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Use This Time Wisely

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

This unbelievable turn of events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced most of us to stay indoors and drastically change up our routines. Jobs are uncertain, parents are homeschooling, our medical system is straining, and emotions are running high. As Spring Break approaches, we have cancelled countless plans, including vacations, that would’ve brought us together. We are scared and feeling alone. But we are not alone. We are together in this, and have been through countless tough times before. One of the best reminders of our shared human condition is a good story, which can be found in a book or in the person right next to you. Or in this case, perhaps a phone call away. Do you know someone with a good story? Your parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, maybe even a close neighbor, all have tales of triumph over adversity to share. Life experiences can share lessons, deepen understanding, and strengthen relationships. They also can make us feel less alone. Talking and truly listening to the people you care most about shows them their life matters. Simple questions can uncover stories about love, fear, guilt, shame, and pride. Sharing these moments—both happy and sad ones—can help us work through feelings. Even stories of pain can be beautiful, such as this one, told by Tom N. on losing his wife to cancer. "Through all the ups and downs of my wife's illness, she was a tower of strength. She never gave up, and in turn, gave her family strength." Recalling happy moments brings gratitude and can remind us of how lucky we are and what is most important in life, like this line from Jim P. "I've learned to say, thank God. What else can I say? I am so lucky. I don't need to be a millionaire. What I have is a thousand times better." We just heard we're in this for at least another month. Feeling anxious? Pick up the phone. Use Zoom or FaceTime. Get to know someone else's story. Better yet, document it for your kids or grandkids. Their story will remind you that you're not the first person to feel these feelings, and you won't be the last. Yours in story, Nora


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