For so many of us, we fail to acknowledge the simple pleasures we have in life. We fail to appreciate what we have each day. These simple pleasures become routine, they become the every day norm. We have never had to second guess what would happen if they disappeared. Until now..
The world is currently going through an unusual time. So much adversary. So much hardship. So much grief. It feels like we are stuck in a horror movie and there is no end in sight. Every conversation starter stemming from this one word, Coronavirus (or as I like to refer it to, the Rona - how Aussie of me to shorten it?!) It seems to be consuming us. From talking about the spike in cases, through to why our government hasn't put us in lock down yet - as soon as you speak with someone no doubt it's around how eerie this time is or how you miss the good old days. It made me think about Macklemore's song 'Good Old Days' and how relevant it is. Take the chorus for instance:
"I wish somebody would have told me babe
That some day, these will be the good old days
All the love you won't forget
And all these reckless nights you won't regret
'Cause someday soon, your whole life's gonna change
You'll miss the magic of the good old days"
How true is that.
We took so much for granted. The simple pleasures in life. I remember my Nonna always telling me to be grateful I have a roof over my head and the flexibility to change jobs whenever I wanted. I always smiled but secretly rolled my eyes - but now it couldn't be more true. Society has grown over the past years and become something else. It has changed the way we look at jobs, what we have access to and what our daily norms are compared to when our grandparents were our age. But this epidemic has definitely forced society to take a step back. To stop for a moment and to then feel as though we are going backwards. To start realising how blessed we are and to appreciate the smallest things in life. To take it back to the basics.
So I decided to shed some light on this time, and create a list of the things the Rona has taught myself and hopefully will change the way I now 'do' life and become more appreciate and aware of the things that 'truly' matter. It is a dark time at the moment but we must find some light. We must find some light in order to help ourselves sparkle out. Yin and Yang. Light and Dark. Cold and Hot. Angry and Happy. Positive and Negative.
There are always two sides to a scale - one may be outweighing the other but the other side still exists. Find that light.
1- Appreciate the simple pleasures in life
This was a big one. Who would have thought in our life span that we would be in a situation where we are not allowed (or strongly advised) to leave our house. That we must remain at home and self-isolate? If you had asked me 6 months ago I would have laughed in your face and said 'try and stop me'. But now, I feel guilty for just going to the supermarket?! I took this luxury for granted. To be able to walk around the street, get a coffee when I needed, sit at a cafe, enjoy brunch or have Friday wine night with my friends (virtual is just not the same). It is these simple pleasures that I took for granted for so long and now appreciate them so much more!
2- Family is everything
When jobs are on the line, livelihoods are at state and you do not have the freedom to go see your grandparents whenever you want, you start to realise how important family is. How important your closest friends are who you call family. Without these bonds, without these interactions, we would go insane. I am truly blessed for having such a supportive network around me and will NEVER take them for granted (or at least try not to.... hey we ain't all perfect!)
3- Power of humans
When humans come together, strengthen their bonds, show the power of unionship, magic can be made. Think about how many videos are going viral because one person said one thing and shared it with their friends who shared it with theirs. Think about how the flick has switched and majority are taking self isolation seriously due to people uniting together and showing the power of humanity. In order to stop this virus we must all connect and unify as one - that's powerful.
4- SLOW DOWN
We are constantly on the go. Rushing to places. Late to meetings. Always having someone to see, something to do or somewhere to be. So many forget to just SLOW DOWN. To take a breather - take a gasp of air and check in with themselves. We continue to make ourselves busy in order to hide what we may not want to confront. Well now is the time. Now is the time to slow down and actually appreciate how this can benefit not only our mind but our bodies too. For once we do not have to feel guilty for SLOWING DOWN.
5- Food on the table
As a child my Nonna used to always harp on about never wasting food and that we are blessed to have everything at our disposal. I never took her seriously until now. I forgot how blessed we are to be able to go to the supermarket and get whatever you need whenever you want and not worry about it being out of stock - because if one store didn't have it, guarantee another would down the road. Not at the moment. I will never take buying toilet paper, pasta or even flour for granted again.
6- Income coming in
Will I be able to pay rent? No one is hiring? I have no money coming in? Will my mortgage be suspended? What will happen if we can't pay our bills? The many questions I never really faced or understood until now. Until now when jobs have been made redundant, companies have closed their doors and people have been made to step down. Competition at its peak for the scarcity of jobs that are being posted and no guarantee for how long you will be unemployed for. A job is a job. Yes you need to enjoy it but also be blessed to have one. For so long I would roll my eyes thinking about work and now I am desperate for some!
It's true, there is no monetary value on what you gain from travel. What you will learn from these experiences. Now with all borders being closed, and no one allowed to leave the country (expectations for some) it has made me realised how much I love travel and how I took it for granted to be able to just 'book a flight' and escape.
8- Never underestimate the power of laughter
What gets you through manic? Through tough times? Through adversary? Laughter. In any moment, if you bring laughter into it, happiness surfaces. The situation can improve or you may remove some of the worry. Laughter is the best form of medicine - never underestimate it's power.
9- Social connection
I miss being able to hug someone. The warm fuzzy feeling you would get. How you can instantly make someones day or lessen their stress response by just giving them a hug. This is a tad hard to do 1.5m away... This virus has taught me the love I have for REAL human connection, face to face, and being able to TOUCH someone.
10- Technology is a blessing
Yes it sucks. Being isolated. Locked up. Trapped. But how blessed are we for TECHNOLOGY. I can still have my wine dates with my girlfriends and see their faces through my phone!? I can still talk to them, listen to their voices, see there facial expressions, keep up to date with the shenanigans in their household and what they are doing to entertain themselves during isolation. We are truly blessed to have technology.
So Rona, you have seriously pissed off the world. Taken so many lives, changes so many of our routines, restricted our freedom and made us think about how each of our actions has a domino affect. Yes you are a challenge. Yes you are changing the way society lives, but there are things you have taught us along this journey that we can be forever grateful.
You have definitely shaken us up and made us start to reflect on what truly matters. Made us reflect on if we were being spoilt. And made us start to appreciate the simple pleasures in life. So for that, I say thank you.
However, it is now time to leave. We've learnt our lessons.
Sincerely Lauren Minicozzi and the rest of society.