“We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty” – Winston Churchill

 

Photo: Corey Miller Photography

I’m not sure where we will be when you read this, but as of now, we’re all in a bit of a national holding pattern. Our government and state officials, along with our top health care advisors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have us cooperating in a social distancing quarantine in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

For many parents, myself included, we suddenly found our second shift running concurrently with our first shift with a new job title added—teacher. I was working, managing the house with my wife and homeschooling the kids. When your kids (we have three) are in school a large portion of the day for 180 days per year, the weekends fly by and you forget what it’s like to be on essentially a summer schedule with no camp options. That said, I got clued in pretty quickly that I should take full advantage of my ability to gain a second wind after 8 pm and just shift all of my work to an admin by day, writing and editing by night schedule.

COVID-19 was disruptor. It exposed our deficiencies. It showed us that the rich and poor have the same fate now and in the end. It stripped us of control and thrust us all into uncertainty. However, if you had the right head about you, it was a welcome shake up.

Here’s what I observed…

Each day as I strolled through my neighborhood now that I had more time to hit my step goal, I saw countless couples walking and talking, kids playing with balls and riding bikes, families and neighborhood kids riding bikes together, people working on their yards. It felt like a departure to a simpler time, and it’s something I think we needed as a nation. Technology was threatening to run away with us all and keep us on the hamster wheel—Grind! Produce! Get more! We had become busier making lives than living life. Our kids were riddled with anxiety, suffering silently from depression, and under academic pressure to succeed. And when COVID-19 smacked us into 1960, none of that seemed to matter. It’s been about connecting with people, caring for people in need, supporting and sustaining local small businesses, and enjoying quality family time with kids and spouses.

And that’s the America I hope comes out on the other side of COVID-19. Caring, concerned, and cohesive with strong families and thriving communities. Because hey, sometimes what seems to be a curse truly is a blessing. Stay open.