In February, I was having a conversation with a friend around the two major life disruptions we had experienced in our generation. The first was 9/11, which was primarily esoteric in nature to the US. Airport security has never been the same. In 2008, we experienced the Great Recession. This was more ubiquitous and had a global economic impact. Now everyone knows what a “derivative” is. Here we are now in April of 2020 and we have our first truly global pandemic since the Spanish flu in 1919. When we reach the other side of this, we’ll all have a better understanding of N-95 masks, ventilators and the value of six feet of personal distance.
My son is not quite a year old, so obviously he doesn’t understand what is happening in the world. However, his parents certainly do. While I am still working, as what I do is considered “essential,” my wife has been sheltered in the house every day for the past three weeks. I can see it starting to wear on her and so we’ve developed certain times for her to have individual space. As much as we love our son, when there is a 24/7 connection to him with no separation, it definitely begins to challenge our patience meters. It’s been odd to spend so much time in our house.
I’m a high-level thinker and perceiver, and to be frank, I had no idea how many outlets existed in our house till now. I didn’t realize how many nooks and crannies are a part of our real estate, but my son has certainly found them and made me aware. I didn’t realize how many dishes we had until they are stacked up in the kitchen sink. I didn’t realize how much I miss conversations that are preceded with handshakes or hugs prior to the words. I’ve noticed Mother Nature more than ever, and our family is avidly into the outdoors. I’m just pausing more often to see the DNA of it. Our Earth continues its machinations throughout this time that our economy and country have slammed on the brakes. The birds still chirp, the coyotes still hunt and the sun still rises and sets in the same directions each day.
And I’m not gonna lie: I don’t miss seeing airports. It’s been a joy to be grounded in recent times. I don’t see this as being handcuffed; I see these times as an opportunity to reconnect with all the things we take for granted on a daily basis. The mountains have never looked more still, beautiful and approachable as they do right now. As a matter of fact, I’m gonna stop typing and go hike one now. Stay safe all, and be there for your fellow neighbors and family members who may feel especially isolated.