The world is in turmoil and sadly a lot of people are getting ill from an invisible enemy called COVID-19. Over 1.3 million people around the globe have been confirmed as infected. Wonderfully 20% as at today have fully recovered. Tragically 5.5% will never return to their homes. The virus is unforgiving for some, yet gentle on others. It affects all ages, races and classes. It does not discriminate. In that way it is bringing us all together (in heart) in a way nothing before ever has.
It’s been 13 days since New Zealand went into Level 4 lock down under a National Emergency. Something my generation and younger have never experienced. In fact, a lot of Boomers haven’t either. Yet my parents’ generation, although so young at the time have witnessed, or felt the impact of global turmoil before as a result of WW1 and WW2. So they know what living minimally is like, they have lived through food and supply shortages. They have experienced huge loss, worry and grief. Some will remember, if only just by stories passed down from previous generations, the 1918 flu pandemic, which spread globally and meant our older generations learnt the hard way what a new virus can do and how serious it is. They also discovered that humans are resilient, that recovery is possible, that what doesn’t take you away will strengthen your soul and your community.
We on the other hand are in lock down yes, but we still have access to food supplies, most of us have access to the internet, to movie streaming and online games. Our lives are not as restricted as we may think. Instead we are being given a chance.
A chance to stop, pause, connect and feel. To reconnect with who we are and those around us. For couples it’s a time to reconnect with each other, to remind one’s self of the reason you are together. Before Covid (BC*) we were perhaps too busy, by the end of the day too stressed to spend quality time together. Now we truly have the chance. It may not be easy for everyone at first as our minds resist the situation and adjust to the ‘new normal’. For some it will serve to strengthen an already strong relationship even further. But let’s all be honest we do not normally spend so much time together in a world that was designed to be so busy. So be patient and forgiving of yourself and those around you. You will no doubt get frustrated by what others do, you will no doubt frustrate others by what you do. If you stop, listen, observe and feel what is happening you have a chance to reflect, learn, evolve and grow. A chance like no other given to you before.
For parents they will have the real opportunity to spend time, quality and quantity combined, with their children. In some cases, this will be the first time they have. We ordinarily fill their lives & ours with lots of extra curriculum activities and even when we go on holiday, we are sometimes so busy we don’t truly connect. Now we can. What an opportunity.
Imagine a time where the world stops, where you are given the opportunity to connect. Connect with who you are, what you value, learn how you react, find the inner strength to power through.
This extraordinary experience has helped me realise what brings me happiness. It is the opportunity to help others, to solve problems, to slow down, to expect less of myself and get more, so much more in return. I feel like I am recharging. I am learning so much about what drives me and what feeds my soul. When you are aligned with your values a peace and harmony exist. Even though I am still working full-time from home I am getting more quality time with my kids and my husband. This is because the stress has fallen away. My focus instead is on making the most of everyday, of being grateful for all that we have, for being thankful to the essential workers who are helping our world stop being overrun from pandemic anarchy and zombie apocalypse theories.
I know not everyone will think they have the chance to feel this way, for those struggling with loss, for those battling sickness or knowing someone who is, even perhaps for those in the front line facing the gruesome reality I am protected from while in my bubble. For all of you please know that I respect and honour you all. I hope that happiness will find you, perhaps even when you least expect it. For others, who like me have an opportunity to stop, breath and listen then I encourage you to take this opportunity in both hands and commit to coming out the other side an even better version of who you are. Connect with others who see and inspire the amazing potential inside of you. Use the time to work on your well-being, an opportunity most of us put off until tomorrow. Tomorrow is here! It’s embracing you with love and kindness, it’s giving you guilt free time to spin straw into gold.
* I wish to acknowledge Kevin Monroe for the reference BC (Before Covid)