Can We Grow During A Quarantine?

Noor Saadeh
By Noor Saadeh |Garland, TX

“Growth? Now? I am stuck at home. Stuck with the kids, hubby, the cats, the dogs.  I miss going to work, out to eat, shopping, STARBUCKS!”

But yes, we CAN grow during a quarantine.

In fact, we should.

We’re in a different place and time and although it’s not exactly the Twilight Zone, it can get weird if we let it. Suddenly we have far less distractions, deadlines and the like. Maybe for the first time ever we have ME TIME. Anyway that’s what happens when the salons are closed. We have to make time to pamper ourselves.

If we can turn off the social media for a minute, Netflix and whatever else addicts us, we might find there is some dandy time to think and reflect that normally is just not there.

I asked my social media peeps to share their bright spots in all this quarantine and social distancing. The results were surprisingly positive and only one, one, said she could not find anything upbeat to comment. Other than increased family time that took most of the #1 slots, people were sharing all kinds of interesting, new, or forgotten talents they’d discovered.

With the almost spring-like weather, gardens were looking amazing, closets were cleaned, garages explored and organized. We found we could cook and were actually good at it after a few disastrous tries. Friends started painting, and knitting. Sewing masks became a hobby with a purpose. Nearly everyone was looking at what they could do, make or give to help others. Parents developed an unparalleled appreciation for teachers, although most decided teaching was not going to be featured on the growth list.

We became technically proficient Zoomers and Google Meet-uppers – even for the most technically challenged of us. We attended weddings and worked from home all thanks to the magic of the internet blithely connecting us while remaining socially and safely distant.

Maybe we even managed to enjoy slowing the pace. A walk around White Rock Lake provided many surprises and vignettes to share. Would I have noticed all these just a few weeks ago?

Maybe we merely learned to be quiet for a bit. To sit outside and listen to the absence of traffic and planes. Enjoying just the sound of baby birds chirping in their nests. We’ve connected with our neighbors. How many names of people in your block or apartment did you know before this?

So all is not lost, right? We can grow in many ways.  Maybe we learned to be patient, to do without, to de-stress. Maybe our growth was not something off the charts but nevertheless was quietly building each week we stayed confined to home.

My hope that in this time of quieter, reflective moments, is for us to decide if we really want to go back to that rat race again. As of this writing, we are still not sure when and even if we will ever truly return to what we termed ‘normal’. Perhaps we’ll choose something in-between. Whatever growth we’ve incurred, and whatever maturity and wisdom we’ve gained we can apply to this new life that lies ahead. What to discard from the past and what to include that we learned from this time of quarantine.

But yes, we CAN grow during a quarantine.

In fact, we did.

Photo by Fanny Gustafsson on Unsplash

Noor Saadeh
Noor Saadeh |Garland, TX
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