After Week #1 of sheltering in place, I started looking for the good things about this awful situation.  Channeling my dad once again, because he was the most positive person I’ve ever known, I began to appreciate things I’ve overlooked in the past, as well as things that would not have existed if the virus hadn’t sidelined me. Little things, mostly.  Of course, on some days it was easy to do this, and on other days it was impossible.  I think we’ve all had (and are having) our ups and downs.  I can go from mentally exhausted and depleted to singing at the top of my lungs within moments.  When my patience is particularly in short supply, I force myself to grab my notebook and reread my list of silver linings.  It is my greatest hope that, when you read this, you’ll be inspired to add some of your own.  My list is personal and it’s random, so please don’t judge me.

In no particular order, here goes:

  1. Wearing sneakers, flipflops, or slippers instead of heels.
  2. Eating leftovers instead of tossing them.
  3. Saving money on gasoline (I’ve used 1/4 tank in six weeks).
  4. Baking and mailing goodies to my family instead of eating them myself.
  5. Saving money by lunching at home (even though I miss the lunch dates with friends).
  6. Having the time to watch Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets” on YouTube.  (I highly recommend this.)
  7. Also on YouTube:  John Krasinski’s “Some Good News.”  (Ditto.)
  8. Conducting virtual mediations (business clothes on the top, yoga pants on the bottom).
  9. Feeling peaceful in the shelter of my home.
  10. Netflix (enough said).
  11. Here’s a biggie:  I’ve taken a few minutes each day to unsubscribe.
  12. Watching way less news.
  13. Cherishing the little things.
  14. Reaching out to people, and having others reach out to me.
  15. Pandora.
  16. Zoom.
  17. Taking walks and listening to podcasts.
  18. Remembering that I have a massage chair, and then using it.
  19. Receiving a text from someone I haven’t heard from in awhile, and then paying it forward by texting someone else.
  20. Asking and being asked, “do you need anything.”

Okay, that’s enough for now.

I think my take-away is the unexpected things I’ve enjoyed while sheltering in place. Having extra time to make someone else smile is way more important to me than mopping my kitchen floor.  (It’s only going to need it again in a few days, anyway.)

If you’re feeling anxious, or depleted, or bored, or impatient, or scared, or frustrated, I urge you to take a few minutes to write down five silver linings of your own.  And tomorrow, write down five more.  Look for the improbable, the ridiculous, and the simplest of things and, if you’d like, share them with me.

I promise I won’t judge.