COVID 19 has taught us all valuable lessons we will all carry with us for the rest of our lives- family time matters, slowing down is important, and being creative- whether it is on your own, or with your kids will open up a world of opportunities to entertain yourself and/or better your life. We have all be caught up in the news and feeling doubtful and low, and we have all had our victories whether it is planting a giant garden, painting something beautiful, or even just fixing a squeaky door.
And although we have been alone and have gone through waves of emotions, the one thing remains is we have been apart together through it all.
Trevor and I’s situation before and during this quarantine has been extremely hard because:
1- we moved away from friends, family, and our support 2 months before “lockdown” happened.
2- we had to wait for his first paycheck to hit our account (in February) to pay our bills and even really stock the house with groceries. So by the time his second one came in, it was mid February and we were able to have a little fun, but nothing too insane. On my end of the income, being a photographer and moving to a new state without any roots established yet means we would have a little buffer time before I was taking on weekly jobs- which we both knew and both prepared to stretch our dollars.
3- we downsized from a 3 bed 3 bath home with a big backyard, entertaining basement, and oversized garage to a 2 bed 1 bath apartment.
Annnnnd number 4...
Trevor’s new job enforced the WFH on March 13th.
All these things were definitely taking a toll, and I dreaded jumping on any social media those first few weeks because it was the bad and the ugly. Fear set in, and I was so scared that this was it- the end of the world. No joke, I packed an emergency bag with some cash, clothes for Trevor and I, toothbrushes, and toiletries just in case we had to high tail it out of here immediately.
By the time of week 2 in quarantine, I, like many, returned to my abandoned half-read books to pass some time, and those books hit different this time around. The most impactful book I started reading again was ‘The Universe Has your Back’ by Gabby Bernstein. Talk about good timing picking that sucker back up. She talks about how you need to trust the process and keep looking for the positive and believing in the good, or you’ll fall into a negative trap where your thoughts and surroundings will feel doom and gloomy and you will attract more negative. Oy! Was she right. I’ve always been a pretty optimistic person, but hearing that made me reflect on my recent thoughts big time.
So, I decided I needed a change. I deleted my Facebook app from my phone to put a little space for myself, and I abandoned the news. I knew what we were doing- staying inside, wearing a mask anytime we have to go anywhere, washing hands the second you get into your house, and disinfecting surfaces and even our groceries after we had them delivered- was the only thing we could do to change the outcome. Nothing less and nothing more honestly. The only “news” I started to watch was ‘Some Good News’ with John Krasinski. If you have yet indulged in his YouTube videos, I suggest you do. Every damn time I watch one of his videos, I tear up with happiness. I started to follow only inspirational things on Instagram and deleted a bunch of accounts that were bumming me out. One day, Trevor and I made our way to the storage unit, and we found his art supplies so I could start drawing. This helped a bit. But the thing that helped the absolute most was this:
Lifting people up and inspiring them to keep on keeping on looking for the silver lining. Looking through Instagram at different posts of feel good vibes brightened my day so I began to re-share them so others could see, and I would let whoever originally posted it know.
I started checking in more with friends and family, and seeing how their days were going. That chitter-chatter about complete nonsense- rambling about dumb movies, facial care, and "truthful thursdays" with my best friends helped... A LOT.
If I found myself thinking about someone in the middle of a task, whether it was cooking dinner, or simply putting a puzzle together, I would send them a quick text just letting them know I was thinking about them and hoping all is healthy and well. I actually went through a little phase where I was mailing people things- my goddaughter a little scrap fabric blanket for her favorite toy Rojo, a romper I never wore to my best friend Haley, tuna fish to my best friend and her husband because it's hilarious and random. I started to realize spreading the kindness, inspiring people, and cheering others on- even because of a small task like getting up and doing their hair/make-up/getting dressed was major ESPECIALLY in a time like this. I started to learn through love, not through fear quicker than ever have before, and it felt good.
There are times in your life when you realize what you were put on this Earth to do. I learned through COVID-19, being away from everyone, and this quarantine, I was meant to spread happiness, inspire and cheer people on. And It all makes sense, my mission statement is to make others feel their self-worth through imagery- but this just hit differently having this time to self-evaluate who I am.
My challenge for you is to look for the positives and uplift your neighbor especially on their darkest days. When someone pops up in your mind regardless of how long it has been since you last spoke, send them a little message. Spread cheer like it’s your sole job, and see your own life evolve and change.
I want to hear all about your victories. Comment below what good you’ve been spreading lately.