What If… A Different Perspective on the COVID-19 Pandemic

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On February 17th of this year, I started writing a blog post titled, “When I Grow Up, I Want to be Overwhelmed.” It started like this…

When I was a kid, the adults in my life were always asking me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I had a few go-to answers and they were a lot like most kids rattle off because it sounds cool at the time. And while they seemed to change every month, there was one thing I never said. I never said I wanted to be overwhelmed.

Yet here we are, I’m a 40-something mother of 3, self-employed and working basically every moment of my day. I don’t make time to take care of myself, don’t go on vacation, barely speak to my family and friends, complain more than I practice gratitude and just work, work, work, work. I spend too much time on my phone. I barely leave the house because I’m afraid every moment spent not doing something productive, is a moment wasted. I try to excuse it by saying that I am keeping a roof over our head and food in our mouths, but the truth is, I’m so overwhelmed I can’t breathe.

Now here we are, finishing up the first week of self-quarantine because of the COVID-19 pandemic and all I keep thinking is, what if this was the wakeup call I needed? The wakeup call we all needed?

What if we needed a reminder that we aren’t checking in with our older loved ones enough?

What if we forgot that spending time with our kids is more important than anything else?

What if we forgot how much we should respect our healthcare workers, first responders, retail workers and teachers?

What if the planet needed a break from the pollution and garbage we are dumping into our oceans?

What if our high paced, insane schedules were causing irreversible harm to our bodies?

What if we realize that there are people out there in a much worse situation….

The elderly man that can’t visit his wife at the nursing home, on their anniversary, because of the fear she may be exposed.

The son who can’t hug his mother who has stage 4 terminal cancer, for fear that he will infect her.

The dying man that can’t see his grandkids one last time because it’s too dangerous for them to travel.

The immunocompromised woman who can’t get her weekly treatments because the doctor’s office has had to reschedule all appointments for their patient’s own safety.

The mother who is trying desperately to keep up her son’s autism therapy at home, on her own, so that he doesn’t lose all that he’s learned over the past few years.

The doctors and nurses who are exposing themselves daily, in order to take care of others.

The retail worker who is working overtime to make sure the shelves are stocked and has to deal with angry customers all day long.

The person who has been told that their hours have been cut, but they can’t get unemployment because they aren’t technically laid off.

The parents who don’t know how they will feed their families because every time they go to the grocery store, the shelves are bare.

The thousands of people who lost a loved one to this illness.

What if this break from stress of everyday living is exactly what we needed to bring us back to the basics and remind us to be good human beings?

What if this was the smack in the face that we all needed to realize how precious our lives are?

What if we spend these next few weeks or months in self-quarantine, focusing on the things we should have been focusing on all along?

What if we will all come out of this with a new outlook on life?

What if we continued looking out for our elderly neighbors all the time, and not just when it’s convenient or absolutely necessary?

What if we all just turned off the news, put our devices away and connected with one another? Imagine how much you don’t know about your significant other? What you never bothered to learn about your own children?

What if we made mental notes to support those small businesses, public figures, elected officials and corporations that are looking out for everyone in this time of crisis and not just themselves?

What if this is our second chance at the life we should be living?

How will this change you?

What if we stopped and thought about what the coronavirus pandemic is giving back to us, instead of complaining about what it's taking away? What if this is our second chance?

 

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Hello There!

I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. Wow what a beautiful perspective on this pandemic. I am definitely taking this as a break that this world hasnt had in a long time. I am praying for a better outcome but being appreciative of these down times too.

  2. I love this perspective of what we are going through right now. And I agree with you, we have to value what we have and take this as an opportunity to unwind.

  3. I really like the different perspective you’ve taken. The thing is, it should be how we should all think. It’s so important to do everything we can go grow form adversity and this situation has so much to teach us. I wholeheartedly agree that the planet needed this break and we will be grateful for it sooner than we know.

  4. Thanks for sharing and looking at it from a different perspective. I do think it’s an opportunity to look at what we have, appreciate them, and never take them for granted.

  5. I was also thinking of the same things recently – were we really checking in with our older loved ones enough before this whole lockdown happened? It´s really a moment to pause and reflect – what can we all do better from now on?

  6. This experience has definitely changed the way I have thought about life! And also how we need to live in the moment, because we don’t know when our last moment may be!

  7. Gosh honestly I can say life has changed dramatically in the past week I am finding myself working from home being with the kids more spending more family time but also extremely scared I don’t know what this pandemic has in store but I want it to go away and us all be OK please stay safe thanks for sharing

  8. I was just randomly checking my Twitter acct and came across this. Your message in its entirety is amazing it moved me to tears I am truly touched it’s a positive way of looking at this crisis that none of us could have truly been prepared for thankyou for sharing. God bless you and your family.

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  9. We now have travel restriction but if we still insist to travel abroad and in the event that we caught the virus, the hospital fees will not get subsidize and we need to pay full fees.

  10. i would love if those people on the beaches and hiking trails and don’t care about anyone but themselves would read your blog and take it to heart. we need each other right now.

  11. Being in quarantine has changed me a lot because it forced our family to be together all the time. We are forced to bond with our children more and spend time with them. Stay safe you guys.

  12. Our family and loved ones are the most important thing in this world. Perhaps without knowing it, they are the reason we are all alive. In this hard moment, we need to cherish our loved ones.

  13. This situation allows me to do things I kept postponing. The dynamic of our family has been rearranged, too. Every day is like a so much fresher drink of water.

  14. I have been thinking about all the good things in this. Everything we have to be grateful for, and everything we can do while we are at home. I have some friends who have been so negative, like it’s the end of the world.. and it isn’t! Isn’t everyone always complaining they are too busy and too tired! Now is the perfect time to hit that reset button.

  15. We have a similar mindset about the coronavirus situation going on. In a way, this is definitely the time that Mother Earth heals itself the most.

  16. I love this perspective. In a time where so many people are focusing on all the negative, it’s good to look for the positive. I’ve seen so many companies and peoples do things to help people who are struggling.

  17. These are really great points. I totally with all this. I hope people could see the good this in this chaos.

  18. Yes, this pandemic situation makes all of us thinking more about our life. We need to change a lot of things in our life.

  19. This is such a great perspective on this epidemic! I think it’s a great time to be grateful for what we have!

  20. I am immunocompromised and the health anxiety has been the hardest part. But I am so grateful for our community for respecting social distancing and self-isolation to protect people like me.

    This is a horrible thing and my heart breaks for those who have experienced the worst of it. But there is definitely gratutide and perspective to be gained. Thank you for sharing yours.

  21. Yes. I believe Covid 19 is a wake-up call for all of us. We need to take a breather and appreciate LIFE. And of course like you, make more memories with our families.

  22. I have been doing a lot of thinking myself too. A lot of what ifs for me as well. Sometimes I think this happened for a reason. For everyone to be together more and spend time with one another.

  23. Im not too worried about self-isolation. I look at it as a gift and time off work like a holiday to chill out and do more of the things I love to do such as cook and read books.

  24. I love the honesty in this post. It’s interesting to see how many people haven’t been able to spend time with their loved ones. Here we are quarantined with them in one place. It’s a beautiful perk to all the chaos.

  25. Heather, I couldn’t agree more. Maybe this is exactly what happens when we the people need a wake-up call—a wake up to what’s really important. I am a mom and a teacher and I am missing my students and I am loving being home with my family. We will never get this family time back but I’m scared too. I’m scared for everyone else that is suffering. I worried about jobs and paychecks. I’m worried about people who lost someone due this virus. I worried about how long this will last. Many of this is out of our control. This is our new norm for a while longer. I do hope that people are smart and continue to socially distance themselves to reduce the spread. I hope our federal government puts aside politics and puts the people first. This is so scary and stressful.
    If it is a wake-up call, we sure as hell are getting one.

  26. Yessss, this is so on point! I was nervous at first as I’ll be out of a job as of next week… but at the same time, this quarantine has given me a chance to escape the busy routine. I didn’t have time for anything, always working, running around, errands, etc. Suddenly, I can breath. I can sleep a little extra. I can rest. I can spend quality time with my husband. Today I took a hot shower in the middle of the day and I suddenly got so happy that I could take a few extra minutes in the shower – I always have to rush. There is truly positive among the negative.

  27. It is so important to embrace the positives in life and this situation is no different. I am grateful for all of the extra time I now have with my family and I promised myself to never again take simple things for granted, such as leisurely shopping in a fully stocked grocery store or getting a pedicure.

  28. Exact. All we can do is turn the perspective upside down and, who knows, maybe find what we were looking for: a new point of view.

  29. Yes we are in a lucky position. There are people that are dead because of this disease. We have to be grateful that we have a home and we can stay in and we can protect ourselves and our families.

  30. Love this perspective and it is a wonderful way to realize that yes….we need to take the moment to breathe and reach out to this that we may have been to busy to do before. I too feel exactly like you where you stayed busy and when you were not… you were stressing that you should be using the time to work more…. I am exactly the same way and appreciate you sharing this wonderful post. I am going walking today with man oldest daughter and that is a big change as I have always been to busy before…. now I’m taking the time to spend with her and get some much needed exercise in too.

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      I’m hoping to incorporate some exercise into our day too. My oldest and I are planning to do it together.