Saturday, June 13, 2020

Viral Perspective

I'm an essential worker. While out and about doing deliveries, I noticed a big change in the neighborhoods where I deliver.
Many families were outside for neighborhood walks and bike rides. Toddlers to teens were playing outdoor games. Neighbors are talking to each other over their fences, keeping with the distancing regulations. Even the elderly are out to enjoy the sunshine, while their caregivers are engaging them in a friendly chat.

Oddly enough, despite the forced time off, everyone looks happy.

They spent time together. Enjoying themselves and the beautiful spring weather. 

To be honest, I thought these neighborhoods would be deserted; everyone would be inside with their tech, barely moving a toe length from their couches or beds unless the fridge or Mother Nature called. But no- they were outside, smiling, playing, and happy.

Parents have been telling their kids for years to stop playing computer games and go outside to play...and now that they can play digital games and watch TV until they have the mental capacity and agility of the Walking Dead, they are instead out on their bikes and having fun playing distance-friendly games with their friends and siblings. 

Yes, they should have been inside due to the pandemic- I totally get that! But people will be people, and if you tell them to not do something, they will do the exact opposite. 

People are cooking again because take-out isn't an affordable option. Yet learning (or in some cases, relearning) to cook became fun because they have time to create something yummy that's healthier (and you get to eat the mistakes!) Many are gaining home skills they never knew they had; home maintenance, repairs, improvements, and hobbies are skyrocketing in both the online classes and how-to videos.

And people are loving it.

I know a lot of families are struggling- this isn't a cakewalk for many people out there. However, no matter what you're situation is, I bet your perspective has changed quite a bit since the pandemic started- no matter your situation.

Have you done any of these things?

Pray more.
Learn new skills.
Budget time better.
Work on that new startup at-home biz you've always wanted, but never had time to start.
Fix up the house.
Start a garden.
Eating healthier.
Plan a restful vacation you've been meaning to take before the pandemic.
Making lifestyle changes like going to part-time or full-time, or deciding to retire.
Change the way you do your ministry, be it no-touch drop-offs of food and goods, or support groups via video linkups.
Visit friends via calls or facetime.
Play games with the kids.

What changes have you made in your life, on or off this list?

What have I been doing, you ask?

Working... when I want to be home.  And yes, I know I'm not normal.

I loved being an at-home mom for nearly two decades, and I find myself still wanting to be home (even though my kids are now young adults). My current downtime is usually spent decluttering my sewing and writing space, deep house cleaning, and prepping for several at-home businesses.

My husband is working odd hours due to the pandemic (CDC cleanup), but we're grateful he's still able to work since most of the plant is shut down. We've become avid budgeters and are using the surplus hourly wages and tips to pay off debts. I know when this is over, my deliveries will be cut severely, so I'm squirreling any extra away for the near future.

My son and daughter are both at home (my daughter was sent home during Easter break, then the college shut down soon afterward); My daughter works a day or two a week at a horse therapy barn where she tends to the horses, and my son is becoming a video-watching expert since his workplace was shut down entirely.

During the shutdown, we adopted an abandoned cat at my husbands' workplace. She is now dubbed Luna (and has earned the nickname Lunatic) and is now sporting a brand new scar from being spayed. Our other cats are less than thrilled. I'm still wondering if that's because Luna is a year and a half and they are ten and eight, or they just don't like having their tails hunted. Maybe both.

My husband and I were deeply involved with a food ministry, but because we are essential workers, we're keeping our distance due to our higher risk of exposure. We are very social and helpful people, and this pandemic has curtailed all of our ministries to the point that we're near hermits. It's hard for givers not to give!

Our old lifestyle seems a world away now. The old normal is forgotten, and we're working our way to a new norm. We pray the world will change for the better.

Personally, I hope there will be more at-home parents. I'd love to see more homeschoolers walking about the neighborhood doing outdoor projects. More work-at-homers taking a break outside to chat with a neighbor. I'd like to see more kids playing outside with each other, more visits to friends and family, and more spiritual connections being made. More people helping people. More smiles, laughter, and hugs.

Especially more time to slow down and enjoy life!