A bucket of tulips on a table

Despite being stuck at home, my roommate and I have resolved to make the best of our quarantine. 

We open the blinds and curtains and let the sunlight pour in. We wrap ourselves in soft cozy blankets, pour strong cups of coffee and spend hours reading our favorite books. We wake up early and stretch our muscles with a quick yoga session in the living room.

We paint. We dance. We bake cakes with rich cream cheese frosting just to celebrate an ordinary Wednesday. We’ve committed to notice the small things with the hopes of enjoying every single sliver of joy we can find in this scary, uncertain time. Although I’m proud of us for choosing to be intentional right now, I can’t help but ask: Why did we wait?

Why did we wait to start enjoying the little moments? Why did we wait to create our own light on the darker days? Why did we wait to celebrate ordinary Wednesdays? 

Why did we wait to start enjoying the little moments?

Part of it, of course, has to do with the fact that we currently have no other choice but to find things to do and enjoy. Our jobs are closed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and because of the “safer at home” order, we’ve been confined to our houses. What about after the lockdown ends? Will we go back to the way things were, or will we have learned something from this pause?

My hope is that we are learning behaviors that will follow us even after the storm calms. Eventually, our routines will go back to normal. We’ll head back to work, and we’ll start making plans with loved ones, and before we know it, we’ll once again be caught up in the hustle and bustle of the modern world.

My hope is that, although we will eventually be caught up again in the business of busyness, we will never be too busy to stop for a moment to bask in the sunlight or smile at the happy red lantanas on our front porch. We will continue to carve out a few moments to sit on the couch with a hot drink and a good book. We will resolve to create our own sunshine when it rains, and we will be intentional about taking care of ourselves both physically and mentally. Most important of all, we will continue to love and care for those around us, serving those in need and protecting those who can’t protect themselves.

Why did we wait? Why did we wait to cherish the small joys until the small joys were all we had? Why did we wait to reach out to our people until we couldn’t see them every day or hold them in our arms?

Why did we wait to cherish the small joys until the small joys were all we had?

I don’t know, and maybe I never will. Maybe I was never meant to. That’s OK.

What matters is not is the reason why we started appreciating things, but that we started at all. Call me naïve, overly optimistic or an unrealistic dreamer, but I can’t help but hope we never stop. I can’t help but hope that we have gleaned something positive from this life-changing world event.

Maybe this physical separation from people will teach us to be more present in our relationships. Maybe we will learn to check on each other more frequently. Maybe this break from work and school will teach us to be grateful that we even have jobs and education in the first place. Maybe the discomfort of this forced pause will remind us that we need to become reacquainted with rest.

Why did we wait? I don’t know, but I can’t help but hope we never stop.

What have you gained internally from this time of quarantine? What can you learn that will impact your everyday life going forward?

Image via Sheri Giblin, Darling Issue No. 12

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