It sounds crazy, right? We are all stuck at home, and for many that means home schooling, few – if any – visits to a store, forced to find ways of entertaining ourselves and our families, etc. For those that are single, this means endless time alone, no socialization, and no chance to eat with anyone but ourselves.
What could I have possibly gained from this experience? Well, let me tell you…
Compassion – Although I believed I was a compassionate person, this process has taken me places I never would have imagined. I tend to have strong views about things. Watching not only the struggles but the triumphs that people have walked through has opened my eyes in a way I find hard to explain. I read about a lady that has kept her shop open the entire time. She has a shop that rents booths to people, who fill the booths with different items, and she sells those items for them. Completely non-essential, right? Perhaps, at first glance. It turns out her son is her business partner and is in a wheelchair. He pays $700/month for insurance. He is scheduled for his first surgery next month to hopefully get him out of his wheelchair. It will cost over $100k. If they don’t keep the shop open, they have no chance of being able to pay his insurance. Now what do I think? Who am I to say she doesn’t have a right to earn enough to pay his insurance? I don’t have to shop there.
Paying forward – A woman I dearly love recently said “I can’t pay back for everything I’ve been given but I can pay it forward.” One of the gifts of all this time is that I’ve had the time to find ways to pay forward to my recovery community and my community at large. I live in an amazing area that, although large, is tight knit. We help each other in many ways. Our community Facebook page shares ideas on how to help others. What a blessing this has been. One of the best things I did was ask my HOA president which homeowners are shut in or possibly lonely. They took the time to identify several people. I write a couple each day introducing myself and reminding them we are all in this together. I offer to do a driveway visit or phone call. Today, I received the sweetest note back. It was a lady that is totally shut in due to her health. She was so excited to have me visit that she offered to put a chair on the end of the driveway for me. Her note actually brought tears to my eyes. I never otherwise would have time to do things like this with my crazy life on the road. I might not have ever had the chance to meet this lady without these circumstances.
Doing without is making life simpler – There are so many things that were a part of my life that I didn’t even think about. Stopping by Tuesday Morning to see what they got in that week, thrift shopping as an inexpensive way of getting “retail recovery,” and eating out more times a week than I want to admit. Well, I can’t do any of that now, and guess what? I am doing just great without them. I think as things move into the next phase of whatever our “new normal” will be, my life will be simpler and that will be a good thing.
Instead of making this longer than anyone will ever take the time to read, I am going to break this up into multiple sections. I hope some of you will post the positive things you are experiencing during this time.