What have I learned through the COVID-19 pandemic? I don’t know about you, but God sat me down and made me be still enough to better grasp a few concepts. I’ve learned a lot about myself and see the world around me with new eyes.
I have learned that any preventable death is one too many. If there is something, we can do to prevent one unnecessary and preventable death, we need to take action. I’ve learned we can all take some personal responsibility.
I’ve learned the lesson that life is not about ME as some philosophies would have you believe. I’ve learned life is about other people and supporting them through difficulties and trying to make sure my life tracks do not impede upon theirs.
I’ve learned not everyone has to agree with me. What or why someone else believes doesn’t necessarily impact me; I am free to believe in what I believe — but only if my belief does not impede upon them or their belief system. Everyone is just as convicted in their beliefs as I am in mine. And a little word of advice: screaming at someone has never changed their mind on an issue. I’ve learned that showing support for that person (maybe not their beliefs) can open a door to communication a lot quicker than hate can.
I’ve learned that I don’t need nearly as many things as I thought I did. With the term “Essential Business,” I’ve also learned what was essential in my own life. As a result, my self-esteem and self-worth have gone up.
I’ve learned I can fend for myself; I’ve learned to cook a pretty mean Potato Soup. I can also prepare a fierce cup of coffee out of a fancy cup I purchased online.
I’m learning to be OK with my own company. I’ve learned to pick up a few hobbies. I’ve seen the importance of being there for someone else in their time of need. And I’ve learned the importance of family and friends and how important it is to have them in your life. I’ve learned to make friends with myself, respect myself, enjoy my company and not be afraid to encounter life alone.
I’ve learned to enjoy the quietness of my front yard. I’ve learned to listen for the birds and started noticing flowers. I began hearing squirrels’ feet on the trees as they climb outside in the yard. With less social opportunities, I’ve started walking in the neighborhood. I hear the roar of Harley Davidson motorcycle pipes on a sunny day. I notice the tulips neighbors planted, and even how green and nice their yard is.
I’ve learned the most precious possession I have is the DNA of my loved ones. The miles and/or currently locked “pandemic doors” may keep us apart for now, but I’ve learned they are never far from me. As my mother recently passed away, I learned that the parts of her spirit God wanted to carry on are alive in me.
But I’ve learned to do without so many of the things I always thought I needed. I will slow down the next time I’m at the barista and savor that cup. I discovered it was never the coffee that I enjoyed; it was the act of being still enough to enjoy the moment.
I’ve learned that we don’t have tomorrow promised. We have today. I’ve learned we as a people can adapt to difficulty if we have to, and we certainly will survive. I’ve seen that people want the world to make sense, and unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t. We seek balance, a sense of perceived justice; we want to be acknowledged, and justified. We want to be noticed.
I’ve learned some great things during the unfortunate Pandemic of 2020. Life may or may not go back to the way it was before. I’ve learned a lot about me, and my outlook on the life around me.
I’m grasping the art of “being still,” and it isn’t so bad…
— Karen Brilliant Andrews
Karen Brilliant Andrews, a natural born optimist, is the creator of “The View from Here, A Maine Focus.”