HOPE – I SEE IT AND SMILE!

During this time of “social distancing” and finding a new routine with being a full time employee from home, teacher to my children, full time parent, and co-manger of our house, I have been bombarded with many different emotions. This is defiantly a completely new situation that we all find ourselves in. We have been overloaded with information during this time regarding mental health, many ideas for engaging with your kids and family, advise on exercising, and so on. Why is this so hard for us with the way the typically go through our daily lives? We are so individualistic on many levels. We all have privacy fences, would rather build relationships on social media, let our children play gaming systems and electronics for an unlimited amount of time and none of this “social distancing” ever bothered us before, why does it now? It’s funny to think we all were operating in a “normal” environment of self inflicted social distancing and it never bother us until someone said we shouldn’t be in contact with others, and that’s when we all freaked out. It’s sad to say this new recommendation shouldn’t have altered how each of us continue to go about our daily lives. How many times before this did you think about talking to your neighbor? Try to come up with a new game for you and your kids to play? Talked with a loved one, or better yet, when was the last time you went to see them before all of this? In response to this pandemic we are now coming up with ways to socialize without being face-to-face, yet in meaningful ways (face time, zoom meetings, sitting in your drive way talking to others as they walk by, taking walks, sitting on your front porch, and regularly checking up on co-workers and church members).

Now I can sit here and write about how horrible this has been and how, at times, fear has changed how I process this new situation, but that is not what I am wanting to focus on. Yes, the fear is real and at the end of the day there is nothing I can do to change it. I can abide by the recommendations, and I am, and I can keep a positive face for my children, and keep their schedules the same, but at the end of the day the only thing I have is HOPE.

All of this gives me hope. I hope when this is all said and done we return to a more meaningful way of having relationships. It seems more of us are going back to the way it used to be before social media destroyed and/or altered true relationship. It really encourages me to hear families coming up with ways to spend time together and now getting out and taking walks together – we seem to enjoy the little human interaction we are getting. It becomes precious – and that’s the way it should be. If you think about it our TVs aren’t broke and our internet is still working, yet all I read or hear about are ways families are trying to be creative with their time (puzzles, games, reading, car rides, walking, etc…). At a time like this it is hard to see a positive, but when I look outside and see all of this taking place, I smile. This is our positive – we are becoming social again! We are checking in on others and helping them by making sure they have what we need. This is encouraging and I pray we do not loose the insight we have gained through “social distancing.” This is an opportunity to live a more meaningful life with others. We need each other and if our current situation doesn’t prove this, well then, nothing will.

Please take a moment and look around, smile and see this hope for all of us!

-J