together. All of us. Everywhere. Despite our love preferences, our skin color, our languages, our gender, our nongender, our country, our religion, our girth, our finances, our wellness, our sickness, our just about everything, we are all in this together. We are bond to the same world’s pandemic. And when we get through this, and again, we will get through this, we can hold onto this sameness and release our crazy fixation on our differences. Naive? Perhaps. But in a time where we need hope, I need hope, this is my biggest one, to be one of this earth.
I realize this may all seem so simplistic. Some are in poor health or in advance ages to walk or do chores. Some, like me, have empty houses so we will continue to eat by ourselves and maybe our loneliness will be more deafening. Others are simply too angst to do anything but worry. I know this and I respect this. Still, as we live through this pandemic, it is my wish we find our faith in humankind and in what we can do for each other. I hope we shine our lights brightly for we need as much brightness as we can to travel in this dark time.
My desire is for us to remember we are all living in the same scary and hard time, so let’s be kind. I hold onto my prayers to the Universe, to God, that none of us feel alone in this. For it is a time for connection, not to division, and an opportunity to look for whatever good we can while living in the nightmare of this Pandemic. And there is good because we are basically good. Flawed sometimes, but good.
Finally, and most importantly, let’s do our part by washing our hands, disinfecting when we can and socially distance ourselves. When we emerge, and we will, we will be stronger and hopefully, God how I hope, socially united. Be well, my friends, and find the peace in your nows.