One of the more positive elements to come out of this stay at home moment has been the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and colleagues. As a coach, it’s also been a good time to catch up with clients whom I haven’t spoken to for a while. One of the exchanges that really struck me was a note from one of my clients who is an up and coming leader for a sports-based youth development nonprofit. He noted that while he has a wonderful relationship with his wife, sharing 100% of their days in a 900 square foot apartment, has truly tested the bonds of their relationship. Fortunately, they’re coming through with flying colors! It seems the coronavirus may replace travel as the new testing grounds for compatibility with our partners.
I posted a few weeks ago about some of the unique opportunities that have come with the coronavirus. Those included the ability to practice our humanity, the joy of family re-connection, and the chance to really talk to friends (I’m talking about talking, like on the phone – not just likes and messages on facebook). If you’re curious, you can read the first one HERE. Since then, more opportunities have popped up so I thought I’d share them here:
- The joy of family meals and home cooking: Rediscover the joy of eating in your home with your family. My wife and I had been away for a long weekend in early March that involved endless meals out. I got a bad cold and cough (not the virus!) on the tail end of that trip so for the next two weeks I maintained a steady diet of Ramen noodles. Certainly no restaurants. Here we are in April and I haven’t been in a restaurant in a month while we’ve typically eaten out several times a week. We’ve rediscovered the pleasures of eating at home – as well as the cost savings! I do miss my monthly serving of pasta with red clam sauce from our favorite Italian place.. but that’s about it.
- Witness the magic of your spouse/partner/kids: Take time to appreciate your spouse doing what they do best and your kids as they learn. I’ve been working from home for the past three years and appreciate the freedom and challenges that come with it. I won’t elaborate since there are now tons of new blogs out there about working from home (there’s even the cool WFH acronym). I will share that another positive is getting to see how awesome my wife is at her job. While I have always been proud of her success, I never quite knew what her day was like. Since now everyday is “Take Your Husband to Work Day’, I get to witness the magic of her doing her thing. While I know this is a big interruption to our typical lives, I hope you too are taking the time to appreciate the talents of your partners and families.
- Get to know your neighbors (from 6 feet away!): It’s a community building opportunity. Nightly walks have become part of our new routine. Last night, as we walked through some streets in our neighborhood that we had never in ever seen, two things struck me. First, other walkers and runners were truly eager to be friendly – they just made sure to move six feet away while waving or saying hello. Second, it was kind of cool to see so many neighbors on their porch, having a drink, saying hello and well, just being neighborly. There were several times I felt like walking up, grabbing a seat and sharing a drink with them – even though I didn’t have a clue who they were. Clearly, that human need for connection is more present than ever right now. I hope we all remember this six months from now or whenever we get back to the new sense of normal.
While the coronavirus has been devastating in so many ways, I believe it’s worth trying to look at our world through the lens of a little lightness. I hope I’ve helped you do that as well. If I can help you with some perspective or anything else, you can reach me at [email protected]