I wish coronavirus never happened. Given its uncertainty, I also wish society would have partially distanced like Sweden did instead of hitting the giant “off” switch on social life or “save hospital capacities at all costs” approach the rest of us took.
It’s a fearful world we live in.
That said, I’ve been able to take the lemons, if you will, to make some sweet lemonade recently. Although I was an angry, stressed-out wreck the first two weeks of quarantine, I’ve been able to transition to first coping and eventually thriving over the last month.
Here’s how the unwelcome outbreak and draconian quarantine have actually changed my life for the better:
- I play tennis with my wife several times a week. When I first started courting my wife in the early aughts, we played tennis often. Then a full-time job happened. Kids happened. And we played maybe once every few years. In the last three weeks, we’ve played over half a dozen times and I think she’s the perfect partner, in life as much as tennis. We’re both better “players” because of it and I hope to do it well into your golden years. I look forward to it actually. Just Lindsey and me, playing tennis in the sun while the world turns.
- “Fear of missing out” is completely gone. With virtually nothing on our calendars, everyone in my household lives completely in the moment. We didn’t suffer from FOMO that much before, but now it is no where to be seen, which is a beautiful thing.
- I’ve made more music in the last month than I have the last decade. Fun fact: I started my first rock band since college last month. Although my newfound friends and bandmates are still searching for a drummer, we’ve learned nearly a dozen, high-energy, dance-friendly cover songs. I get goosebumps playing several of them and have even written five original songs over the last week. While picking up gear at the local music store, the clerk told me “It’s like Black Friday every other day.” People are so bored they’re picking up music again in droves, just like me, which is a really cool side affect of coronavirus.
- I’m living with even more hope than before (really). Fact: people that self-isolate out of fear are more depressed than people that live in hope, especially in times of uncertainty. I’ve seen this with those closest to me and with friends the past several weeks. The takeaway: living in hope rather than fear is the only way to live life to its fullest. This is just as true in normal circumstances as it is when you don’t have all of the answers, which is what most of life is like anyways.
- I’m closer with my family than ever before. Since we vacation, eat together, and enjoy activities together, I was already close to my family before quarantine. But this sucker has kicked our closeness into overdrive. Yes, there’s been some fighting, but there’s also been a lot more smiles, playfulness, cookie deliveries to friends and neighbors we miss, and time spent in the backyard on the trampoline or gazebo. As crazy or as forced as it sounds, I’ve found heaven on earth many times these past two months on my one fifth of an acre lot.
Readers, I hope you’ve learned something too. Life’s too short to waste away, even in quarantine.