I don’t know about the rest of you, but this quarantine has been an interesting exercise in slowing down for me. To date, I’ve learned four new songs on the guitar that I can now play from memory, I’ve done two puzzles with my wife and we’re working on a 2000 piece right now, I’ve beaten Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch, I’ve read three books I’ve been wanting to read, cooked more, and deep cleaned my whole house, but maybe the thing that I found most surprising, I’ve spoken with people on video chat or the phone who I haven’t spoken with in a very, very long time. Before this quarantine, I would preach the importance of slowing down, of taking time for yourself. I would even reference Jesus often going off to be alone, away from even his disciples (Luke 4, Mark 6, Matthew 14, Luke 6, Luke 22, Luke 5, etc.).
If I’m honest with myself though, I was never really good at it, and it’s only taken a pandemic and a quarantine to show me that. With the precious amount of “me time” I had before this, I would watch Netflix or play a video game or just take a nap. Now don’t get me wrong, these things help to recharge my batteries when I’m low, but there was no variety. These would be the ONLY things I would do to recharge. Reaching out to old friends and relatives that I haven’t spoken to in a long time is something that I need to make a conscious effort to do because it also helped me feel more revitalized. It’s ironic to me that it took social distancing and quarantining for me to reconnect with relationships that I hadn’t thought about it a long time. They say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, but you also don’t know what you’ve lost until you find it again. I encourage you to have Skype/Facebook/Zoom/Google Hang Out with others. Use this time of isolation to reconnect. Plan future get-togethers, play virtual games, remember times you’ve had before, and know that even though you’re far away from one another that ties that bind you are still stronger than the distance. I pray, that when this quarantine is over (whenever that may be), I don’t forget the lessons I’ve learned during it, but instead use them to inform my choices going forward.