What strange times these are! Only a couple of weeks ago, I was out at a mall doing some shopping, and a whole bunch of other people were doing the same. My husband and I were starting to make plans for an anniversary vacation in May. I was furiously planning several different professional learning sessions for the summer. I did my usual Sunday morning yoga class. Scoring some toilet paper did not elicit a celebratory social media post.
And then, just this past Monday (is it really only 6 days ago?), I went to work. Yes, I tried to stay in my own area and keep my germs to myself, and people were perhaps a little more subdued than they might normally have been on the Monday after Spring Break, but we were there. Monday evening, I got an email from my yoga studio saying they were temporarily closing, in accordance with city recommendations. Tuesday, our department at work was allowed to work from home, provided we came up with some Zoom sessions on how to do remote learning (which we did, by the way – and I am terribly proud of what we accomplished with about 12 hours’ notice!) Also Tuesday, my yoga studio was starting to offer classes via Zoom. By Wednesday, everyone in our service center was told to work from home.
I keep hearing people say “these are unprecedented times,” and certainly that is true. In our lifetime, we have had neither a health scare of this magnitude, nor the technology to keep us all connected in spite of our semi-quarantines. But aren’t all times unprecedented, really? At the beginning of 2019, I had six people in my small nuclear-ish family; by this date last year, I was down to only four. And those four of us were all reeling from the unpredictable/unprecedented events that had befallen us. The fact that those dark and scary times were happening (seemingly) only to me did not negate the reality of unprecedented-ness. I’m guessing anyone who might be reading this has also had times of personal unprecedented-ness: times you would never willingly go back to but that will stay with you forever.
Remember that as unprecedented as these times are, every moment of our life is actually unprecedented. The best gift I get from my yoga practice is that of learning (over and over and over again) to stay in the moment. Each beautiful, unprecedented, unique moment.
I’m actually not a country music fan and would not be able to pick Tim McGraw out of a lineup, but these lyrics came into my head today, and I think they are good ones to keep in mind, regardless of the kind of times in which we find ourselves:
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying
Speak sweeter today to the people who are working in the grocery store or pharmacy. Speak sweeter to the Amazon driver, mail carrier, trash collector, yard guy. Speak especially sweetly and send out all the possible good energy you can muster to health care workers who are feeling the brunt of this unprecedented time more than any of the rest of us. And love the people in your family a bit deeper.
Fondly, with many virtual elbow bumps,