The good news is: the pandemic isn’t all bad. I think we (individually and as a world) have learned some really important lessons. Last week I wrote about a tough moment I had during this ‘new normal,’ so this week I decided to list all of the good things/lessons that have come out of this time.
- Home Isn’t a Building
Home is the people. Right before the pandemic my group home welcomed a new resident. She and her family had moved from North Bay for this open room. As soon as the pandemic hit residents were not allowed to go home anymore. They, like most of the province, were only permitted to see people they live with. This was a big adjustment for her, moving in to a strange house in a new city and then being stuck there without her family a few months later. Yet, she kept asking to go home. She wanted to go home to an unpacked apartment her parents had rented to be close to her. It wasn’t her childhood home. It was a random apartment in which she had only ever spent a few nights. She didn’t care about the apartment, she cared about the people. Home isn’t a building, home is the people. And we can find home in lots of different people.
2. The Virus doesn’t Discriminate & Perhaps Neither Should We
Everyone is getting this thing; every country, every race, every ability, the rich, the poor, and the President. Everyone. I think this serves as a really important reminder that we are all the same. We are all humans who breathe the same air and inhabit the same planet. Yes, our differences are beautiful, but deep down we are all more similar than we are led to believe. There is no need to fear our fellow humans. The virus doesn’t care where you live, what car you drive, if you can read or speak, if you have one Instagram follower or one million, what colour your skin is, what religion you practice or how many face tattoos you have – so perhaps neither should we. We can care about our differences but we shouldn’t fear them. We are cut from the same cloth.
3. Gift Cards Ain’t Gonna Cut it
When we can’t see people we love, we have to come up with creative ways to remind them we love them. There was evidence of this all over. People decorated friend’s lawns to celebrate birthdays. Kids decorated the sidewalks with positive chalk messages. Friends and family sat in driveways to chat. People made signs to put in windows. People called their friends and family more than ever. There were side walk concerts and people singing off their balconies. We all got really creative in how to show our love in this rather weird time. Moving forward, I hope this will continue. I hope people will put creativity into their love rather than slapping a gift card into an envelope. Because we now know how hard it is to not be with our loved ones, so let’s put some effort into showing them our love and how lucky we feel to have them.
4. We Weren’t Born to be Busy
Being forced to stay home was really challenging. It is hard to go from working, school, errands and appointments, to nothing. Absolutely nothing. This quiet time we all got to spend at home reminded me how busy our world is. All of a sudden we had time to go for walks, drives, call our family, watch movies, cook nice meals and read. We were suddenly not “too busy” to do anything. Yes, work and school are important and nice, but we shouldn’t let “busy” become a personality trait. Be busy, but take time to rest and remember how nice it is to do things outside of work and school. Don’t be a robot; be a human that needs to rest sometimes.
5. Self Care Feels Good
With this extra time we’ve been granted, some of us might have had the chance to take a little better care of ourselves. This might mean enjoying your breakfast in your backyard (instead of scarfing it down on your way out the door) or doing a face mask (instead of just splashing some water on your face and calling it a day) or starting a blog to document a wellness journey (cough cough Willowjak cough cough) or what have you. We know that going a little farther for ourselves feels good. May we continue to schedule time for ourselves once fast paced life picks up again.
6. Checkups are Important
Not the doctor kind but the friend kind. This pandemic affected us all super differently. It was hard on all of us and kept us all apart. As we all experienced a lonely and more isolated summer it felt really nice to hear from someone who was checking up on you. It is both important and special to know that people are thinking about you when they aren’t with you. Be that person for someone. Check up on people around you. Check up on your friends, family, your high school best friend or your Mom’s hairdresser, I don’t really care who. Just make sure that you check up on people and make them feel important.
There you have it. My six pieces of wisdom for you this week. I hope you kind of, maybe, sort of, took something away from it.
Thank you for taking the time to read, today and always.
Follow along to hear all about the ups and downs in direct support work, young adult life, and allyship – it sure has given me lots to write about! Enjoy some casual, light-hearted tales about all my adventures along the way.