• Anna Kulseth

Distance.


Social distancing. A commonly used term in this new concept of isolation. The coronavirus has shaken the world in a way I’ve never seen in my lifetime and hope to never see again. But this time of varying levels of required isolation has forced us all to get to know ourselves, our homes, hobbies, pets, and our loved ones much better. That’s not entirely a bad thing.


Times like this remind me how easy it is for me to see the bright lights in something, and how difficult it can be for others. No two humans are the same so how this strange time has affected us all has been interesting. Eye opening. Frightening. Hopeful. Heart breaking. Humorous. Amazing.


I have a natural inclination to see light inside all darkness. I don’t know why and I don’t have to try very hard for it. The silver lining in a shit storm seems to just look brighter to my eyes despite the chaos around it. This has helped me in my life and it has been problematic; I have ignored a few pending storms in the past despite ample warning signs. My husband will get frustrated when I sound like I’m taking someone else’s side in his story of struggle or disappointment. I’m only playing devil’s advocate or encouraging the benefit of doubt. It’s a benevolent perspective, but I forget that it's not helpful to everyone in their own time of frustration or pain.


In this international health crisis, though, my inclination to see the positive has become quite important to me. Valuable. I have the time of my daily commute back as I Zoom-meeting through my work days from home and am thankful to have a job capable of being done remotely. With that extra time and forced home confinement, we are all finding new appreciation for long forgotten family game nights, puzzles, reading, cooking, snuggling our fur babies and our human ones, and even Zoom and FaceTiming our family and friends we might have claimed too busy to check in on before. The joys in these simple tasks might have been the reminder we all needed the most.


Among my coping mechanisms has been exploring neglected art resources I have. These flowers began as a spiral-shaped cut on card stock paper produced with a Cricut™ machine I got for Christmas that I haven’t had the time to learn how to use until now. This is among the more basic things my daughter and I have done with it, but basic fun is the point as the time spent on our own souls and connecting with our most loved is actually what’s the most important, after all.


With so much to learn in a crisis, it’s possible this is our most valuable take-away.

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