Confessions of the Virus

One of the most difficult aspects of this pandemic is not the temporary loneliness, or the occasional overeating, the periodic boredom, or the wondering when will this be over, for me it is the absence of closeness. We live in a society that thrives on having personal space, in our homes we desire to have our own room, so we can close the door and keep others out. Some people often find themselves hiding in basements, closets or even the bathroom to escape people. 

We are told to seek quiet time to slow down and learn to enjoy our own company. Some parents often teach their children how to play alone. In the process these children invent imaginary friends or they cling to their favorite doll or stuffed animal for comfort. 

I am a proud Introvert and over the course of my life I have learned how to live with others who understand my need for quiet time and to dwell in a clean organized environment. We all have some area of life that is deeply impacted by this period of social distance. I miss the closeness of  being near people without fear. 

I miss sitting in the kitchen with my mom sipping coffee and catching up on life. I miss the hugs from family members, yes we are hugers. I teach college students and often they would initiate the invitation for a hug. I miss the intimacy of holding hands with a friend. I miss sneaking a gentle pinch from the cheek of a sweet plump baby. I especially miss the voices and camaraderie of my weekly chorus. 

Although some restrictions have been lifted and people are going out to enjoy meeting up, however, there is still that sense of being careful to connect but not fully. I spent this entire pandemic living alone; very few people stop by to do a wellness check. I am grateful for the few times I have ventured out to meet friends for dinner, coffee, or to attend a church service. I haven’t been to a mall, department store or to the movies; or any other place that I fear maybe a crowd of people.

I am thankful for spring and I’ ve made a trip to the mountains and it felt amazing to connect with nature, but I was alone. In July I am planning a cross country drive from New York to California. I am so excited because this is something I have dreamed of doing. While compiling my packing list I  remembered to add some extra items like, Lysol spray and wipes, extra masks,  rubber gloves, and hand sanitizer. I am excited, but how well I know that voice of caution will be with me whispering, have fun, but be safe.

What’s Important Now

Dear bloggers,  it’s been about one week since New York City has been slowly shutting down due to the Corona-virus. No matter what state you live in, today, I want to encourage you to remember this too shall pass. I invite you to think about the word WIN, What’s Important Now. Right where you are, think about what’s important now. Since this lock down has been set in place, people have been in a hurry to get back to “ normal” .  I hear people talk about feelings of fear, panic, chaos, depression, anger and confusion considering the circumstances these are all legitimate emotions. 

 

Question, how are you fueling these emotions? Are you a news hoarder?  It’s okay to check in for an update, but it is your Television, Cell phone, I pad, and Radio on 24 hours, so that your mind  is being bombarded with News. Yes, the fear about money, bills, rent, mortgage, car payments and so on are real. How is worry and panic going to solve your troubles? Try to avoid adding more stress and tension in your home during this period of being shut in. 

 

I suggest you try to focus on What’s Important Now. 

 

Focus on remaining as calm as you can. It’s important to maintain structure, make plans for how you’re going to spend the days, weeks maybe months. It’s okay to go out as a family for walks, exercise is important to maintain strength, eat well, avoid loading up on junk foods. Keep a regular sleep schedule. Use this time for self reflection individually and as a family. Maybe now is the time to create a new future for your family, or are you willing to go back to life as you call “ normal” . This crisis will change us as people and as a nation.  Are you going to come out of this crisis with a greater appreciation for family, God, your house of worship, place of employment, health, and home. Or better awareness about What’s Important Now? Will your bond with the people who matter most  be stronger? 

 

 I am thankful that I have a roommate and I am not alone. I am thankful to be able to work from home, and earn a paycheck.  I am thankful for my live Facebook chats to share words of empowerment. I am grateful I can talk to a community of bloggers. I have my life, my health, my family and friends are protected. This is What’s Important Now. 

 

My thoughts and prayers, are with the world.