by Elizabeth Hamilton
Everything about this current crisis and everything surrounding it seems so massive, so huge, no wiggle room, no exceptions. Stay home, wash your hands all the time, don't visit friends unless it is absolutely necessary. It seemingly happened overnight and a bunch of little freedoms that we all take for granted (sitting down in a restaurant, going to the movies, heck even going to church in-person on Sunday mornings!) all of it was taken away from everybody. One of the odd places I am finding comfort during this time is the fact that we are in the middle of a non-discriminatory crisis. Corona doesn't care your race, religion, socio-economic status, etc. This is honestly one of those times of turmoil that we are sharing as an entire human race, which is comforting, but it still stinks.
For me, it has always been easy to think big. I've been told I have a very big-picture type brain. When I address problems, I normally try to address the big ones and work downward. Unfortunately, the current crisis doesn't really care what kind of mind I have or how I like to go about my daily life. There are no quick and easy solutions to the big problems, it's all about making a bunch of tiny decisions over a period of time in order to hopefully ride out this challenging time.
My mind is still my mind, however, and it's still tough for me to ignore the large disappointments and changes to life as I knew it. One of the particular disappointments I have been struggling through this week is the cancelation of a big conference in San Diego. I was excited about it, had planned out research, had talked about hitting the beach and exploring downtown with my friends. It was something big that I took for granted, and now it's not happening at all. It's hard for my big idea brain to find the positives of this big, all encompassing problem.
As I mentioned above, my mind still thrives on big ideas, so I decided to pour that energy into freedoms/decisions I can still make. That's where my new friend Aaron Bark (parody of Aaron Burr...did y'all think a global pandemic could stop my love of musical theatre and puns?) I am fostering him for a couple of weeks and this is good for a number of reasons. Number 1-it is nice to have company in my big, empty, apartment Number 2-fostering allows me to do a good deed for an animal without the long-term commitment of adopting a pet (after all, when this is all over I still want to travel and pursue my research) and Number 3-making this big decision is giving me a real life lesson in appreciating the little things in life. I admit, I have not been the most positive person during this pandemic, constantly thinking of everything I can't do, all the things that were taken from me and the people I love, and how much I want this whole nightmare to just end!
Watching and fostering this little puppy has reminded me of all the little wonders of the world that no pandemic can take away. This little fella has lived his entire life in a cage, therefor the apartment that I view as a prison cell might as well be the Taj Mahal, something as simple as my shoestrings are the coolest toy ever, and the hum-drum day-to-day life is a true adventure. Going forward I invite you all to work to find the little wonders in your daily life, things that give you hope, make you smile, and most of all, things that remind you that God is still good.