In light of the unique circumstance we find ourselves in, it is easy to get locked into a mindset of "when this is all over" or "when things get back to normal" and remain in a limbo of waiting for our lives to start again. But what if we didn't surrender all our power so easily. Didn't allow ourselves to be at the mercy of the unknown. What if we all simply acknowledged that this IS life. It may look a bit different than it did a week or a month ago but when has life every NOT changed? When were we ever guaranteed our predictable routine? While we may have experienced cancellations and postponements in our calendars over the last few weeks, LIFE is still going on. LIFE is not on hold. LIFE has no pause button.
LIFE HAS NOT BEEN CANCELLED.
We are living in an unprecedented time that will one day be documented in history books for our grandchildren and great grandchildren to read. A time when the world came together to solve a problem. When the needs of many became a priority over the needs of one. When even the most self-centered of us realized that our decisions and actions matter greatly to others and theirs to us.
So my question to you would be, when you look back at this time in your life - what will you wish you had done with your time? What might you regret doing or not doing? At the top of my list would be "I wish I'd documented it". All of it. Even the seemingly mundane details of an exceptional time in history. As a photographer I experience life through photos and I've chosen to use my camera to capture all the unique, lovely, weird, crazy moments before they become "just the way we do things".
During this time of self-isolation I wanted to capture what I've dubbed the "Going the (social) Distance Running Club" (still workshopping the name). Before the virus hit a few of the ladies in the neighborhood would MAYBE run once a week, now we meet almost every day. Keeping appropriate and responsible distance between ourselves but allowing our hearts to connect, our bodies to move and our souls to recharge before another day of uncommon life.
Trips to the store which would never be photo worthy - except at this moment in time, as I memorialized the survivors guilt I experienced in getting one sacred rationing of toilet paper before they ran out.
I wanted to remember our new process of bringing home food and supplies and then wiping everything down before it entered our home. Then there was the evening Chris came home TRIUMPHANT with a 17# frozen turkey - the only meat left at the store and we were grateful for it even though it took up half our refrigerator and took 5 days to thaw.
As difficult as it is, I never want to forget having the unique opportunity to teach my kids. To see with my own eyes their talents and skills in math, science and reading. To help them work through their frustration in multiplying mixed fractions and having to relearn the skill myself so I could help them.
As resources have become stretched the appreciation for our food has grown tenfold. Instead of mindlessly snacking we find ourselves preparing good healthy food with intention and eating with gratitude. When we couldn't get eggs at the store, we reached out to friends that have chickens to get these BEAUTIFUL fresh eggs, aren't they marvelous? Why did I think eggs had to be white and PERFECT and pasturized? I had no idea what we were missing. Many will say "you should have always been doing this" and they are right. We have been spoiled into complacency, but this situation has taught us to be much more responsible in avoiding wasting food and paper products. I will want to always remember the DAY I spent making ONE napkin as our paper towel supply began to run low. It was something I'd always intended to do but just never found the time. Well now I have the time AND the motivation. Not only is it better for the environment and respectful of our resources but it also taught me that I can MAKE THINGS, with MY OWN TWO HANDS, and they work just fine. By Christmas I should have a full set.
I would challenge anyone who is struggling with too much worry on their mind and too much time on their hands to ask themselves the question "what will I wish I had done with this time". Whether it is playing games with the kids, reading a great book, learning a new skill or maybe just moving your laptop outside and breathing the spring air while you work from home. Don't just "wait" for this to be over. A lot of life gets wasted that way.