March 21, 2020 was when our Shelter at Home directive was put in place. Today is July 15, 2020. It has been a long time, as everyone knows, worldwide.

We Were Lucky

Fortunately, we have a lovely home in the woods that we finished building last year, so we have had a comfortable place to stay. Our son, Joel, who has Down Syndrome, was not able to work at the YMCA for three months but he adapted well to living with us.

Less people contact was a challenge for him, but he was a good sport. We hunkered down, minimizing our treks out and about to essential business (my Real Estate company) and necessary shopping.

Now, as our state begins to loosen up a bit on restrictions, I am making note of really special things that we have to remember from this time.

Joel is back at work and living mostly independently. We make more trips to town, adjusting to Joel’s needs and our schedules.

I have a busier schedule with speaking and with Real Estate. My husband hopes to figure out a way to take travelers to the wonderful parts of Mexico that he so dearly loves.

My Pandemic Takeaways

But, as life returns to a somewhat normal rhythm, I want to remember some things from our time of restricted movement. We had it much easier than many, but our lives changed along with everyone else’s, and I am determined that life will be different going forward.

I Need Time on My Own

While most would call me an extrovert, and while I am very comfortable with meeting and serving people, I do enjoy quiet, alone time. I will make room for more of it in the future.

Humans Need Sun Exposure

Sunshine makes a HUGE difference in everyone’s mood. I’ve known this, but this year it was particularly obvious. Going forward, I will make note of stretches of rain and clouds and be conscious of the effects on myself and others.

We Can Make Do with Ingredients We Have

We have a lot of edibles in our home at all times. Trips to the grocery store are not needed as frequently as we once thought. If I didn’t have an ingredient for something I wanted to make, I substituted. Or, I waited. I will make use of what I have in my kitchen to conserve and to have less waste.

Being Mindful of Our Purchases

The teapot I bought makes noise! I had no idea until I filled if full and forgot it one day. It makes a lovely, tugboat tone. I will pay better attention to what I purchase so I can enjoy all of the details sooner.

We Don’t Need Mindless TV Watching

Joel has good taste in shows to watch when he is limited to options. We don’t have a television at our River Home, so we spent much less time watching mindlessly. I see no need for television and will continue to be selective in my viewing time… no more mindless watching.

The Beauty and Predictability of Seasons

The thrill of spring and hope and beauty was so much more vivid in slow motion. Because we slowed down, we noticed more.

How the individual trees bloom and bud. The mud from spring rains and how quickly it dries out. The effects of rain north of us on our streams and river. When the rains (or lack of rain) seem endless, I will remember that seasons come and go, predictably.

Birds, So Many Birds

I’ve always wanted to be able to identify birds by their physical appearance and by their song. Turns out, if you sit and watch and listen, it is possible.

Our mornings and evenings are rich with watching and listening to many species of birds. Even Joel will get up early to sip coffee and to hear the birds. Another slow down, take time, experience reminder.

Music Fills the Soul

The sound of classical piano music coming from the shower every time Joel is here. A lovely sound. One purchase we made was a wireless speaker for Joel. He loves music and listens a LOT. He discovered classical piano music during the pandemic and plays is specifically when he is in the shower… loudly.

Spending Feels Better When Limited

Even as our state is opening up a bit and being out and about is possible, I am content to limit my outings.

We are in the “at risk” age and we really have most (if not all) of what we need, so why venture out to peruse ways to spend money or to eat at a restaurant or to visit more indoor venues? Since our earning years are waning, I willingly am ready to limit my spending for non-essentials.

Aim for Positivity

For sure, there are things that I miss… evenings out for dinner, having friends in for a meal, in-person book clubs, working out at the YMCA. But, outdoor visiting, a kayak trip down the river, or a walk out of doors is satisfactory for now.

While I long for a return to a time of more certainty and less fear, I am grateful for being reminded of what makes me deeply satisfied so that I can always find something positive in my circumstances.

Which parts of your current life give you some relief from the stress of Covid-19? What do you want to remember from your experience of 2020, so far? How will you keep positive and healthy going forward? Let’s have a conversation and support each other with a positive mindset.

Let's Have a Conversation!