I know what you are thinking. There is no joy in this. Millions are stuck at home. The economy is in shambles. My friends and family are risking their lives as essential people in the world. There are people sick. Italy, Spain, NYC, NOLA are basically on fire right now with this virus. People are dying. All of this I know. All of this I have prayed about, and shed a few tears. The last couple of days the “anxiety” has really got to me. (Why I am writing this to be honest.)
But in trying times, there is also Joy. Stay with me here. I would like to share the Joy of the last couple of weeks. (seriously!)
Zoom! Did anyone know what Zoom was 3 weeks ago. My guess is not many. When we were all of a sudden cut off from the world, and needed interaction, it’s amazing how Zoom became a “thing”, “the thing”! All of a sudden there are Zoom happy hours with friends. Zoom family reunions. Our kids will now be going to virtual school this week. Here’s where the joy is: It’s actual interaction. It’s so much MORE than texting. You can see facial expressions, you can talk over each other. You can do it one on one, or with many people. We just did a Zoom family reunion on Saturday with family in 6 different states! My office is now doing a Friday happy hour with all 90 employees. People are singing together, writing together, creating together. This is one thing I hope continues, because it is SOOOO MUCH better than texting.
Writing. I have been writing again. (If you’re reading this, you already know that.) Don’t know why I stopped, but I did. Like you, I have a lot of extra time on my hands. Can’t eat out, can’t go to the movies, can’t hangout with friends, can’t travel for work, can’t go shopping. So the need to be creative got me back to the keyboard, and I am glad I did.
Music. Speaking of creativity, music always plays a big part of my life. But the last 2 weeks, I have spent a lot of time on Spotify. I love to playlist. (in the verb form) Right out of the gate, a friend “called me out” on Facebook wondering where my “virus playlist” was?
Not only did I make the playlist. But I also made the cover art. 🙂 I have also been going through my other playlists, I have a lot, making adjustments, tweaking this and that, adding and subtracting, because it takes work to make the perfect playlist.
Memes. To be honest, they have kept me sane. Kept my stress level down. Kelly and I have spent several hours just scrolling, laughing and sharing these hilarious works of comedy. And in the Trapane household, laughter is a treasured commodity.
The kids are home. We love our grown up kids. We were starting to get used to Liam being off to college, Faith at Choir/Drama rehearsals 4-5 nights a week. Then all of a sudden, BAM!, we are all together. Honestly Kelly is SO HAPPY cooking a family dinner EVERY night for us. We figured out that we haven’t had consistent dinner together in over 4 years. We are having long conversations, going on walks together, hanging out and telling stories.
People. I have seen/read unbelievable stories of doctors, nurses, hospital staffs doing amazing things in the face of a horrific disease. People putting stuffed bears in their neighborhood windows so little kids can go on a “bear hunt”. Teachers in their cars doing parades through neighborhoods so they could see their kids. Musicians/Singers/Broadway stars doing free shows online for their fans. And I have seen, personally, an amazing group of people in the face of hoarding, mild panic and fear become heroes. YES I am talking about our HEB staff here in Marble Falls. They have done amazing work making sure the grocery store supplied this whole area with what we needed. Never once did I see an employee throw any attitude but kindness and patience.
James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Maybe some folks you know are looking at this differently. Maybe it’s an opportunity for you, for me, for all of us to do some internal or external reevaluations of what’s important in our lives. Usually what’s most important, when you think about it, is also what brings you the most joy. For me it’s my family, my wife, my home, music and laughter. I hope you still find your joy in all of this.
Soapbox side note: And maybe we need to come back to the fact that we are one people. We are one country. We are one world. If this virus doesn’t make you realize that, I don’t know what else you need to see?