Six months ago, my kids came home from school to start their spring break and the whole world imploded. Six months ago, my husband come home from work and didn’t go back. For six long months, we’ve all had our lives flip-turned upside down and eight ways from Sunday. Yet, here we are! We’ve made it six whole months. For better or worse, for good or bad or ugly, six whole months have passed and I can hardly believe it. How about you?
Did we ever think we’d get this far? No, I don’t think I did. Do we look back with a sense of nostalgia for the people we were six months ago and the honeymoon phase we didn’t even realize we were in? I certainly do. Do we yearn for what used to be? Naturally. But, at the same time, can we be grateful for the good stuff that has happened in spite of – or, maybe even, because of – the current state of the world? I think the answer is most definitely yes.
The Good Stuff List – In Spite of ‘Rona
So, let’s break this down, shall we? What are some of the good things of life, the really truly good stuff, that still happened in spite of Rona? I mean, sure. Maybe it looked a little different or you had to change things up a bit (or a lot), but it was still good stuff?
View this post on Instagram
Here’s my list:
- I got to cantor Mass for Easter Sunday.
- My oldest son graduated from high school.
- My younger son got his learner’s permit.
- I got to spend many hours at the beach near our house with my kids.
- Our family helped my mother-in-law make this year’s batch of strawberry jam.
- We went on vacation to the Florida Keys.
- That high school graduate got all moved in for his freshman year at Clemson University.
And of course there are more things that count as good stuff, those things that can be found in the mundane experience of a day-in/day-out kind of life. Things like the first sip of coffee in the morning or meals gathered around the table with the family or prioritizing time with dear friends. It all counts.
The Good Stuff List – Because of ‘Rona
I will grant you, this is a way harder list to compile. It takes some real introspection, some acknowledging of the hard and the scary, and some releasing of hurt and sadness over loss or disappointment. But, my word. It is so, so important. Let’s see what we can come up with…
View this post on Instagram
- We ate more meals as a whole family gathered around the dining table in the last six months than we ever would have in “normal” times.
- I got to witness my children grow leaps and bounds in maturity, tenacity, and perseverance.
- The kids in my son’s senior class got to have a parade celebration for graduation that had never happened before.
- Creativity and finding ways of “making do” has sky-rocketed.
- I’ve seen people, my own family included, become a lot less picky and a whole lot more grateful in general.
- For myself, I’ve seen a growth in my own self-awareness and acceptance of my emotions. Maybe it’s living through (gesturing vaguely) all this or maybe it’s just something that comes with age, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
And yet there is loss. There is sadness. There is real, true heartache and grief. People have lost so much. And I don’t for one second want to make it seem like that should be glossed over. Loved ones have died, people’s health and vitality have been taken away, major events have been changed beyond recognition or scrapped completely.
The loss that I feel most keenly is that of time with my family. It’s been 9 months since I’ve seen anyone I am related to and that is just plain hard. Gut-wrenching might be a more accurate word, but I guess hard will do. I’ve surrendered visits and hugs and holidays. My family has lost precious time with my parents just as they’ve lost it with us. It’s not fair. It hurts. And it’s awful.
So we flip the script. We acknowledge the bad, but we focus on the good. We grieve for what is lost and have hope for the future.
Six months have passed, friend. What’s the good stuff you will focus on that can build you a bridge of hope for the future?