Michigan is on lockdown for three weeks.
A majority of citizens are either without work or working from home. (⇐I am here.)
College campuses are deserted. Schools closed. Kids shut up at home.
Flights are canceled. Conferences postponed. Meetings moved online.
I don’t know who tore this month out of a dystopian novel. If I did, I would yell at them and demand they put it back. (And they would listen, of course. I have that kind of authority.)
I’ve had so much time on my hands these past few weeks. I am not being scheduled at the hotel currently since they closed the executive lounge where I am staffed. So, I’m back to being out of a full-time job.
For those who remember, I just did this about three months ago, and I wasn’t really thrilled to be doing it again. When I said I needed a break to catch up, this wasn’t really what I had in mind.
But, like all crises, good rises from the ashes.
Despite the goings-on around me, I have been pleasantly reminded of the light that still exists. I was floored to see how many people were offering help — childcare, meals, financial support, you name it.
I had multiple friends call or text me to check-in. When they found out I wasn’t being scheduled at the hotel, they offered to help me in any way they could.
Now, I am fortunate enough to also work part-time online, so I still have income coming in, unlike so many people right now.
But even with that, again help. Companies are extending due dates. Interest rates for student loans have dropped to %0.00 for the time being. Essential department stores have changed their hours to accommodate those more at risk.
Though this situation is far from ideal, it helped remind me of the importance of relationships.
Sometimes, we can get ahead of ourselves. We’re accomplishing a lot, we’re doing fine financially, we’re feeling good. We feel independent and confident in who we are.
We forget that we need others, because in the moment, we don’t. But then the world begins to crumble. Suddenly, we’re harshly reminded that we are not designed to function alone. We are crafted to desire and need connection and relationships. And, in times like this, that is the only thing we have to fall back on.
Hold your loved ones a little closer this week. (Metaphorically, if need be.) Don’t let social distancing cause you to forget the most important thing. We may be quarantined in lockdown and forced to stay at least six feet away from one another, but words can carry over any distance.
We may be isolated, but we are not alone.
What’s a way you can show your cherished ones that you appreciate them?
Call a friend. Send a card. Write a letter.