Weave, weave, weave me the sunshine
Out of the falling rain.
Weave me the hope of a new tomorrow
Fill my cup again.
by Cheryl Crockett
Folk singers Peter, Paul & Mary entertained so many of us with these words over the years, but for some reason, I never heard them, really heard them, until a couple of months ago. Recently, I watched the group’s 25th-anniversary concert, and these same words washed over me and kept doing so for hours, even as I tried to silence them and will myself to sleep.
As I attempt to stay safe these days and pursue Plan B for my daily life, I’m aware that I’m not the only one struggling to keep a positive attitude and somehow relay that positive sense to those around me. After all, November is Thanksgiving month, and there is so very much for which to be thankful. So very much.
Find new ways
But the threat of COVID-19 looms over enough of our favorite activities that we have to find new ways to socialize, remain active, and preserve the safety of ourselves and others.
In this time of “political distancing,” we are ever challenged to have civil and productive conversations with co-workers, friends, and family. In such times, how do we stay positive? What nourishes us to be our best? How do we keep an open and loving heart?
For me, the answers include having regular conversations with those who matter most to me—preferably woven throughout with plenty of laughter. The solutions also include finding unique ways to reclaim the activities I miss most, such as:
- Movies. Now my hubby and I watch them only at home, but even more often.
- Breakfasts out. Picnics and walks with friends have replaced these outings when weather permits. Also, breakfast time at home has become more deliberate, even sacred. In the process, my hubby has become quite the breakfast chef!
- Music. I’m grateful that excellent music is available online since there are so few safe venues now for group music. Also, I would suggest that, if you have a lonely instrument, you might want to dust it off and get to know it again.
- Get-togethers with family and friends. This is perhaps the biggest loss for me. Thank goodness for email, phones, USPS, and Zoom—even masks.
- Writing and other forms of expression. For me, writing is a great way to process my thoughts and feelings. Creating letters, journals, or poetry—or simply committing thoughts to paper—helps clarify some things in a somewhat confusing time.
What favorite activities have you had to put aside this year? Have you found alternative ways to reclaim them? Perhaps you’ve rediscovered your love of books—or a new hobby that makes you happy. Maybe your spiritual life has been refreshed at this unusual time. Or maybe, like me, you’ve been doing some renovation in your home, which provides a psychological lift. Or you’ve found gratification in giving help to someone in need or distress.
I hope your choices these days include time for self-renewal. We all need breaks that can give us the strength to keep a positive outlook and feel gratitude for the gifts we often take for granted. Do pay attention to what nourishes your best self. Then take good care of your health—and be good to others. We’re all in this together!
Cheryl Crockett–mom of three and grandma of two–is retired and does volunteer writing and editing. She and her husband, Larry, (professor at Augsburg University) split their time between Minnesota and Tennessee. This blog first ran in Sonia Solomonson’s Way2Grow newsletter. Sonia is a frequent contributor to Gather magazine.