There is no disputing this COVID-19 scenario has created a bunch of negatives in our lives. It seems that the simple days of doing what you want, with whom you want, are a distant memory.
We don’t gather for church, take road trips to sporting events, buy tickets to concerts or even hug anymore. Of course, this isn’t because we don’t want to, but because we have to in order to be a good citizen, take care of our neighbor and protect those we care about.
It isn’t all bad, though.
There is a silver lining in today’s hysteria - many silver linings actually. For many people in my age bracket, there is no time to stop and chat during “normal” life. There are constant schedules, events, activities, obligations, etc.
This isn’t true just for the folks with kids in school, but true for many of us. We fill our lives with activities and things to do. Yes, some of those aren’t available right now, but so many other pure ones are, those that we may have ignored for a while.
When you take a walk now, do you really appreciate that walk or embrace what you see and hear? I know I do, much more so than I did before.
When you talk to family and friends, are you more invested? Are you less distracted and paying more attention? I know I am. Our family has taken time to write cards to family we can’t spend time with. We’ve sat around the kitchen table for hours doing puzzles. We’ve spent time together doing homework.
If we were in “regular” life, we may not have done those things or for as long. We all sit around the table and eat together, often. A simple drive around the countryside is something we all look forward to.
There is no doubt that our world is different. It can be debated if it is forever changed, but I’m not sure any of us knows for certain.
What I do know is the silver lining we can all embrace if we just grasp it, is appreciation. An appreciation for normal. An appreciation for all of those doing jobs we may have never noticed before like stocking store shelves. We can appreciate how lucky we are to have family and friends in our lives or cherish how much the memories of those passed on mean.
You can find the quote most anywhere, but it reads, “Enjoy the little things in life, as one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.”
I’m not sure most of us can hear that enough. It is true that the current state of our world is challenging, but instead of looking outward to all the negativity, I challenge you to look inward and appreciate all you have. Find a way to notice the “silver linings” and appreciate each and every one of them.
Rick Spiczka is Pequot Lakes Community Education director.