by Derra Grey
These are truly grey days. A surreal time in our lives as we move through a state of flux amidst this global pandemic where an invisible enemy has taken us hostage. We are faced with insurmountable fear and anxiety, while trying to make sense of the loss, mixed messages and uncertainties.
Our once busy lives and certain freedoms have come to a screeching halt. The undeniable fear of this unrelenting virus has us putting our trust into the guidelines imposed on us for our well-being. With these stay-at-home orders, comes an array of complicated and even devasting consequences. And as we actively try to find ways to adjust to this “new norm” all we can really count on is the right now.
When 18-year-old son came into the kitchen this morning before attending his online college classes, I had his iced coffee ready for him like I do every morning since we have been told to stay at home. Considering how pretty much everything we were accustomed to had changed, I began finding ways to help create a sense of normalcy. Knowing my son once looked forward to an iced coffee at Starbucks before going to his college classes, I started making him iced coffee each morning, and adding a dollop of whip cream on top for fun.
“I think this is going to be one of those things I will always remember,” he said, holding the cup of iced coffee and smiling at me.
I assumed he meant the pandemic. “It will be impossible to forget,” I said.
He smiled. “I meant you making me iced coffee every morning. It means a lot.”
Something as little as making iced coffee had made a difference to my son. This got me thinking about things we can do to help create memorable moments while helping to combat our feelings of loss, confinement, and even powerlessness during this unprecedented time:
- Eat out. Pick up the food at your favorite local restaurant and have a picnic in the car, backyard or balcony.
- Take trips to elderly family and friends and deliver necessities and homemade meals.
- Spend time interacting with kids/teens; playing video games, board games, arts and crafts, walks, exercise, baking, talking, binge watching shows and movies.
- Try doing Tik Tok dances with your kids. Guaranteed exercise, laughter and fun.
- Learn things that interest you on YouTube. There are a multitude of videos that can show you how to do virtually anything.
- Break out the photo albums and memorabilia.
- Send things that can fit into an envelope and can easily be put into the outgoing mailbox. (Recently I sent my sister my favorite tea bags so we can facetime and enjoy the same cup of hot tea together.)
- Have fun cooking, baking and trying new recipes.
- Take time out to facetime, call, or text family and friends. It means a lot to have someone check in.
- Validate feelings and thoughts and allow and encourage open discussions concerning them.
Whether we are living with others or alone, we can begin to live more consciously in the present. And through this uncharted time in our lives, however long it may last, may we embrace the right now, which is the one thing we can count on in this ever-changing world.