We all know the difficulties we, and seemingly everyone else, have experienced for almost two years. But do we know what the upside has been? There are usually two sides to an experience. That thought gives me hope.
Looking at obvious changes, working from home, avoiding crowds, and certainly suffering unexpected losses of loved ones come to mind immediately. With such dramatic changes and downsides, can we also find positive changes to bolster our spirits?
I think we have to.
Let’s look at eating out. When so many restaurants became pick-up destinations only, long-term favorites hung in, grateful when their clients picked up dinner. The dynamic changed when clients affirmed their support of those businesses by helping them remain open. And they gave us a way to finally show how important they are to us.
Surely when parents began homeschooling, not because they chose to but because they had to, they came to have an ever-escalating appreciation for teachers! And children developed a new outlook on school. When we are suddenly deprived of something we took for granted, it comes into focus, and we know its value more than ever before.
Lessons present themselves throughout life,
as during this pandemic,
teach us what is really important in our lives.
I had not seen my sister since Thanksgiving of 2019 until last month. She and my brother-in-law had been quarantining, not from illness, but because their daughter was expecting in the spring of 2020 and needed them to come be with the pets while the baby was being born. After the birth, they traveled from the Northern Neck to Raleigh frequently to give the young couple a break while they enjoyed their new granddaughter. Everyone benefited from the great caution employed by all, and no one could miss the devotion in the family.
Those three days visiting my sister and brother-in-law reinforced the sign in her kitchen that read, “A day in the country is like a week in the city.” Sitting and talking on the Rappahannock River is like setting down a heavy suitcase. And this visit, delayed so long by the pandemic, helped me focus on what is really important in my life.
I am certain most of us have had moments in these last two years that have changed us dramatically in some way for the better. Lessons present themselves throughout life, and sometimes, as during this pandemic, teach us what is really important. If we believe these difficult times teach us the most important lessons, let us search for them, recognize them, and be thankful for them.
The more costly the toll, the more generous the gift.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.