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Cloth Napkins & Other Positives of Social Distancing

COVID-19 aka Corona Virus. There are so many changes, so many cancellations, so many worries in this COVID-19 environment. You know them…. Health, finances, school, job security, access to food and staples, lack of receiving the Sacraments, working from home, not seeing our extended family, how long will this go on, cancellations of all senior year activities, what will our children’s future look like, and so, so, so many more things.

There are days I’m content being quarantined at home with my family and days when I’m not able to sleep and dreading each day due to the uncertainty and anxiety of the whole situation. It is such a roller coaster. I know I can’t worry and focus on all these things I can’t control and instead I should focus on the blessing of my family being together and healthy while so many others are sick and struggling. I know... but like I said, some days are good and other days are bleak and depressing (especially if I turn on the news.) I do need to continue to place my trust in God to see us through and focus on the unintended benefits this time of social distancing has brought into my life.

In talking to a friend, I found myself telling her the things I want to appreciate about this time at home, socially distancing, but am struggling with remembering. So, to help myself see these benefits and remember them on a bleak day, I put pen to paper one night and created a list.
  • My family has eaten dinner together every night since this began.
  • We are all home together – no one rushing off to piano, soccer, or work.
  • Our family meme game is strong.
  • I’m remembering how much I adore taking care of my family.
  • This togetherness gives me opportunity to nurture my family through housework, extra attention, meals, and prayer.
  • Lots of time to practice our long-forgotten Wii games, including Rock Band. “Don’t Stop Believing” is still a favorite!
  • We are rediscovering the joy of preparing meals together at home.
  • All those years of taking pictures at soccer games gave me the experience to snap my daughter’s senior pictures myself.
  • We’ve introduced the kids to old, long forgotten, recipes – like my husband’s childhood favorite of Beanie Weenies.
  • It gives me the opportunity to spend more time with my kids and getting to know each of them a little better at this stage of their teenage lives.
  • Cloth Napkins Rock! Who knew we could go without paper towels or paper napkins?
  • My husband takes a walk or bike ride for his lunch break from work.
  • My kids have the opportunity to daydream, read, be creative, or simply be bored.
  • That we live in a technological age where my husband and I can work from home, the kids can stay current on schoolwork, and we can stay connected to the outside world and with our family and friends while social distant.
  • My kids can sleep late without me giving them too much grief to get up.
  • I’m spending more time walking due to my need to leave the house daily.
  • Our family prayers have turned to giving thanks for our small blessings rather than always in petition.
  • I can make up sports scores and news just to mess with my kids (‘cause they almost believe me)
  • Realizing that our family does enjoy being with one another.

My list creation was actually a few weeks ago (seriously, how long has this whole thing lasted so far???) and I dug it back out because I've been struggling again seeing the "good" in remaining social distant and stuck at home. Reading back through it over and over again has helped me re-focus on the positive unintended benefits of being home day after day.

Day to day, week to week is truly a roller coaster – good days, bad days and days that are just meh. And at the end of it all, I know that the love of my family & friends and my faith will see me through this time. ❤️

Have you made a list of the unintended benefits from this COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing? Has your list helped you?

Lisa Henley Jones

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