“I don’t want you to miss this moment – where people all over the world are using the Internet to pull together.”
Wow. That line hit me hard today.
I heard that quote on a podcast called, “The Daily” by the New York Times. This is one of my new favorite podcasts that I listen to via Spotify each day.
This morning, I was watching CBS Sunday Morning News – which is my favorite news program. My dream is to write for that show one day. I will one day, especially since I just shared that dream with you for the first time.
The final 4-minutes of the show said something that also made me reflect deeply. Images of people on their phones filled the screen as the reporter said:
“Perhaps we have been social distancing on our devices all along. And now we are craving human connection because we’ve been missing it for so long. Perhaps this is not the ending, but the beginning of a fresh start.”
You guys, what a beautiful perspective. I am NOT trying to take away from the seriousness of this virus. It’s contagious. It’s deadly. It’s changing our world forever.
In a moment of panic, I text my friend Nick and he sent me an encouraging text message back. He said, “I don’t think our world will ever go back to ‘normal’ again. I think we will build a new normal.”
A new normal.
Maybe that’s what we need.
A normal where we are present.
A normal where we value human connection instead of Instagram likes.
A normal where we buy food for strangers and tip our servers better.
A world where we thank our cashiers every single time we see them.
A world where we improve our broken health care system – that needs more support than ever.
A world that is focused on inclusion instead of separation.
I don’t have the answers. I barely have the predictions. But the silver lining is how people are coming together for connection, kindness, and intentionality.
This week, alone:
- I’ve talked to my parents more than ever – I even had my first video call with my mom since she moved to Alabama.
- I’ve had more video calls than ever before.
- I’ve laughed with my son more than ever.
- I’ve witnessed brands give away their products or services for free.
- I’ve seen companies get creative with their business model and how they serve their customers in a crisis.
- I’ve cried during moments of joy more than moments of sadness.
- I’ve donated more and spent less.
- I’ve had more people check on me than ever before. *THANK YOU ALL – I needed you every single one of you the past two weeks.**
- I’ve had conversations when friends I haven’t talked to in years.
- I’ve spent more time with my husband on the couch binge-watching Netflix shows together – we aren’t two ships passing in the night anymore. Also, Tiger King. Go watch it and have your mind blown for a second.
This virus will break things.
Companies will close or change.
People will get sick and some will die.
The potential outcomes are devastating.
But, in the moments where things feel dark and sad, I find myself reaching for the light switch. I find myself spending less time on my phone and more time with my family or getting outside.
The start of the week was hard. Last week was even harder. But today, well, today is much better for me emotionally. I know massive change is ahead of us – but part of me is hopeful that this will change will force America to slow down. Be more present. Be healthier. Be a lover instead of a fighter.
I hope you continue to support those people on the frontlines – fighting this virus like a damn war and helping our bodies stay nourished. I hope you continue to donate and check on the vulnerable people in your life. I hope you prioritize your mental health and distance yourself from toxic people and situations. I hope you find joy in the little moments.
Two months ago, I would have done anything for a day at home with my family – no plans or interruptions. I am getting that wish. I must choose to look at this situation with gratitude instead of fear. And our nurses, doctors, restaurant workers, and cashiers don’t get that wish right now.
“Perspective is a function of experience”, which is something that Brene Brown shared this past week on her podcast. She said “Less experience is less perspective. No one has experience in this new world yet. Give yourself some grace.”
We will gain new perspectives through all of this – and I think that’s a pretty beautiful way to look at this emotional and disruptive virus.
Nicole Burgress (therapist and coach) sent out this email this week and it said:
Your feelings/emotions are normal and natural. Allow yourself to experience them yet not get stuck in them, especially the fear because it can lead to panic. Panic takes you to the back part of your brain (fight, flight, freeze) response.
Being in the moment you are able to shift your thinking to:
- what you are grateful for,
- what you appreciate,
- and what needs to fall away because it no longer supports you.
Please know you are NOT ALONE and everyone in the world is in this together. TOGETHER we will get through this!
So, grab a pen and paper. Answer those questions to shift your thinking.
As an Enneagram 7 who gets my energy from other people and having fun, this has been hard for me. But I went through the pain and discomfort and darkness to reach this new side of joy. My entertaining optimist ways will come through in my writing, podcast, and videos with my son.
How will you feel joy and gratitude this week?