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I am working hard to reframe social distancing as an opportunity to connect with my family, to be intentional in how I connect with others virtually, and to complete projects that matter to me but that I never have the time to do. 

I’ve been finally uploading and organizing my pictures and this one stopped me in my tracks … it’s part of the outdoor exhibit at the Children’s Museum.  It perfectly reflects what many of us are feeling amidst this pandemic:  

You will get tired & feel afraid,

& you are not the only one.

May these experiences

strengthen you & may they 

be a gateway into empathy

of the pains & fears of others

I have more time than I’ve ever had before to catch up on sleep, and yet the anxiety and fears of this surreal situation keep sleep at bay.  

I am afraid of the impact of this pandemic, while also trying to hold on to the hope of healing and adaptation—it can be both you see? 

We can hold two opposing truths in mind at the same time.  When we are able to embrace: “I feel hope and I feel afraid,” it is much more encouraging than: “I feel hope but I am afraid.” 

Substituting but for and is often more accurate, and allows more room for growth, hope, and healing.  It requires a degree of flexibility that many of us are being forced to embrace these days.  

As we juggle schools shut down, social distancing, working from home, and keeping our families safe, may this forced flexibility strengthen us and be a gateway into empathy of the pains and fears of others.  Yes, you are afraid.  Yes, you are likely feeling pain.  And you are not alone. 

If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught us, it is that we are connected in infinite ways.  We need each other.  We can feel lonely and embrace the truth that we are not alone.  Let the universal enormity of this pandemic be a reminder to you that we are all in this together.   And the one crucial ingredient that can help make this pandemic better?  Empathy (and washing your hands!)