Since the COVID-19 outbreak, social media’s meme and quote game have been taken to the next level. Every day, there are words and images that provide a sort of panoramic view of the pandemic from different perspectives. They run the gamut from being poignant and thought provoking to being irreverent and humorous. The quote that leads off this post is one that I find myself revisiting it often.
As we all adjust to the changes that this pandemic has brought about, in our own way and in our own time, not everyone is ready to start looking ahead to what they will or will not resume and change once these restrictions gradually are listed. And that’s okay. It’s more than okay actually. This is not a race or a competition, so, use this time however you see fit.
For some of us, this has been a time of renewed introspection, and we have transformed this imposed pause into a reset of sorts. While this is our first, and hopefully last, pandemic, it is certainly not the first time that life has thrown us a curveball, and it won’t be the last time, either. Each time I have faced one of life’s challenges, whether it was infertility, divorce, bouts of depression and anxiety, or breast cancer, it gave me the gift of creating a new normal. This pandemic has given me a similar gift, and it is one that I am gradually unwrapping and learning to accept and even appreciate.
I am not turning a blind eye to the losses that have resulted from the spread of COVID-19, just like I do not pretend that war, famine, poverty, and other atrocities do not exist. I have great empathy and compassion for anyone who is suffering at any given point in time, and I offer assistance and support whenever I am able to do so. I know that I am not alone in this, as most people do the same to provide relief and effect change in our world.
Our current global situation may have led to a shut down of business as usual and a lockdown at home, but it has led to an opening up of my heart and mind in unexpected ways in the present and as I look ahead to post-pandemic life. As much as I grieve the losses brought about by COVID-19, this temporary slowdown has given me the time and space to decide what kind of life I want to return to when all is said and done.
Some things will remain unchanged, while other things may take on an even greater meaning, and still others may be discarded altogether. Here’s a peak into some of the things that I am taking with me as I recreate my version of normal now and in the future:
Being fully present in the presence of others. Put down the phone, focus your sights and attention on whom you are with, and appreciate and savor the true gift of someone’s presence.
Practicing and showing gratitude. Even in the most challenging of times, there remains goodness and light in the world, even if we have to look a little harder to see it. It is one thing to feel grateful, but it takes on even greater meaning and depth when we share it with others. Saying thank you, recognizing the unsung heroes in the world, and letting the people in our lives know that they are appreciated matters every day, pandemic or not.
Committing random acts of kindness. Some of the most beautiful and kind gestures occur during some of life’s most challenging moments, and this time has been no exception. Let’s commit to being kind to one another and to ourselves on a daily basis and make life better for everyone.
Investing in physical and mental health and well-being. One’s good health is priceless, especially right now. When we take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally, we are, in turn, able to help care for others. As we continue to focus on our own health, may we also look for ways to help others in need have access to the resources and care needed for their optimal health and well-being.
Making plans and taking steps to make them happen. Too often, we put off plans and dreams for some day that never comes. If this sounds familiar, it’s not too late to dream, to plan, and to do something. Start wherever you are, whenever you are ready, but just start.
This may not be over soon, but each day brings us one day closer. Take care of yourselves, take care of each other, and rush back only to what serves you well. Leave the rest behind.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story