As I woke up this morning and looked at the clock, my first instinct was “oh no, I need to get moving.” But, as I became more fully awake, I realized that I had no need to rush, I had no lunches to make, no need to wake my boys up right away, no need to do all the things that I normally need to do to get this family out the door and me off to work each morning. On normal days, my morning starts at 5:30am and rarely do I really stop going until around 10:30 at night. Can you say exhaustion?! On normal days, I rush from one thing to the next, from one kid to the next, from my job to their jobs, and the list goes on.. grocery shopping, appointments, go, go, go! Then you get home and it’s cook dinner, do the laundry, help with homework, and get ready to do it all again the next day. Life moves at a pace that we often don’t get to set and we rarely get to change. And somehow in the midst of all that, I am supposed to find time for me. Time to rest and relax, because the life of a single mom raising 3 teenagers is crazy and can easily drive you to your breaking point. Believe me, you don’t want to go there…I just came from there and I have no desire to ever go back!
Enter, COVID-19. Amidst all that craziness, in a matter of moments, all of life came to a halt. School was closed, professional sports stopped, businesses were shutting down, and most recently, we are all quarantined to our homes. While that does bring its own anxiety, for me, it almost feels like a much-needed break. I have seen positives come out of it already, things I would never have imagined.
I have watched as my daughter has started to look up recipes and cook things. I have been able to take her driving every day when before there was never the time. I have been able to be here for her all day as she is struggling through some very real heartache.
My sons have asked about learning how to do laundry and other things around the house. They have spent more time reading, more time relaxing, more time watching movies together, and yes, more time on x-box with their friends. It has given me a new appreciation for their version of socializing with friends, because not only is it the only way they can do that right now, it also made it so the impact felt by them was much less.
People are tuning into online church services more. Praying more. Groups are being organized to help those in need. Communities are coming together.
Yes, I know, there is a whole other side to this. People losing their jobs (both my kids lost their’s) shortages at the store, people without food, people being totally alone. I am not naive about those things, nor am I untouched by them. However, I am learning that we can do with less than we think we can. We can make the best of this time, and maybe, just maybe, when things start to go back to normal, we can do things differently.
What if we didn’t rush all the time? What if when this comes to an end, we still make time for the important things like checking on our neighbor? What if we spend more time with friends and family? What if we care less about the “almighty” dollar and more about our ALMIGHTY God? What if we still ate dinner together as a family? What if sports on TV took a back seat and playing some basketball outside with your kids took over the front seat? What if we went to church and became a member of that community instead of just a bystander? What if companies cared more about their employees’ well-being than they do about their bottom line? What if?
The truth is we CAN make this happen. We can as a society choose to make changes. We have been given a great gift in seeing another side of things. In seeing what we are really missing we can see what is really important. So maybe, just maybe, things don’t go back the way they were before, Maybe just maybe, when this is all over we look back on it with eyes of thanksgiving for what it taught us. Maybe this changes everything.