The Silver Lining
Blog posts and articles over the last few months have focused on the uncertainty and challenges surrounding COVID-19, Fox included. This week, however, we decided to focus on the unexpected benefits of the pandemic. More time home with family and pets. Freedom to pursue hobbies and interests. Opportunities to explore nature. Below, four Fox team members discuss the positive impacts of the last two months.
Reflecting on my personal experience during this pandemic, it has honestly brought with it more positive than negative experiences. From eliminating 2+ hours of commuting per day to enjoying breakfast with my kids every morning, there is an awful lot to be thankful for given these trying times.
I realize for many this has been a dark time, but it has also given many of us bold opportunities to positively impact our surrounding community. My wife and mother for example, out of the kindness of their hearts, decided to pay-it-forward and put their sewing skills to use to protect the health, safety and welfare for the ones we love and care about. At this point they have produced 160+ customized face masks for friends, relatives, and my Fox family.
My personal silver lining in this time seems to be a common one during the pandemic, the strengthening of personal relationships. We are all inherently aware of being isolated and distanced from other people. As an over-correction to that many are reaching out to one another online. Several of my high school, college, and travelling friends have come out of the woodwork with more frequent calls and virtual get-togethers.
Another strengthened relationship occurred in my family. My second nephew was born during the first weeks of social distancing. Already working from home allowed me to easily transition to working from my brother’s home for nearly a month. That extended time to be an extra set of helping hands as well as become a more prominent figure in my nephew’s lives, is something that would have been much more difficult to pull off without our current situation.
Lastly, being under stay at home orders took away my final excuse to getting a dog. Adopting has been on my list for two years. Under isolation I pulled the trigger, having more than enough time to become familiar with and give proper training to my new dog, Percy. While I look forward to the end of this pandemic, to seeing those I care about in person again. I want to acknowledge that this trying time has brought people – and pets – together. For that I am grateful.
Honestly, when it was first announced that everyone should stay home, I panicked. I was worried about being home alone for what seemed like it would be forever. I love people. I love talking to people. I missed my niece’s 5th birthday. I missed my friend’s Masters degree graduation. I missed my family vacation to the beach.
With all that being said, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at home! I have taken walks through my neighborhood almost every day. I have learned more about cooking and how to prepare meals, which I have never been good at before. I have dedicated time to work on my long house project list. I have enjoyed playing outside with my nieces (after the initial 14-day quarantine, of course). I have enjoyed FaceTiming with friends and scheduling virtual Netflix party movie hangouts. I went fishing on the lake with my Dad for our birthdays.
What do all of these things have in common? Time. I have a new found appreciation for time. Anyone else use these excuses? “I just don’t have time for that.” “There is only so many hours in a day.” Yes there are only 24 hours in one day but it is what we prioritize that makes up those hours. We choose what is and is not a priority in our day. I would much rather spend time playing Legos with my nieces while they are still growing and learning than bingeing the latest TV craze. I have taken this moment to regroup on my goals and my priorities.
Over thirty years ago Dr. Stephen Covey developed the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, with the final habit coined as “Sharpen The Saw”. He describes that for any of us to elevate, we must take the time to reflect on our success and failures; to create room in our lives to renew all aspects of ourselves. While we don’t always make the time to evaluate how we’re doing, the pandemic has done the positive thing of creating that space for us.
Like many, this has been a time of finding a new routine. However, in so doing, I’ve been setting new goals and developing new habits to help me achieve them. I’ve spent some gorgeous days reflecting in Missouri’s State Parks, and I’ve spent some beautiful mornings and evenings in one of my favorites, Tower Grove Park.
I encourage everyone to use this time as an opportunity to reflect and renew, and when it’s safe, I look forward to all of us doing better together.
Much thanks to Adam, Aaron, Dani, and Jeremy for sharing their positive experiences and images!