Over the past several weeks, we have watched our world and way of life change in ways we could have never imagined. We are not unique, and you will find our stories similar and different from yours at the same time. But it helps to put our feelings into words, to somehow define what we are experiencing.
We asked our staff to share what they have learned during their stay at home, and while each responded individually, the collective result is a beautiful story of what lies beneath – beneath a fearful situation, beneath difficult circumstances, beneath the uncertainty and the larger pains and concerns of the world.
If there is a silver lining (and we believe there are many) it is a return to ourselves, a place within the heart that we have been sacrificing because we somehow got on a track where we thought it was necessary, and it became so automatic to keep up with the demands of our busy lives, that we didn’t know we were missing it…
We’re all appreciating our family more, for their contributions to the happiness, simple comforts and security they bring to our lives.
“During this time of unrest, I am so thankful for my family. I have learned throughout this time that family is the most important aspect of my life. I truly miss the family that I usually see and can’t, due to the quarantine. Sending lots of love to my grandparents, mom, sisters, brother, nieces, and nephews.”
And just when we didn’t think we could place more value on our teachers, their status has been elevated to solid gold!
“I’m happy that my husband stocked up on groceries so we don’t have to go to the grocery store very often. I’m also thankful for YouTube videos that help me with my son’s math. The way the schools teach math is very different than what I had growing up. I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader in math!”
Even sharing a normal rite of passage like teaching a teen to drive becomes a more precious memory made; marked not by dark events, but made extra-special in a way that would have been routine in our life before, where the ocean appeared less blue.
“This time has been unlike any other that we have known. I have enjoyed helping the kids with their school work, artwork and photography classes. Patience is sure a virtue. Teaching a teenager to drive has been quite enjoyable. Since we cannot go to the beach, at least we could take a quick drive-by. The ocean looked almost tropical.”
From the moment our children are born, the elders tell us, “Cherish every moment – they grow up so fast.” We hear it then, and we know it’s true. Through the years, we hear it in the back of our mind when duty calls. We hear it in the morning as we’re rushing out the door and we hear it in the evenings when we are so tired from a long day. We hear it and we think… there will be more time tomorrow or on the weekend, but in the meantime, we are missing out. This stay at home order has allowed us the mental and physical freedom to cherish more moments.
“During this strange and very rare time of social distancing/family quarantining I have learned the importance of slowing down—way down. I’ve always been the type to move from one task to another because of a lack of time. Now things are on pause and I get to play with my kids a little longer and read them ‘just one more story’. I don’t have anywhere else I need to be, and this time has allowed me to reflect and essentially hit the reset button. This time together is a gift and I will cherish these cozy home days with my family forever.”
“During this time off, no matter how unfortunate and isolated, has given me a gift I always wished for. More time. More time to be present. I have been able to see the world, no matter how crazy it is right now, through my daughter’s eyes. She doesn’t understand what is happening right now, but she is happy. She appreciates what she has. I have learned that during this pandemic I need to remain happy and fortunate that we are healthy.”
“I am getting to spend extra time with my younger son and we have learned that we are more alike than we thought. :)”
Self-care in the form of a creative outlet, to do what makes us happy or the mental permission to do nothing at all, is important. All of those ‘someday’ projects and catch-up phone calls become reality, and it feels good. It feels really good.
“I learned how to use ‘Bondo’ to restore an old rusted metal milk can. I also learned I will never have nice nails!”
“For me this period of time has slowed down the pace. No more rushing here and there. I feel settled, and very much enjoying my home. There has been much time to reflect, to be grateful, and admittedly talk on the phone a lot!”
“I’m so thankful to be able to take lots of walks and enjoy God’s beauty!!! Feeling blessed to find areas that no one is at near my home.”
“I think the most important thing I learned during this time away from everyone is how much a good walk can clear your mind and settle your nerves. I really enjoy being out in nature.”
So, somehow even in the midst of the very real grief we feel for those who are suffering, those at risk and those we miss, we are finding silver linings. Because at the heart of all those things lies love. Love for our families, love for our community and love for the world we know.
If anything, stay at home has reminded us to return to that place within ourselves where the love lives and everything will be ok. We will be ok.
We look forward to the day when we can return to the norms of life, but for now, we’re happy here, where the love is. When the norm returns, we hope more of the love comes with it.
Grateful and well at home –
Your friends at KDA