After the readers conference I was to attend got cancelled, after our dream Princess cruise to Hawaii went up in smoke, Gerhardt and I decided to get out of Washington and head to CA where we'd planned to spend spring with our son and family. Hardly anyone on the road except for truckers, keeping America supplied, God bless 'em. Strange times, folks. Now we're in sunny CA... self-quarantined.
Where are you right now? Are you working from home? Trying to home school and entertain the kids? Maybe you're in a retirement community and on lock down. Maybe you're in the health industry, working hard to keep the rest of us alive. If you are, thank you, thank you.
For those of us at home, this can feel either like a relief (if you're an introvert) or frustrating (if you're an extrovert). The kids may be driving you nuts or you may have cabin fever. Whatever the case, I have a few suggestions for how to keep on smilin'.
One I picked up from my friend Candy Paull, author of FINDING SERENITY IN SEASONS OF STRESS. (Check her out on Amazon!) On her Facebook page she talked about how easy it is to feel overwhelmed and depressed with everything that's going on right now. She decided to get out and do some yard work she'd been postponing. Seeing what she'd accomplished helped her feel empowered and encouraged.
What a good idea. Is there a chore you've been putting off? This is the perfect time do that spring cleaning.
With life slowing down it's also the perfect time to reconnect with our family members. For those of us who are now working at home and no longer commuting to work, we've gained some time, and found time is like found money. In some ways, better. You can always go out and earn more money. You can't earn more time.
Sooo, having said that...Limit your time in front of the TV, watching the news. Yes, we want to stay abreast of what's happening, but watching the same information over and over won't help our peace of mind. Instead how about building a family encouragement hour into your day? Read aloud to each other from a funny book, pick a favorite Bible passage to share (right now mine is Psalm 91), have a contest to see who can make up the funniest poem or story. work a puzzle together or play a long neglected board game, download an e-read by your favorite author, journal about lessons you're learning in all of this. Always wanted to write a book? Maybe this is the time to start. Or how about sewing face masks? My writing pal Lois Dyer heard there's a shortage and she's busy sewing masks for her local health care facility. Know an older person in the neighborhood who's self quarantining? Ask if you can leave cookies or some homemade soup on the doorstep.
This is a scary time but let's try to keep our attitudes positive and our hands clean. We'll get through this!