Life as we know it is changing every day. New routines and measures are popping up every day and it takes some solid pep talk to not succumb to panic. We will see better days, just not yet. Not for a while. There will be bad ones, possibly many, before things get better. There are graphs and simulations and news coming from all directions. Some will provide good information and others will also make your hair stand on end, factual as they may be (try this link for a reliable bird’s eye view.) Still, the worst is not knowing. And yet, putting all your energy into hunting down more information than available in the media (which is by everyone’s standards, A LOT,) might not take you to the place where you are settled enough to do your work, or connect with your loved ones, or just be with yourself without panic.
So, about that.
If I ask you about gratefulness, will you roll your eyes? You can, I won’t see you anyway, but I think setting aside some precious moments to peruse the gratefulness rolodex can get one’s heart and mind in a better place.
Like everyone else, I am struggling with a reality that has yet to show its uglier face. But, here’s another reality: I am grateful. For my family (dog included,) my friends, for having a roof over my head, for having food and having access to medical resources if need be.
I am grateful for being able to step into wilderness just steps away from our home, and for finding peace there. Nature is beautiful every day and it takes no notice of any pandemics, and spring is coming, according to the Saskatoon buds. Poppy and I stopped to marvel at them. OK, she sniffed around the bush, and I marveled. Still. The beauty and miracle of a new season can revive hope. Every single time.
In the green space behind our house I found a patch of buttercups shining bright yellow like delightful little suns in the grass that has yet to wake up from winter sleep. I did not even bother to shake my head at the piles of dog poop that have been until now buried in the snow and are now drying in the sun alongside spring blooms. Sigh and yuck, but you know what? I focused on the buttercups, and on the robins that were courting each other, dancing and chirping in the warm air. Maybe that’s the lesson nature offers these days: choose what to focus on.
No one knows how long this crisis will last and that is unnerving. But, as life has it, this too shall pass. Meanwhile, it’s one day at a time – so let’s make each count. If you have a patch of land, start a garden. There is solid body of research on why soil bacteria will positively influence your microbiota and getting your hands dirty will bring your mental turmoil down a few notches. Read the books you’ve been putting off because you had no time, rediscover the magic of time spent with your family, and call friends you have not called in a while because you had no time. Cook from scratch, and enjoy even the simplest of meals. Bake bread – I am subjective given my recent forays into sourdough baking, but why not. Slower times offer opportunities to reflect.
Whatever you do, stay healthy and help keep others safe too. Wash your hands often, self-isolate if sick and let your doctor know, and rock that #SocialDistancing. Oh, and please do not be among those who stock up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer. It’s just silly, you know. Bad karma too.