As I tap away at my keyboard, I can hear the rain gently falling outside. It is still pitch dark outside and the clouds are covering any sign of sunrise.
I am up already, having slept restlessly with the Coronavirus on my mind. My girls are still sleeping, home from school for the foreseeable future. Our pantry and freezer are filled to the brim and I have grown tired of shopping.
We hang suspended in uncertainty; just waiting now, with angst. And while we are waiting for life to get back to normal, I have noticed there is something else that is subtly taking shape here — a quiet whisper of a shift in attitude.
People are stocking up on necessities, and toilet paper has become the most popular product on the shelf. Amazon issued a notice that if you are trying to purchase anything non-essential online, you best be patient because you may not get it for awhile.
For years, I used to save the heels of our bread to make bread crumbs. However, awhile back I started tossing them in the trash because who has the time to mess with making bread crumbs? But today, I can’t bring myself to waste any food, so I started keeping the heels again. Then I wondered, "How we have become so spoiled that we can’t eat the heels on a loaf of bread in the first place?"
What was evidently no problem yesterday is wasteful today. There it is; that shift in perspective. It's taking place in all of us. Can you feel it? The threat of the virus has forced us to take a step back. While it's obviously a terrible thing, it appears to be teaching us something.
I've noticed that what I'm feeling — outside of the trepidation — is a renewed gratitude for all that I have. We are all becoming more appreciative of all that we have.
This virus threatens our economy and our health, and we are no longer taking either of these for granted. We are also taking the time to think about how important the people in our lives are to us, and we are picking up the phone and calling those we love. We are becoming more aware of the difference between our necessities and our luxuries, and we are noticing that we only really need the essentials and each other to be happy.
We have all been forced to slow down and do a little less. While I wish for the pandemic to pass quickly, this time of rest and reconnecting with family has been refreshing. I am grateful for this time together. We are staying home, being still. We are being offered time that we normally do not have. We are appreciating the simple things, like hot soup in the crock-pot and a game of chess with our kids. We have time to think about things and to truly take inventory of our blessings.
I have faith that we will come out of this situation more conscientious, appreciative and stronger than we were before.