It is hard what we are going through. We’re not okay, and that’s okay, as I wrote last week.
But I’ve become aware that there is a sweetness to this time that is available, if I am willing to be open to it, and if I have the ability to make adjustments in how I’m thinking, and what I’m doing. And some of these adjustments are ones I want to continue in post-Covid life.
When I am at my best, I am lowering my bar for defining “good times,” and raising the priority of creating good times.
I believe I’ve shared before that one of my favorite songs, and one that got me through some legitimately hard times is an old Willie Nelson song, Good Times.
Here I sit with a drink and a mem’ry
But I’m not cold I’m not wet and I’m not hungry
So classify these as good times
My mother lives close, and when we have both been 2 weeks without any significant physical contact outside our households other than picking up curbside groceries, we believe it’s fairly safe for us to get together beyond physical distancing limits — she can come over for dinner and a movie, for instance.
It is actually surprisingly difficult to get these safe windows of time. Even with the pandemic, life goes on. She needs to go see her doctor, one of my daughters has an orthodontist appointment. We do what needs to be done, and start the clock over. 2 more weeks, and until then, we don masks around each other, and meet only outside.
But what this means is that those safe windows are a special time, indeed. You know how when someone lives across the country, you visit them and cram in special meals, activities, and just making time to be together? Well, we are doing that now. It is a celebration just to be together, and we plan meals and things to do together. Last night, we had her over to watch Hamilton. (Yes, she was blown away by it.)
In my own household, we are sorting through our game collection, playing a different game each night, and voting on whether to keep it or not. It is a fun task to do. I know that when I look back on summer of ’20, this will be one of my sweet memories – the four of us around the dining table, playing a game. Laughing, arguing, talking.
Life goes on, and the world goes on. There are distressing things happening, both because of the virus, and because of the encroaching authoritarianism we are seeing. We should not look away from these things, and we should take action where we can.
But making time for the sweetness we can find is what fuels us, strengthens us, for the work we do. Someday, we will sit with a drink, and a mem’ry. And there will be aspects that, even now, we can classify as “good times.”