Have you ever seen the film “Love in the time of Cholera”?
Yeah, me neither…
But, if the film is about what the title suggests (which would be super strange since I can think of about 3 other gross things that are much more romantic than cholera), I’d say that “Love in the time of Corona” would be a brilliant sequel. Just think:
Two people from different departments of the same company, lock eyes during the first company Zoom meeting… Sparks fly… They Zoom everyday… finally meeting in the supermarket from a safe socially acceptable distance… But their first kiss will have to wait because, well, face masks are still mandatory and PLOT TWIST: One of them was in contact with someone from another department who travelled to, well, anywhere in the world basically, 14 days ago… Wait?! What?! Hold the phone!
Romance! Drama! Quarantine! Blockbuster stuff, people…
In all seriousness, life nowadays really does feel like a movie. Some mornings I wake up and think this was all a very weird dream. Never in my life did I ever think that a global lock-down was possible. But here we are. And it’s so easy to get swept up in the negativity of it all. Let’s face it, there is so much to be negative or worried about. The sheer amount of information out there… What to believe and what to discard… I had a mini breakdown this past week. It all just became too much. I don’t feel like myself any more. I realized that I cross my arms over my chest or put them in my pocket when I’m speaking to people. This is not normal! You see, my love language (if you believe in that stuff…) is physical touch. I love touching people. Appropriately, of course. I’m a super good and keen hugger. I hug you when you need one, when you don’t, when you are celebrating something, when you lose. I’m that person. I’m telling you, I ugly cried. And it freaked out my family. Because I never cry. I’m a very emotionally stable person. If someday someone asks our eldest son if he ever saw his mother cry terribly, he’ll recall this past Tuesday, and every time I have to help him with German homework.
Nothing about this situation is normal.
But after some deep breaths and quiet time (and a little wine, let’s not lie) I came to realize that, dare I say it, being cooped up inside might have been the best thing to happen to us all.
I asked people in my circle (some close, some far) to help me test out my theory. The response was phenomenal and interestingly similar and, much to my husband’s dismay, I seemed to be right again.
Jay Shetty, hold my beer…
I had only 3 questions for them:
- What are you grateful for in this time
- What have you learned in this time
- What have you realised wasn’t that important after all.
The Oxford Dictionary describes “Grateful” as feeling or showing an appreciation for something done or received. I am blown away by the things my friends and acquaintances are grateful for – People who keep everything running while we slow down, Health workers, A great healthcare system (which is not a given everywhere), Friends who put in effort to connect, motivate and love on you, A loving partner, Teachers, Still being able to go outside, Technology to stay connected and be able to work.
We tend to take these things for granted, thinking that it should just be like it is. But we should live our lives out of extreme gratitude towards everything that comes our way and everything that we already have. Corona surely highlighted this.
I am a firm believer that you should never stop learning. Maybe it’s just me, but I truly think that there is always something new out there to explore and learn. This entire situation is perfect for it. Teach yourself a new skill or dust off an old one you already had. I bet everybody learned at some point how to bake banana bread.
Most of the answers, however, were all about learning about or something changing inside themselves. One of the most common answers was learning to slow down the pace. You don’t have to run everywhere. Another was patience. Another shared that the greatest lesson was that their children didn’t actually need social interaction and loads of activities to be happy, they just needed time with their mom and dad. We get so caught up in life sometimes that we forget to look around and see what our kids, partners or ourselves really need. We think happiness and freedom is at the next stop, and rush to get there without even stopping to think about what we might need to learn out of this season. We can’t do it all. And that’s totally fine.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? What’s the last thing you think about when you go to bed? What takes up most of your time? That’s where your priorities lie. That’s what’s most important to you. Let me tell you what my circle think is definitely not so important any more, and I, for one, couldn’t agree more:
- Tons of up-to-date homework over family time.
- Perfectly clean and neat houses over happy kids playing in blanket tents
- Complicated, overbooked schedules over simply saying “No” without a reason
- The media – Where’s the fun in knowing everything. There’s loads of more interesting things to read and enjoy than Click Bait headlines.
If this whole Covid-19-thing has shown me anything, it’s that we were not made to be alone. We can’t do life alone. We need community. We need human CONTACT.
But until then, we need to love in the time of Corona. The best (and the worst) thing in this time is that we’re seeing each other’s humanity. Keep in touch with your circle. Put in effort to love on each other in unique and special ways. Talk to people when you’re out and about and happen to see them. It’s actually just physical distancing, not social distancing. Be kind. Always.
Maybe some of these replies resonated with you. Maybe you feel like you could add a few things. We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell us. It’s in our stories that we connect and that we realise that we are truly not alone.
I for one, am going to be so happy to hug people again. It’s going to be awesome. At least for me it will… it might be a little awkward for the other person… So if you know me and see me often, get ready. I’m coming for you! (In a good way. Not a scary birthday clown way.)