We made it through another week of social distancing, stay-at-home decrees, and for some of you, home schooling. If you're still able to go to your workplace, is it eerily empty, like going in on the weekend, except that it isn't? Have your local morning and evening newscasts omitted the traffic report? My favorite local TV station omits it now. We're all working through the unknown - strategizing, pivoting, correcting, reaching out to our clients and our referral sources, friends, neighbors, and folks we haven't connected with in a while.
I encourage you to take a deep breath. I've been focused on finding a daily silver lining, and they're there, and most are longer-lasting than a day. As I mentioned last week, I canceled my tropical trip to keep my household safe. As I'm not one to dwell on things (the half-empty glass? There's an overflowing pitcher next to it available for refills!) it might seem that I am minimizing the worry, disappointments, hardship or grief of others. I am not. But maybe for the three minutes it takes you to read this, I can provide your worried brain and furrowed brow a mini-vacation. Here are my silver linings in order of importance: first, travel (of course), then everything else. The significance is arbitrary - I made it up. SILVER LININGS in TRAVEL - yes, we will travel again, once we are set free to roam. Right now, most travel suppliers have incredible specials! The cruise lines, tour operators and airlines have massive availability and are encouraging you to book future trips at discounted rates. The bonus? If you have to reschedule because the world is still in upheaval, you can re-book without penalty. I can't stress this enough, but let me try...book that vacation now for later this year, or even into 2021...if it turns out that travel is still an ill-advised pursuit at that time, you will be allowed to reschedule without paying fees or penalties. Add to that the special pricing, reduced costs, ridiculously huge discounts, and ~ta-dah!~ the possibility of being set free is a solid, real thing on your calendar. Currently, there are far too many examples for me to highlight here, but please reach out to me with your questions and wishlist, and I'll locate the options that suit you. SILVER LININGS in the COMMUNITY. You've seen these on the news, in your communities and maybe your own lives - people stepping up, participating, going to extraordinary lengths, or even just regular ones. Many of us aren't pressed on regular basis to be selfless: - compassion for those that can’t help themselves; - neighborliness; service; volunteerism because we need to be needed, to contribute, to be of service, to feel useful and not helpless; - thoughtfulness, helpfulness, sharing – random acts of kindness - supporting fast-disappearing local businesses. - local companies doing unprecedented things. 'round these parts we have breweries and distilleries formulating gallons and gallons of hand sanitizer for first responders; and small manufacturers are using their 3D printers to make face shields and masks for the health-care sector. What similar things are happening where you live?
SILVER LININGS for the FAMILY. Unless you live alone, you may be growing weary of being housebound with the fam every day; or not, but think of these:
- reconnection. Not just with the ones in your house, but I bet that by now you have called, texted or Face-timed either someone you haven't seen in months or years, or are keeping in regular touch with your closest kinfolk that's you'd normally see frequently. My friend's grown kids are making a point of reaching out for regular rather than occasional contact. Does a momma's heart good, no?
- creativity: you've probably had to find new means of entertainment and distraction for your household. If not new, how about old-school? Board games, charades, jigsaw puzzles, hopscotch, movies, the backyard, card games. What else?
OTHER SILVER LININGS
- Less bad news. I know there are still crimes and criminals. Either they are separating themselves at the appropriately social distance or the media are just too busy with other things right now. Either way, I don't mind not hearing about the bad guys.
- Political and racial divisions aren't quite as in-your-face. I'm not talking about differences, but divisions. I know they are there, but it's good to know we can put them aside when it's important to do so. Maybe we'll re-set the human race and such divisions will never rear their ugly heads again. (Yes, I'm ever the optimist.)
- Our chores are getting done. Maybe if we hadn't procrastinated, the universe would not have sent us this giant time-out to make things happen. Just kidding. - Pollution reduction; traffic noise reduction. Have you noticed it? You've seen the pics of Venice's cleaner canals; and with reduced road and air traffic, surely the air is cleaner and quieter where you are. - Time for self-care and reflection; the opportunity to learn a new skill, or practice an old one. Do the workouts, exercise your brain with puzzles, learn crochet, or Japanese. - Teach the kids things they won't learn in school; life skills like how to follow a recipe (it's a great math lesson if you teach them how to adjust a recipe!); iron a garment; balance a check book or make/stick to a budget; how to change a tire, or the oil in the car or lawn mower. - Planning - this year's garden; a "Bye-bye Covid-19" party; a vacation; finishing your basement. There is something that takes some sit-down and thinking that you haven't devoted the time to. Why not now? Well, what have I missed? What serendipity is occurring where you are that might not normally be happening were we not having a plague? What changes would you like to see come out of this strange time, personally and for the world at large? Think about it and then comment below, or email me. 'til next week.