While I wish that this outbreak had never happened, and with full recognition of the pain and suffering many are enduring, I must admit that there are a few personal things that I’ve experienced during the last several weeks that are frankly quite positive.
- Seeing my kids all day, every day: If you’re like us, life is a crazy, crazy whirlwind. Work, school, sports, music, church functions, Girl Scouts–we’re always either coming or going. With everything put on hold, we get to spend more time together than we ever have during the regular school year. In between studies, we play video games together, do crafts, play outside, play board games. I won’t lie–I’m loving this time with them.
- Hanging out with my wife: My wife and I are both teachers, so the summer is usually when we catch up on all of our shows. We’ll stay up until midnight together most nights tearing through the latest hits. That is not the case during the regular school year, however, because my wife pretty much works every waking hour, and I can never stay up much past ten o’clock. Since being told to stay home, just being together on a consistent basis every night has been really nice.
- Making a point to talk with family and friends: It sounds crazy, but we can go days and days without remembering to call family and friends. This time at home allows us the opportunity to better keep in touch. I’m talking more regularly with people through calls and texts than I have in years, and it’s been great.
- Watching everything in my yard bloom: Spring is an amazing time of year. We have a tree right outside of our kitchen window, and it’s been mesmerizing watching the leaves slowly begin to bloom. Observing the plants push up from the ground and the grass get greener day after day, it’s an incredible thing to behold.
- Personal pursuits: It’s so much easier to carve out an extra twenty minutes here and there throughout the day in order to pursue personal goals now that we’re at home all day. I’ve resumed a final edit on a novel I plan to release soon, I’m able to practice the bass guitar again after a false start last January, and I’ve even been able to lift free weights on a regular basis.
Again, I’m in no way trying to make light of the outbreak. I wish to God that people weren’t suffering due to this tragic turn of events. However, I can’t help but notice that all of the positives from this experience have one thing in common–extra time. I’m realizing more and more what is most deserving of my time, and that’s something I hope to remember once all of this passes.