It has been a while since I’ve blogged…not because I didn’t want to, I just always kept running out of time. Now here we are today, early April, sitting in our homes, doing our best to flatten the curve and end the devastation of the COVID-19 illness. The kids are now doing distant learning with their schools, the husband is working from home, and I’m in the middle of it all! I, like all of you, never imagined that we would be living our lives like this…but here we are, at least we are all in it together.
For the past two days I’ve tried to be conscious about turning the TV off of the news, or sometimes off completely. I’m used to working in my studio with some show on, just because I enjoy the background noise. I could walk you through every episode of The Golden Girls, maybe not tell you what they wore, or what the tablecloth in the kitchen looked like as they ate cheesecake, but I can carry on the conversation. For me, this is a normal event in my studio as I work. Day after day the TV had stayed on the news, listening to the commentary, the experts, the doctors, the daily White House briefings. I listened so much I might could have given the “expert advice” since I’d overheard the same thing over and over and over. As we ate dinner one night while listening to the evening briefing I realized it wasn’t just the husband and I listening in, the kids were too, and we all need a break.
Today I tried to make that happen. Now don’t think we aren’t keeping up with the updates, we are…we are just trying to do it a little less and pay attention more to what all is going on around us. I told Chris the other night that I am actually enjoying this being stuck at home together. Yes, I’m probably not in the norm with most people on that opinion, so let me explain. In less than a month, we will have been residents here in Maryland for two years. When we arrived, Chris had to head straight to work, the kids had to be in school to finish out the year, and I had to start moving us in. In two years, there has been work for us both, school, baseball, private lessons, teachings…anything and everything that kept us going nonstop. Now, we are getting to slow down, stop and talk to each other, laugh more, play more, and just be a family.
We have ALWAYS ate dinner together as a family, at the dining room table. Now we enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner together. We help each other out with chores, chasing the puppy, playing outside, and just hanging out. We have laughed at each other’s gaffs, slips, falls, stumbles, mistakes, and everything else that goes along with it. We are in this together…just like we are as a nation, we are in this together.
Tonight after dinner, as the husband was cleaning up the dishes, I headed out to the lawn mower. I jumped on, powered it up, and went and mowed the front lawn, through the future orchard, up the driveway, and around the mess the kids always leave. It did me good. I smelled the evening air, the fresh cut grass, the flowers in bloom. But most off all, I left the sunshine on my skin and soaked it all in. I needed the fresh air and sunshine to refresh my soul.
Let me leave you with this thought. Our hands are not tied through this crisis. We are not stuck, sheltered, or unable to take in all that is around us. We still have control of ourselves. We still have control of our thoughts, dreams, goals, and lives. We may all be stuck at home a little more, but find ways to take advantage of it. Have those meals with family, even if you have to do it on Facetime or Zoom. Walk outside, sit on the front porch and watch the sun go down while you smell the flowers, go cut the grass, watch the birds and the wildlife around you. Laugh at your husband, kids, and most importantly yourself. All in all, just live. This will soon pass, there will be heartache for the ones lost, love and appreciation for the heroes on the front lines trying to save all they can. If I can encourage you to do one thing through this, it’s to open your eyes and look at the beauty around you. The beauty is there, you just have to be willing to find it. I’ll leave a few photos from my mowing tonight of some of the beauty here, and hopefully it will make you smile as much as it did for me. Take a deep breath, maybe you can smell the flowers and fresh cut grass too.