“Love and compassion are not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” ~ Dalai Lama
While I sit here proud of myself for just giving my poor feet an imitation pedicure that I hadn’t done in decades, I’m reminded what’s truly important. As I’m sure many of you, we are surrounded by a culture of luxuries that give us temporary satisfaction and while they give us momentary enjoyment, are not the meaningful things that provide true contentment. Especially as women small things like getting your nails and hair done, wearing makeup, shopping or going to a spa, all the sudden are not an option. Personally, over these last few weeks, in a lot of ways, I think it’s been a great reality check. Right now our society doesn’t really care what you look like, what matters right now are those who are showing compassion and love. The health care, city, state, government and so many other community members don’t have the option of working from home. A few months ago who would’ve thought as a girl you wouldn’t care what you look like leaving the house, wearing a mask, because now it’s not for something social, it’s being focused on staying safe to just get necessitates. Now I don’t care so much about buying organic, I’m just glad if there are any vegetables at all. Talk about a wake-up call. Our personal conveniences are being put second place to saving lives. Never in any of our lifetimes would any of us thought our world would be here. But, let’s focus on the perspective it’s building in each of us.
I’d like to quote one of the best posts I’ve seen since this whole nightmare started from Rachel Hollis that could not be more true, “Your quarantine is a PRIVILEGE. There are millions of people who aren’t able to quarantine or socially distance because of socioeconomic reasons. There are parent’s right now caring for critically ill children, essential workers exhausted beyond belief, its inconvenient, difficult, but don’t forget your blessings.” What a great reminder. Thousands of people around the globe don’t have the luxury of stocking the fridge with food, filing for unemployment, the option of schooling their kids from home, money to buy items like masks to protect themselves, technology to stay up on what’s happening, a safe hospital to go to if they get sick, the list goes on and on. So, while some days seem long and hard to get through, it’s all about putting things into perspective of what we can be grateful for. The bottom line is this horrific event, is being grateful for your life.
What has been surprising and inspiring to me is seeing the good that is being done in my community. Restaurants that have closed giving away food to families in need. Neighbors sharing toilet paper and asking if we need anything at the grocery store. A co-worker making homemade cloth masks for us all to wear. Local non-profits offering free creative and fitness classes online to help children keep busy. Teachers somehow rearranging their whole lives to provide education for our children. Community members paying for other drive-thru orders. Friends and local businesses reaching out offering financial assistance. Even seeing on social media, sometimes self-focused celebrities now donating thousands to help others in need. The list goes on and on. The point of it being, when times are hard and fearful it can be easy to worry about our problems. But, what fills us up is helping others and thinking about their struggles. This crisis is teaching each of us what is important, without our health and lives nothing else matters.
As my daughter and I prepared for my parents’ forty-seventh anniversary tomorrow is was an interesting feeling. It’s not about a lavish party, taking them to a fancy dinner or some vacation like we’ve done in the past. It’s simply homemade decorations, simple takeout from a local joint, a bottle of wine, a few gifts we could find online and enjoying each other as a family. Every day I try to find joy in simple things and being grateful that I’m healthy, surrounded by many who care and one day coming out of this journey remembering what it’s taught me. Cherish this time with your family, take time to do things we normally don’t have time for, reach out to loved ones to let them know you care and when your lonely remember someone else could use a phone call too. Show empathy when it doubt, it’s always the best choice. Put your wants in second place to someone else. Reassure children of your love and remember if it’s scary for us, it’s way harder for them to understand. They might be disappointed they can’t go to the mall, be with friends or go to that concert they were excited about, but take the time to teach them about the bigger picture. If we all think of this challenging time as a time to show our true character we will not only survive but come out stronger knowing what deeply matters. It’s good to be educated on current situations, but pace yourself with negative news and focus on positive things that build you up. Take care of each other and yourselves. Hold onto a positive perspective in not just viewing this situation as a test, but an opportunity for growth.