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2020 Oct

Be Here Now

Don’t forget: there’s a silver lining in every cloud.

It’s beginning to dawn on us all that life will not be getting back to normal anytime soon. In fact, we may be living with a new normal for the foreseeable future. It’s a sad thought and kind of makes me want to curl up in my chair and have a pity party—or a glass of wine—or both.

But feeling sorry for ourselves doesn’t accomplish anything, does it? Actually, it makes us feel even worse. The fact is no one knows when a vaccine will be approved, and no one knows when we’ll be able to send our kids to school without worry. No one knows when we can travel again or go to church, a concert, or a play. It’s this sense of not knowing that stresses us out, so how do we turn these doom-and-gloom thoughts into something more positive?

I have an idea. Everyone knows that this “not knowing” forces us to live on a day-to-day basis. We have to live in the present because we have no idea what the future holds. Even the experts and our fearless leaders don’t have a clue what to expect. We may see a spike in Covid cases—or we could develop herd immunity and watch the virus evaporate into thin air. Wouldn’t that be nice?

The point is nobody knows, so let’s make the best of it. I often have to remind myself to be in the present and make each day count. Now that we are stuck living in a pandemic, it’s easier to live in the moment, right? The hippie mantra from the 60s comes to mind: Be Here Now.

Many of us have rediscovered new hobbies, like sewing and baking and collecting houseplants, since the pandemic started. In the process, we are spending less time on social media and more time actually living and doing and being. I think we are learning that connecting with things that matter gives us much more satisfaction than staring at screens or brainlessly scanning other people’s lives on Facebook and Instagram.

So let’s rise to the occasion and live purposefully during the pandemic. We have found out how little we can actually control when it comes to the Big Picture, so let’s find ways to make life meaningful in our own little circles. Connect with friends and family. Reach out to people who need a helping hand. Be still and quiet and listen to the sounds of nature. Take deep breaths and count your blessings. Spread the love.

Last but not least, choose to be positive, not negative, and the world will be a brighter place. I promise.

Peggy Sijswerda

Peggy Sijswerda is the editor and publisher of Tidewater Family Plus magazine. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Old Dominion University and is the author of Still Life with Sierra, a travel memoir. Peggy also freelances for a variety of regional, national, and international magazines.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com

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