It is day 18 or 19 of lockdown aka stay at home for us. I lost count as days turn into nights and weekdays blend into weekends. The kids have turned nocturnal and go to bed at 3 am and wake up a long time after noon. I wake up make myself a cup of coffee and stare out the window from the same spot every single day. But I don’t complain, it is a privilege I don’t take lightly. I’m sitting on the couch staring at a couple of wisteria blooms hanging from the trellis and a pot of Spanish lavender in my backyard. The sweet concoction that I brewed in my stainless steel contraption from India similar to a French press reminds me of my dad. He was supposed to come to visit me this March. He is safe staying with my sister in India. While many are not. So many families are having to deal with the loss of lives, jobs… uncertainty…
We may look for a silver lining, be grateful for this slowdown and make the most of it by baking, cooking dishes that we never had the time for before and spending more time at home – we know in our hearts what this pandemic has caused. The unimaginable devastation and hardship it has brought to so many. Our way of life has come to an almost complete halt. We all need to learn ways to cope with the current situation we have been thrown into.
…then remind yourself that past and future have no power over you. Only the present—and even that can be minimized. Just mark off its limits. And if your mind tries to claim that it can’t hold out against that…well, then, heap shame upon it.Marcus Aurelius
For some it might be journaling our thoughts, setting limits on how much covid_19 news we consume every day, leaning into friends and family for support through virtual hangouts, scheduling some at home spa and selfcare, work on passion projects… there are many ways we can ‘cope’. Staying positive and coping is the only way through this. Many of us are not is he frontlines, all that has been asked of us is to Stay Home and Don’t spread the virus – Help keep the hospital beds for those who need it most – the fragile.
By choosing positivity you become a contender for the human spirit giving hope to those in need.Bryant McGill
As I sat there feeling helpless scrolling through my Facebook feed, I read this story that was shared – “During these uncertain and unprecedented times, I had the opportunity to connect with a good friend and colleague of mine, who shared a story from a woman he had known several years earlier. The woman had been a young girl during the German bombings of London during World War II. She recounted how every evening after dinner, her family would lay out the things that they might need in the event of a bombing raid that particular night. On the evenings when the sirens would blare, awakening them from their sleep, they would grab their coats and other items they had prepared and quickly head to their designated spot within the tunnels of the London subway underground. As they sat on the cold, damp floor, they would listen to the pounding as it began. The more and more it pounded, they gazed up at the tiles on the ceiling and watched them shake. Sometimes, one would even come loose and fall to the floor with some concrete rubble. She thought that maybe the next bomb might cause the entire roof to cave in and with that, it would be the end. And yet, she said, at some point during the pounding, the shaking, the rattling, a person would reach into their coat and grab out an item. One person would pull out a jar of tea; another a small pot with water; another a heating element. And in a few minutes, people would be passing out tea. Similarly, one person might pull at a harmonica; another a violin case. And they would begin to play a slow, rhythmic melody that echoed through the tunnels. And as we sat, she said, sipping on our tea and listening to the music, all seemed normal. Because, she stated, you can only look at the tiles for so long.
In the midst of our current crisis, I pray that you remember how to practice the art of fellowship and community, not simply focusing on the tiles…. ”
I decided not to focus on the tiles. my window in this case. I sifted through my travel photos. Our last trip was to Morocco and Portugal. I saw one from Porto, Portugal where we woke up to a beautiful view of Porto from our hotel The Yeatman. It brought a smile to my face as I imagined myself transported there standing with the morning sun in my face as I sipped the coffee. I wondered why not share these photos I have of coffee cups I have taken during our travels to remind me of the good times when we are back inside suburbia. Since then we have been posting these #QuarantineCuppa photos hoping to bring a smile to others. I started with mine and soon a few other sent me their… Quarantine Cuppa.
I know travel is the last thing on people’s minds right now. But once we travel again there are so many awesome places to visit again and explore for the first time. I feel it somehow will be different though, a little more mindful and meaningful – not frivolous. It would not be about photos or country counts or bragging rights. It would be to visit family; to be with the ones you love in places that make you fall in love with the world.
If you want to wake up happy, go to bed gratefulJay Shetty
So, I go to bed grateful for what I do have – my family, somewhat stocked pantry, a few rolls of toilet paper. Coping for me has been looking through past travel photos and finding ones that give me a sense of calm and appreciate the world. Waking up to another day of social distancing to find that #QuarantineCuppa to share every morning has become my way of coping with Covid-19. One cup at a time. One day at a time we will get through this together.