“There is a time for everything…a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.” Ecclesiastes 3:5
A time to sanitize everything, and a time to let it go. A time to brave the grocery store, and a time to stay home. A time to binge watch Netflix, and a time to sit in silence. A time to mournfully read the news, and a time to focus on the good that remains.
Everyone is experiencing the loss of something right now. The loss of a loved one, a graduation ceremony, a stable job, a vacation, a wedding celebration. We are all experiencing a loss of normalcy, a loss of freedom, a loss of control.
But as my virtual yoga instructor said: “This is global. There has never been a crisis in which you have been less alone.” (Shameless plug for Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. She and her dog Benji are wonderful.)
Every day now carries a different weight, new set of worries, and another chance to intentionally look for the good. Long-distance friends can finally coordinate timing for a Zoom call, no longer kept busy by things of the past like “schedules” or “plans.” My days, for better or for worse, now look like this:
First thing: Exhaustedly wonder why I downloaded TikTok. Thank myself for deleting the screen time reports from my phone (no one needs that kind of negativity right now). Get coffee. Check the news.
Morning: Go on walk number one of the day.
Lunch: Tell my dogs how cute they are.
Afternoon: Have another cup of coffee at 3 p.m. because time has lost all meaning. Walk number two.
Happy hour: Create a new cocktail with mom. FaceTime my grandma for virtual happy hour.
Night: Walk number three. Successfully avoid watching Tiger King. Call a friend.
And while this definitely isn’t a miserable routine, I do hope to hug my grandmas again soon.
When we do finally get to add things back into our lives, I hope they’re the things that matter. I hope we remember that the essential workers who stepped up to keep society running were the healthcare professionals, grocery store clerks, and truck drivers, and that we show them the appreciation they deserve. I hope we savor togetherness and hugs and brunch and snail mail that much more. That we still stop and talk with our neighbors, shop local, and intentionally help those in need. I hope we keep baking homemade sourdough bread and noticing when the spring flowers bloom and taking lots of walks in the fresh air.
This season will be a story we always tell—how we endured loss, devastation, and fear, clinging to the hope of better days to come. Until then, we will continue to support our loved ones and create and pray and be still. The time to embrace will come again, and we will be more than ready.
Olivia graduated from Calvin in May 2018 with a double major in business and writing. She now works as an editor in Nashville, Tennessee and is eating her way through the restaurants of her new town. She enjoys weekend trips with friends, petting other people’s dogs, and drinking coffee like a Gilmore Girl.