These are some wacky times. While my friends up north in the U.S. of A. contemplate opening their doors and borders, we’re still “en casa” in Mexico. In fact, our quarantine has now been extended to May 30th or the 31st — does it really matter. No matter what, we’re home for the next five more weeks.
In an effort to focus on the positive, here is my list of my current favorite things about The Global Pandemic of 2020, or TGP2020, as I like to call it.
(I’ve never called it that.)
My Favorite Things about the Global Pandemic 2020:
1.) Expectations, lowered.
There has been a sharp decrease in expectations across the board. We’ll watch Jimmy Fallon in his Hobbit House as he tells jokes with no laugh track and his wife holding the camera all wobbly-like – and be totally cool with it.
We laugh. We accept it for what it is. We appreciate his efforts. And as his little ones keep interrupting as he tries to do his job, we nod in solidarity.
We get it. Just do what you can, Jimmy. Just do what you can, everyone.
2.) Patience, increased.
There’s always one person whose internet is wobbly during the zoom. Or someone who is like 18-seconds delayed, laughing too late at the un-funny joke. I’ve found an abundance of patience from some hidden well in my soul, because it’s not like I’m in a hurry to do anything. I have nowhere to go. Everyone can just take their time.
Sure, put your cutie-pie dog on camera. I’ll smile and play along. It’s not like I can lie and say, “Gotta run! I’ve got a meeting at 11.”
“Yes, sweet daughter, explain your entire lego village to me… one more time… I want to hear everything. Oh? That’s her ‘she shed’? And that’s a ‘snowcone cafe’? Excellent… tell me more.”
3.) Wear and tear, decreased.
My current wardrobe consists of “acceptable from the waist-up, business casual work-from-home attire,” which basically means cotton every day and thrice a week, jeans. (Wearing the jeans makes me feel human.)
Then, after 5:30 pm, I switch to my “Evening leisurewear” which usually includes only 50% of my underthings (the bottom half) and again… more cotton, the fabric of our lives.
Just consider the rest and relaxation our leaving-the-house-clothes are getting right now. Absolutely no wear and tear.
Who actually misses wearing shoes?!
Speaking of shoes:
Lila said the other day that she’s feeling nervous that she’s going to grow out of her brand new white Adidas before she can wear them again.
“Wear them around the house, Lila. Why not?”
Mommy, it doesn’t count if NO ONE CAN SEE ME IN THEM.
I kind of get it.
Bless her. Bless her first-world heart.
4.) Opportunity for planning, increased.
I mean, who hasn’t wanted to conquer a meal plan for the week?
NOW IS OUR CHANCE.
We have all the time in the world to make plans…
…but… maybe not for this summer?
Or this fall?
Because nobody knows what’s going to be happening with the world then, so…
…maybe just think about making plans?
5.) Conversations, expanded.
I try to stay away from my family and work alone from 2-5 pm so that I can find something, anything to deposit into my “conversation bank” for later usage.
It’s been slim pickings over here.
Today, Lila asked/stated: “Mom, bowling is a sport?”
YES! I can work with that. GREAT conversation starter.
6.) Recipes, increased.
Just think of all of the pins we have on our Pinterest boards that are finally getting made. Our aspirations are becoming #MealFails every single day!
Everywhere I look on instagram people are baking bread.
Very few people are taking pictures of their salads.
Now is the time to try those recipes that we’ve stayed away from because we’ve got a bit of a public life buffer. Try it, eat it, ENJOY it.
What’s that saying, “Dance like nobody’s watching? Sing like nobody’s listening? Eat like no one will ever see you again?”
7.) Fashion opportunities, increased.
WHO knew that suffocating cotton face masks would provide us the ability for fashion expression? Who needs a phone case to match your style when you can cover your mouth hole with a fashion-forward germ protector? I, for one, didn’t see this one coming.
Nor, do I like wearing them. I feel like I’m suffocating. But I wear them, because that’s what we do now.
8.) An Opportunity for Self Acceptance.
During the past five weeks, I’ve become a day-by-day witness to the reckoning of my hair color. I’m getting to know my grey hair, perhaps a bit more intimately than preferred.
We’re forced to see ourselves just.as.we. are. And you know what?
We’re just as we should be.
I laugh and joke about this grey hair, but you know what, it’s me.
It’s who I am.
And I am so thankful for the life that has happened up to this point. All of it.
The incredible highs and the searing lows.
This grey hair is perhaps growing into a crown?
(I’m rolling my eyes at myself on that one, too. I’m dyeing this mop as soon as I can.)
9.) Mandatory slow-downs.
How many of you have been driving, not seen the speed bump, and nearly broken your car from barrelling over it at break-neck speed?
Life is kind of a speeding highway, isn’t it?
We’re racing to the next place. Go, go, GO! Faster.
This pandemic has slowed.us.down. It’s stopped us from focusing forward and for once, we’re looking out the windows as we drive.
We might see the shelves that need to be dusted, or the wall that needs painting.
But we’re also able to listen re-connect with the people who really matter in our lives. Ask them questions about how they’re doing. Make sure that they know that they matter to us.
Reconnect with a friend, with nature, with yourself.
This unintended diversion might just end up being just what we needed.
10.) Little moments, everywhere.
Increased time with our families can weigh on us. It’s not normal to be with the same people all day, ever day. I personally have considered legally changing my name to “Daddy” in the hopes that I receive fewer random requests throughout the day from our dependents. (Am I right?)
In all seriousness, though – my inner sentimentalist* is so grateful for these moments.
*I think I just made up that word
My incessant talker, who only wears clothes for virtual school, keeps us laughing.
My giggly introvert is reading all the time and talking more and more and making some solid jokes.
My fluffy puppy of almost 13 years is by my side every minute of the day, living up to the “man’s best friend” stereotype.
And my real–life best friend is laughing, creating, helping, fixing, cooking, doing, building, working and loving right alongside me.
Today feels good.
Tomorrow, who knows.
I mean… it’s a pandemic.
There’s so much about this whole thing that is just so… heavy. I needed to laugh today. If you’re not feeling all of this… I see you. If you feel like you can’t make light of this nonsense, I see you. If you feel overwhelmed and sad, that’s ok, too. This past week I talked to more than a few friends who were just… done. At their breaking points.
This is different. It’s suffocating at times. We don’t have to “make the best of it” all the time. We don’t have to be hustling and organizing, cleaning and cooking. If you need to cry, then cry. If you need to lock yourself in the bathroom with your phone and pretend like you can’t hear what’s happening outside the door, do it. If you feel AMAZING and in touch with who you are and never happier, GOOD. I see you, too.
Let’s go into this week with grace, with gratitude, with love and with faith that we can and we will get through this.
I see you.