Positively Isolated

I’ll admit I’ve lost track of exactly how long we’ve been trying to live lives of isolation and social distancing.  Most days, I’m not entirely sure what day of the week it is. And, even though I’m still working my day job, only from the confines of my home, there must be something about that drive to and from the office that provides a better sense of counting the days…a delineation of time that is emphasized by actually getting in and of one’s particular mode of transportation.   I’m not even the type of person that is on the go during the regular work week all that much, rarely eat out, hit up any stores, or do all that much out of the daily routine on Monday – Friday. But, I’m finding there are parts of my daily routine that I miss… the pre-work run with my running buddy, the stop to my favorite coffee shop on my way to work, the morning catch up time with my coworkers, having a face to face meeting, and the freedom to know that if I really need a new pair of running shoes, today, I can go to the store and buy them.

I think the strangest phenomenon may be the extra calories it seems to take to remain isolated.   I mean, I can’t eat enough. I noticed the other day as my family finished lunch, we were trying to decide what time we’d be eating dinner, and then how long after that would we eat our brownie sundaes.  Now, don’t get me wrong, we are blessed beyond measure in that we have these luxuries, but I’m to a point that my pre-isolation britches no longer fit my mid-isolation physique. We have a real problem here.

Petty struggles aside, there are some really good things going on in the world during this time of crisis, and maybe paying attention to these is good for the soul.

Time with Family

I’m thinking our son may not see the positive in this…but ‘family time’ has gone through the roof.   We eat meals together, play games, work on puzzles, house projects, take rides, and watch movies. We’re back to simpler times.   It’s like Little House on the Prairie here… minus the prairie, and the horses, and the crying that happened every episode…oh, and the whole electricity, internet, and automobiles thing.

Free Concerts

I’m a huge music fan and I love going to a live show.   The number of artists, both big and small, that have decided to live stream performances has been amazing.   What’s really cool is the ability to then ‘attend’ those concerts with family and friends. A local singer songwriter, Chris Wilson, has been live streaming two concerts a week.   It’s been fun to share his live stream link with people and ‘watch together’. We text, and Facebook Message, and just sit back and enjoy the gift of music together, yet ‘distanced’.   It’s the coolest thing.

Keeping Occupied

Since the Social Distancing edict came out, it seems that companies and organizations are stepping up to provide resources to keep yourself busy.   I’ve seen free virtual museum tours, a bunch of online workouts to help stay fit at home during this time, but I think one of my favorite things has come from Audi.   Now, I will admit to having a bit of a soft spot in my heart for German automobiles, but the Audi coloring book is one of my absolute favorite things to be announced since our ‘stay at home’ philosophy went into effect.  I’m torn between the R8 on page 12 and the rally car on page 10.    Where are my colored pencils?

Companies Doing Good Things

It has been great to see so many companies stepping during this crisis.   Mortgage companies are waving payments, companies like ROKU are offering premium channels for free, I even got a message that Verizon was giving us 15GB of data usage for no charge.  Some companies are offering better sick time coverage and a lot of grocery companies are offering pay increases to some of their employees during this crisis. All great stuff. All nice gestures during a time of uncertainty.

Magical Musical Moments

Along with all of the live streaming concerts, many artists are posting scaled back performances from their homes.   It’s a neat glimpse into the everyday lives of some of the musicians I most admire, and makes them feel a little more ‘human’.   Even though I’ll likely never meet any of these performers, it’s nice to see them in a little less ‘polished’ light. I’m a big Norah Jones fan, and watching her cover Patience by Guns and Roses was an unexpected treat.  

… and Steve Martin was getting into the mix with some great banjo performances….   These are just a couple samples, but lots of musicians are opening up their homes and their hearts to spread a little joy at a time when we could use it the most.

 Checking Things off the List

There has never been a better time to check things off the to-do list than now.   There are garages needing organizing. Photo collections needing sorted. Closets needing pruning….but save the pre-diet clothes, this thing may go on for a while.  With all excuses being rendered useless, now is the time to work through that to-do list that you’ve been avoiding for so long.

Supporting Local Businesses

This is a tough time for local businesses.   With many of them being told to close their doors or restrict their offerings, it’s more important than ever to show them support in any way they can.  Many restaurants are offering delivery or curbside pickup. Some businesses are promoting ordering online for delivery. And, if you’re nervous about the human contact, you can even consider buying some gift cards to use once this whole thing is over, and help these businesses stay afloat until that day comes.

People Coming Together

One of the things that I like the least about Social Media is all the negativity.   The polarized political climate is more than I can take most days. We tend to focus more on our differences than our similarities. It has been a bit encouraging that ‘some’ of that has settled down during this time of crisis.  COVID-19 shows no preferences.  None of the things that tend to drive us apart matter, we are all equally susceptible to getting ill. If nothing else, this virus has shown us that we are more alike than we are different and we are in this together. ….and people are acting that way. I continue to hear stories about people rising to the occasion to do good, to help each other, to make a difference, to do what they can to make someone smile. Quite honestly, it gives me hope.

Laughter is the best Medicine

There’s a saying that laughter is the best medicine. Now, I’m no doctor, so can’t confirm or deny those claims, but I’d like to believe they are true. I see a lot of folks posting pictures and videos of things to lighten the mood, and I think that’s a good thing. Some of the memes about social distancing, staying at home, home schooling, continually eating are hilarious. So, I’m going with the belief that the more I laugh the healthier I will be…and I’d suggest you do the same 🙂

That pretty much wraps this piece up. Certainly not an exhaustive list, but some of the positive things I’ve noticed since this whole thing started. There’s a lot to be nervous about these days.  There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot to worry about. But if you take a minute to pay attention to things around you, there is good to be found.  All you have to do is look for it!