7 Silver Linings of the 2020 Pandemic

Sourcing Joy+Humor & Love In Turbulent Times


Silver linings. We have been hearing of these lately; people finding a positive in a difficult situation. I have thought about this quite a bit, since I have always said, 'although we can't stop stress from coming our way, we can change our reaction to this stress.' The stress that came everyone's way was unforeseen and the fallout hasn't even come close to stopping. This was a time for me to look deeply within and 'walk the walk' rather than 'talk the talk'. I knew that my reaction to this stress was also going to affect those around me, as I had my 2 adult daughters unexpectedly living with us for 6 weeks since the shelter in place orders came shortly after their arrival.


This would be a challenging time for us all - my husband, my 2 daughters, and myself. We now had to figure out how to work and live under these new circumstances and not fall apart when the Internet went down or toilet paper was scarce! It was tough on all of us, but the true silver lining was that we had each other. I decided finding silver linings during this turbulent time was my way of keeping myself sane and spiritually strong during this challenging time.


1. More Time With Our Loved Ones


Ordinarily, when my daughters, who live out of state, visit us they are only able to carve out a few days from work for a visit. That was the intention when they booked their flights for this past spring visit. Those few days turned into 6 weeks as the events unfolded. Though we all had to navigate new challenges together, having them with us during this difficult time was something we will never forget. From hikes, to sing-alongs on our balcony, to baking our favorite recipes, the time we spent together was truly precious. As a mother, having my girls close to me during something so unprecedentedly frightening was a blessing. When they had to go home to their respective states, I had a giant pit in my stomach. No matter how challenging having 4 adults unexpectedly living and working together in the same house -and fighting for internet strength and extra rolls of toilet paper- the moment they left, my heart felt empty.


2. Zoom Holidays


One of the unfortunate life circumstances of moving out of the state you grew up in is not being able to spend holidays with your family. This was the first year that we spent both Easter and Passover with our families. Our Zoom Seder's singing may have not been the most harmonious, but spending this holiday with my family for the first time in 4 years was heartwarming. And gathering my husband's family members from 4 different states for Easter meant so much to us all. Though it was a virtual connection and not a 'real life' one, we ordinarily would not all be together for these holidays, so this was a true silver lining.


3. Rescuing a Dog


With the time we knew we would be spending at home coupled with the fact that we would not be traveling for a while, we decided to add another furry member to our family. After scouring many rescue sites, we finally got a call from Arizona Poodle Rescue about a dog that seemed like a great match for our family. Though Arizona Poodle Rescue takes in many breeds of dogs, they specialize in poodles and poodle mixes. When we met Layla (then Princess), we fell in love. This sweet little girl just delivered her 3rd litter of dogs and she is only between 2-3 years old. Living in a box in a backyard prior to her rescue, she was deserving of a loving home. Layla immediately melted our hearts and enjoyed being a part of our family. On any given day, she offers up hugs to everyone in the house, going room to room for some of her famous hug therapy. There is a saying with dog rescues, 'Who rescued who?', and this truly applies. She has brought in loads of comic relief and love into our house and we are so grateful for this furry silver lining!


4. Reaching Faraway Clients Via Zoom


One of the challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic was my work with both private clients and corporations/organizations. I was enjoying providing Zenful Zoom sessions to my 1:1 clients and groups when the sheltering in place made this come to a halt. Deciding to pivot, I began to explore teaching classes virtually on Zoom, and learned my teaching didn't have to stop. I currently am teaching a Zoom Monthly Meditation for anyone wanting to learn this soothing, healing practice. This free class with a suggested donation to a charity each month (this month's selection is No Kid Hungry) allows me to give back while providing a valuable service to others. Sign up if you want to join us in these soothing, monthly meditations. In addition I have been teaching classes with Balance With Us and Urban Yogi, two companies that provide virtual yoga and meditation classes through their website and apps. In fact, I taught a global meditation class for Urban Yogi to nearly 50 people from all over the world. Being able to connect with people from afar and providing some well-needed peace and relaxation to others has been a true silver lining gift.


5. Cooking Healthier At Home



I am embarrassed to admit how often we used to go out for dinner or order carryout. Since early March, we have been trying out new recipes, finessing old ones, and being more organized with our grocery shopping and planning of meals. Even my husband, who was formerly not the most adept at grilling, has honed his skills and become a true grill-master. In fact, I'll challenge his sesame-seared tuna to any restaurant around!


6. Healthy Wine Delivery



Confession. I love wine. I am fascinated by the process of turning the almighty grape into a fabulous glass of wine. I have always been a believer in 'everything in moderation', but I noticed we were consuming more wine than usual and a few pounds crept on our bodies, no doubt from this extra indulgence. Fortunately, I heard that one of my former high school friends, Kristie Killen, an organic chef, became a consultant for Scout & Cellar wines, a company that makes biodynamic, organic, and vegan wine with no added sugars, chemicals, or pesticides. And it even gets delivered to your door-- which was huge during this time of our lives when we only ventured out as needed! The wines are beyond fabulous and sourced from biodynamic, outstanding wineries all over the world. After trying the wines and being impressed with both the quality and the selection, I became a consultant for Scout & Cellar wines, too. My husband and I have really enjoyed trying them all and keeping notes in our new wine diary. The above picture was taken after a recent wine delivery.


7. Games and Puzzles For the Win



After finishing several of our favorite Netflix series, we decided couch-potato-ing was getting old. And boring. We ordered a backgammon game on Amazon, something we had not played in many years, and started daily matches. (I won't say who's winning, because my husband might get upset!) We also dug out some old puzzles and challenged our aging eyesight in a new way. In addition, we played pool, Cards Against Humanity, Rummikub, Trivial Pursuit, and even Floating Beer Pong (sans beer for me) in the pool on hot days. In short- we tried to find fun in each day and most days, we succeeded.


I hope this inspires you all to look deeply within and find that there are indeed some silver linings in your own lives. Though we are navigating through some challenging times, finding the love, the humor, and the fun can help ease the discomfort of the uncertainty.

~ Do you have something really interesting you would like me to share? I would love to hear about it! I would also love to know what my readers are the most interested in seeing each month. Please drop me a line telling me what interests you most or if you know of a story that you think others want to hear about, please share it with me.

Email: Susan@stopandbreathe.org, find me on: InstagramFacebook, or visit my website: StopandBreathe.org


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