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Sorry Folks, The World is Closed.

For now, the world is indeed closed, and how do we relearn a "new normal?"

I am a lover of memes, I have a collection of them on my phone and post them regularly on Facebook. I am a wholehearted believer that laughter is the best medicine in any situation. While being in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, I saw a Coronavirus meme which was a photo of John Candy in National Lampoon’s Vacation, standing with his hand up in front of the park gates with the words, “Sorry Folks, The World is Closed.” I didn’t laugh like usual, I just kind of stared at and thought, “this is our new reality.” For now, the world is indeed closed, and how do we relearn a “new normal?”

Amidst of the panic, the fear, the mourning of those that have lost their lives, and shockingly the deniers, a wave of nostalgia and present day reality came over me. We live in a time that we don’t have time. We are so busy and so consumed by work, social obligations, deadlines, and trying to fit “life” into it all, maybe in this surreal situation, we can start putting “life” first. A reset, I’ve come to call it.

The busier I have become, I find my mind wondering back to the days where life was so simple and it was amazing. We ate dinner at the table, we had conversations, without looking at an electronic device in between bites. We took walks, we sat on our porches, and chatted with our neighbors. And- holidays were magical instead of digital. I have longed for those days and it seems the less we had, the less busy we were, the happier and more content we were.

So what does this have to do with living through a pandemic? Reevaluating and resetting our lives and priorities. We’re all feeling unsure about the days ahead of us and that’s perfectly normal, but right now is a time that most of us can put life first. Take a trip back in time in your memory, we all have something tucked away backed there that we miss doing. Whether it be a hobby, cooking instead of takeout, or simply taking a walk. Call an old friend, check up on your elderly neighbors and family members , even if you can’t visit them due to quarantine, a phone call can change someone’s day and make them feel at ease. How many of us have photo albums that are jumbled? (I’m really showing my age here) – drag them out and reorganize them. Take photos of old photos to share with friends on social media.

In closing, we don’t know how long we will be living in our “new normal.” Whether it be two weeks, two months, or beyond, but one thing we know for sure is we have some time and time is precious. Dig deep, go back to what you have been longing for and wishing you had the time for it, and do it. And- lastly, wash your hands before, during, and afterward.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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