Reflection: Well, we here we are about five months into the pandemic here in Canada. I can’t say this situation is or was something I welcomed. Did any of us?
I am fully aware that differences in our stage of life, family, career, and finances as well as our geographical location means that we are all experiencing this situation differently. A single mother working from home while juggling education and childcare is facing a totally different set of challenges than a retired pensioner living on their own. And of course there are many variations in between those two extremes.
So let me preface this by saying that from my corner of the world, as a self employed, empty nester, I have noted a few good things arising from the experience.
Since we are ‘at home’ for the entire summer, we signed on to take delivery of a weekly basket of fresh vegetables from Spring Creek Gardens. So far we’ve received baby potatoes, carrots, broccoli, swiss chard, kale, lettuce, radishes, beets, dill and more. It’s always a surprise to see what’s come into its own each week. And the resulting meals that hit our dinner table bring back childhood memories of fresh produce from the garden at the farm.
With the exception of the year we hosted our daughter’s wedding in our backyard, our garden has never looked better. I’ve cleaned out back corners and trimmed up shrubs that haven’t seen much attention for years. And I’ve done a much more regular job of fertilizing. The plants are happy about that. Biggest hydrangea blossoms ever!
Mornings are a delight. I’m up in good time with no place I have to go. There’s time to enjoy a morning walk, a bike ride along the river, or yoga in the garden. As warm summer days have finally arrived, I’m reading the paper, sipping my coffee, and doing my crossword puzzle outdoors while birds swap the morning news in the trees above.
I’m learning new things – how to navigate my way around delivering virtual presentations, for one. And since I’ve signed on for a couple of online language classes, my French is improving. Merci beaucoup pour ca!
We’re definitely spending less money. Other than grocery and greenhouse shopping, we haven’t spent much time hanging out in the stores or even shopping online for that matter. And our travel expenses, which are normally a big part of our budget, are nil.
The summer calendar in Saskatoon is usually jammed from June through August with one festival or special event after another. Honestly, there have been summers where I’ve felt stressed about supporting the community and trying to take in as many events as possible. This year the streets are eerily quiet – not a whisper of a festival in the air. And, although I’m a bit nostalgic about the vibrancy these events bring, I find I’m more relaxed about simply being in the city in the summer.
That brings me to the calendar itself. Other than a weekly pilates class and a couple of distanced plein air painting dates, the upcoming month of August is pretty much void of appointments. I must admit I’m enjoying the freedom that represents.
Action: Thinking this way requires us to focus less on what we’ve lost and more on what we have left or even what we may have gained.
There’s no question these Covid days are not an easy time. And as I noted before, some are having a tougher time than others.
That said, I’m curious about what good things might be coming out of this pandemic that you are noticing in your part of the world.
If you are so inclined, I’d love to hear what you see.
Quotes Of The Week: Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck. – Dalai Lama
Some days are better. Some days are worse. Look for the blessing instead of the curse. – Source Unknown
Whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value. – Herman Hesse
Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – Christopher Robin to Pooh, A. A. Milne
Let perseverance be your engine and hope your fuel. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr
Resources Of The Week: Here are a couple of articles that you might find interesting.
Fresh Daily offers: Ten good things that have come out of the Covid 19 pandemic in Canada.
Katherine Plumhoff shares her take on Nine Positive Things To Come Out Of The Coronavirus.
Especially for working parents, here is an article that you might find helpful from Harvard Business Review: Juggling Work & Kids In A Pandemic.
Readers Write: In response to the recent blog post, It’s Less Than Ideal But It’s Something, Pause reader AH writes: Your thoughts lifted my spirits this morning, I read with a smile from ear to ear, my head and heart felt lighter. Thank you for your kind and gentle thoughts in these un-normal times.
Art: Recent months have afforded me more time to experiment on the art front. Last month’s blog post image (Waskesiu River) was a piece that I created in response to the Direct Watercolor challenge – creating 30 paintings in 30 days.
This bright and lively piece, Cubist Coffee, is even more of a departure from my usual style as I played with overlapping forms, shapes and colors.