The Other Reason to Shelter in Place from COVID-19: It's Changing You for the Better

Today’s post is a special salute for all who are sheltering in place/ quarantining/ staying at home, etc., not that we should get any particular credit for doing what we are supposed to do, known as the Right Thing, right? By now, I’m guessing everyone is noticing certain joys in our new confinement – increased family time with ample opportunity to play board games, cook together, catch up on household projects, and gradually drive each other to distraction. Followed by night terrors about what if the Internet goes down. For those who live independently of all that, other joys come in the form of silence and enough time to look in the mirror to see how you stack up against your intentions these days. Who knew that personal growth would come of this?

We have changed already. Any of these apply to you?

  1. You have learned new skills and reset some priorities, am I right? Who doesn’t have a new Zoom.com account now and is pestering friends to join a call to see how cool it is? And who hasn’t already clarified who are the people that you really really need to be in touch with through this.
  2. Broadened your horizons? Are you done watching all the YouTube videos you can think of to learn about Barrow Alaska, the northernmost point in the US? Or the Python infestation in the Everglades? Or what it’s really like to fly an airplane? Helpful hint: you are not even close to done. Have you watched every song in Hamilton with the original Broadway cast? And the best rock performance of all time – Queen at LiveAid? Interviews with notables from everywhere? How to create your own facemask?
  1. Relaxed your standards? Less makeup, less grooming, more sweats and yoga pants, unused curling irons, fewer showers? But don’t go too far. I know someone who has begun watching reality TV show replays to see what didn’t really happen in the first place all over again.
  1. Caught up on chores? Cleaned out the garage, washed the kitchen floor? Me either.
  1. Renewed old interests? Hauled out the old Nintendo, started the jigsaw puzzles you never got to, found the adult coloring book you got for Christmas and colored page 1? Or thinking big, got out the sewing machine, or found your sheet music to see if you could still play your old favorites?
  1. Or maybe you’ve gone really big and faced what you’ve been meaning to do for years? Like finally learn French, write up stories about your childhood for your descendants, reach out to an old friend you miss? Or go through the box your dad left you that you couldn’t bear to open yet? If not yet, maybe you will.

There will be opportunities in this, friends, I promise. Things that will spark joy, that will relieve distress, that will bring us together even though we are apart. It’s for sure that we’ll be smarter after this. What can we do to make sure we’re also happier?

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