I don’t know if you’ve heard but there is a bit of a bug going around and it sounds like it’s a real doosey. Since Wednesday, March 11th, life in the US has become more and more unfamiliar by the day. And that’s just in the US–other countries are weeks ahead of us in the unprecedented response to this virus.
Yes, I think we can all agree it’s much more serious than perhaps we originally understood it to be. Yes, the school closures are putting kids at risk and putting parents in an incredible bind. Yes, it’s still just beginning and although I think it’s safe to say we can expect it to get worse before it gets better, I don’t think it’s ALL bad.
Here’s the silver lining…
We are a culture of busy. Too much going on in too many directions. No time to spend with our families, no time for connection, no time to prioritize the things we will look back and wish we did more of… things like reading bedtime stories and family movie nights. Things like sitting down together for family dinners– the kind made at home. Things like talking. Listening. Getting to know each other.
I hear time and time again things like:
“It’s just too crazy right now. I can’t add another thing to my plate.”
“I wish I had the time, but I just can’t prioritize x right now.”
“Maybe when things slow down, I’ll be able to…”
Well, here’s your chance Readers. Things are slowing down. A lot of us are beginning to work from home– some of us for the first time. Kids are out of school for the foreseeable future without the summer weather to allow them outdoors, and without the daycare we’ve come to rely on. We’re being asked to cancel travel plans, business trips, outings, get togethers and events… and there isn’t even any sports on tv to distract us and allow us to zone out.
So now’s the time to have a few more family meals. Now is the time to talk to your kids, enjoy them, get to know them again and allow them to know you. Now’s the time to sit down and turn OFF the tv. Now is the time to pick up that Bible and get caught up on the study you keep saying you’ll get to. Now’s the time to call your grandma and chat. Relax, rest, refresh. You’ve got time you’ve been asking for.
Now is the time to connect and come together– even as we’re being asked to stay apart.
Y’all, this won’t last forever. We’ll be back to our busy lives before we even know what hit us. But instead of protesting by taking your kids to the nearest McDonald’s play-place, take a few sick days instead and just stay home with them. Instead of stressing about what’s going to happen next, have a candle lit dinner and a movie (at home) with your spouse.
We’re being forced to look out for each other. We being forced to sacrifice for the greater good. And yes, it is a sacrifice for a lot of us and there is PLENTY to complain about, that’s for sure. But there is a silver lining here. And I think if we embrace it, 2020 might go down as our most favorite year. Not the year of panic. Not the year of fear. Not the year where we didn’t know what was going to happen. But the year we played boardgames until midnight. The year we hunkered down in our family cabin for a week. The year my daughter told me about what was going on in her head and heart for the first time.
This is a terrible time in our country and all across the globe– you can count on me not being naive about that– but this is also an opportunity. Slow down. Soak it in. Recognize how very short and precious life really is– that’s what we’re trying to preserve…
L I F E
Don’t take it for granted because it’s still happening all around you.