Schools are closed. Offices are shut down. We are adjusting to a new way of living, a new pace of life.
Any situation in our lives can be viewed as good or bad, and with the COVID-19 crisis, it is easy to see the bad. Unemployment. The economy. Social isolation. Fear.
But maybe we need to see the good, too. We are used to being busy -- sometimes too busy. We can all remember times, perhaps only a month or two ago, when we longed for a slowdown, a weekend, a vacation, to give us a break. We weren’t asking for a stay-at-home executive order, but that is what we got.
Since that is in place, can we make something good of it? Take, for example, the streets we live on. Normally, we rush through them in a car on our way to work pr school in the morning. We return, hours later, tired and focused on getting home. We seldom really see those streets.
Now might be the perfect time to go for a walk and see our neighborhoods at a slower pace. It would be a good time to look at our neighbor’s houses, see the ornaments they have in their yards and the decorations in their windows, and hear the wind chimes on their porches. It may also be a chance to actually see and greet those neighbors, working around their yards, or out on walks of their own -- maybe even making a new friend.
It is a great time to listen to the birds singing in the trees, to stop and gaze at the flock of geese honking overhead, to follow the lazy sweep of an eagle soaring near a bluff.
Shelter-in-place is not how most of us dreamed of spending the spring of 2020, but the slowdown, in addition to giving us a chance to see the world close around us, might give us a chance to look a little more closely at ourselves.
Things that were problems for us in February may have not been resolved, and now, may never be resolved. They were problems from another life, a life we might not see again. Things we took for granted then, might be mere memories now and in the future.
Our pause has cost us greatly in many ways, but perhaps we can take away some good. We can make it a time to look closely at friends and family, to reevaluate our lives, and to look at what matters most to us. It is also a chance to ask ourselves, when we move on to our new normal, what parts of our past normal are worth going back to, and what parts are worth leaving behind.