And just like that, the world slowed down

A faded photograph of a window with dirty panes and an unclear view of a building on the other side.

I don’t want to make light of what is literally a pandemic. Yet in the midst of toilet-paper-hoarding, social distancing and an economic shutdown lies something quite profound. At first it was uncomfortable, sitting at home with the realization that there would be no “going into the office” in the coming weeks. When you live alone in a condo with only two odd cats for company, the idea of hunkering down and limiting the ventures outside your front door can seem, well… lonely.

Yet as I sit here in my kitchen with only the sound of clacking keys and the soft hum of the refrigerator to break the silence, I noticed something. For the first time in ages, it feels like the world has finally slowed down.

There’s comfort in the stillness. It’s been a long time since I’ve paused, taken a breath and allowed myself simply to “be.” The to-do list that runs like a constant ticker inside my head has been forced to stop as society asks us to take a step back. It’s given me time to think; I mean, really think.

There’s a quote by To Write Love On Her Arms founder Jamie Tworkowski circling the internet that says:

“Conversations will not be cancelled.
Relationships will not be cancelled.
Love will not be cancelled.
Songs will not be cancelled.
Reading will not be cancelled.
Self-care will not be cancelled.
Hope will not be cancelled.

May we lean into the good stuff that remains.”

To some, this may be a dramatic response; to others those words may feel all-too-real in light of this strange, unsettling thing happening in our world today. We may not understand why this virus or why now, nor can we control the closing of businesses or cancellation of events. However, we can take a moment to be and to appreciate what still remains in a world that is partially shutdown.

As the world pauses, we can home in on the aspects of life that truly matter. We can take care of one another as well as ourselves. We can find the positive within the unprecedented; the comfort that exists in the wake of fear; the community that is present in spite of social distancing.

As Mr. Tworkowski said in his blog, “We’re all in this together. Literally the whole planet. We’re one people all connected on this place we all call Home. May we care well for one another. May we live with more grace and compassion than ever before. May we be careful and wise but also honest on the days we feel afraid. May we always always always know that it’s okay to ask for help. And may we lean into the good stuff that remains.

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