My husband and I were out for one of our now daily walks in our neighborhood the other day and couldn’t help but notice how many of our neighbors we were seeing perhaps for the first time (we’ve lived in this house for more than 10 years). We’ve commiserated with the man desperately trying to keep his new sod alive as he hand-waters it. We watched a father hand his young son his iPhone so the boy could record a video of his dad doing some moves on a skateboard. We’ve exchanged hellos with countless other neighbors, with at least 6 feet between us (though most often, we stay on opposite sides of the street). And I thought to myself, this self-isolation thing can be pretty nice in some ways.
Both of my kids are now home from college and it’s nice in many ways to have our empty nest full again. We had to abruptly move our daughter home from her dorm a couple of weeks ago – a rather dismal end to her freshman year in college. My son arrived last night after self-isolating for the last several weeks in his college apartment. Last night, we had dinner together, played a card game out on the patio in the fabulous weather we’ve been gifted over the last couple of days. Then my husband and son played darts while my daughter and I read our books together. It was a nice mental break from the news of the day.
I had the thought again that this stay at home thing isn’t all bad – certain aspects of it are rather nice.
The fears and concerns about COVID-19 are always present somewhere in the back of my mind. I worry about how my family and friends will fare over the coming months. I worry about the economic devastation this pandemic will cause. I worry about how long this will continue.`I worry that life may never go back to the way it was before this all started.
But in the midst of all of my worries, it’s nice to take note of these silver linings. It’s nice to see families out walking and playing (separately) in the neighborhood. It’s been lovely seeing more of our neighbors than we normally do. It’s especially nice to have our kids home again and to spend time together reconnecting and enjoying simple pleasures.
Over the coming weeks and months, I’m going to try to be mindful of these silver linings. These moments are like small gifts that may pass unnoticed or unappreciated if I don’t pay attention. They may not be enough to fully offset all of my fear and worry but they definitely help.