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  • Writer's pictureKaren Andrews

LESSONS LEARNED via Pandemic 2020

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

What have I learned through the COVID19 pandemic? I don't know about you, but God sat me down, made me be still enough to I could better grasp on a few concepts. I've learned a lot about myself and see the world around me with new eyes.

I have learned that any preventable death is one too many. If there is something, we can do to prevent one unnecessary and preventable death, we need to take action. I’ve learned we can all take some personal responsibility. You never know what health issue someone is dealing with. Just because you may be "fit as a fiddle", doesn’t mean everyone else is. I’ve learned that people keep their health issue to themselves, and most people are not apt to share that personal information. Just because someone carries the load of life well, doesn’t mean it is a light load for them...but some people are capable of carrying a pretty heavy load and never let on how hard it is!

I’ve learned the lesson that life is not about ME as some philosophies would have you believe. I’ve learned life is about other people, living next to other people underneath the same sky and sunshine. It is about supporting them through their difficulties, looking out for them, and trying to make sure my life tracks do not impede upon theirs. Likewise, what everyone else is doing is not necessarily any consequence to me. What or why someone else believes doesn’t necessarily impact me, I am free to believe in what I believe - but only if my belief does not impede upon them or their belief system. During the Pandemic, I choose to wear a facial mask-or I can choose to not wear one. This applies to politics, religion, environmental concerns, the National Economy, supporting small OR large business, and so many more areas. I’ve learned that everyone else is just as convicted in their beliefs as I am mine. And a little word of advice…screaming at someone has never changed their mind on an issue. I’ve learned that showing support for that person (maybe not their beliefs) can open a door to communication quicker than hate can.

I’ve learned that I don’t need nearly as many things as I thought I did. With restaurants, retail establishments, hair and nail salons, and coffee shops closed…I’ve learned they weren't as necessary as I thought they were. With the term “Essential Business” I’ve also learned what was essential in my own life. And I was pretty alarmed that I really didn’t require a mani-pedi like always thought I did. As a result, my self-esteem has gone up, as well as myself worth. I'm coming out of this Pandemic Shutdown a better and brighter person. I’ve learned I can fend for myself; I’ve learned to cook a pretty mean Potato Soup. I can also prepare a fierce cup of coffee out of a fiery cup I purchased online.

Along this same line, I’ve learned I don’t need constant companionship like I always believed I did. I'm learning to be OK with my own company. I’ve learned to pick up a few hobbies: sewing, reading, improve my photography, started blogging, and even set up a website. I’ve learned that we are all going through a lot…each in our own home. Maybe we share our difficulties, maybe we don't - but we all have them. I’ve seen the importance of being there for someone else in their time of need. And I’ve learned the importance of family and those people who should be family and how important it is to have them in your life. I’ve learned to make friends with myself, by myself, because I’ve learned to like and respect myself, as well as enjoy my company, and to not be afraid to encounter life alone

With so many areas being closed for business, restaurants, coffee houses, shopping malls, flea markets, farmer's markets, and even walking trails, parks, and State Parks being closed…I’ve learned to enjoy the quietness of my front yard. I’ve learned to listen for the birds, started noticing flowers (in my yard, a dandelion is considered a flower!), I started hearing squirrel’s feet on the trees as they climb outside in the yard. With less social opportunities, I’ve started walking in the neighborhood. I’ve started talking to my neighbor’s, and getting to know their dogs as they walk them outside. I hear the roar of Harley Davidson (motorcycle) pipes on a sunny day. I notice the tulips they planted, and even their green their yard.

I've learned the most precious possession I have is the DNA of my loved ones. That as the miles and or currently locked "pandemic doors" may keep us apart for now, I've learned they are never far from me. As my mother recently passed away, I learned that the parts of her spirit God wanted to carry on...are alive in me. They are alive in my sister, and my son. It is out obligation to carry those traits proudly and loudly!

Like Jim Croce sang in "I've Got a Name": (see the link below)

I've got a name, I've got a name

And I carry it with me like my Daddy did...

And it's

"Movin' me down the highway, rollin' me down the highway

Movin' ahead so life won't pass me by"

Finances are tough, sure. But I’ve learned to do without so many of the things I always thought I needed. Sure, I will still treat myself for a nice cup of coffee at the barista on occasion, but I will slow down next time and savor it. I’ve learned it was never the coffee that I enjoyed; it was the act of being enough still to enjoy the moment I enjoyed

I’ve learned that we don’t have tomorrow promised. We have today. I’m still learning to enjoy the day we are given. I’ve learned we as a people can adapt to difficulty if we have to, and we certainly will survive. However, I’ve noticed that as a people, we hang on to our “normal” and don’t like it to change. We want the world to make sense, and unfortunately, it just doesn’t always make sense to us. We seek balance, a sense of perceived justice, we want to be acknowledged, and justified. We want to be noticed. It’s human nature, we are all guilty of that to varying degrees.

I’ve learned some great things during the unfortunate Pandemic of 2020. Life may or may not go back to the way it was before. I’ve learned a lot about me, and my outlook on the life around me.

I’m grasping the art of “being still”, and it isn’t so bad...

(Naturally, I do not own the rights to the song. I do however, own the other photographs)

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