Last Thursday and Friday, I learned, over the course of 24 hours, that schools in NY State are officially closed for the rest of the year, and that my three kids’ 7-week sleepaway summer camp (the highlight of their year) is cancelled.
Within the parameters of us being collectively lucky, safe, and relatively unaffected by this pandemic, this was a huge blow. We now have four more months of trying to keep the kids happy, healthy and cared for, while my wife and I manage our two jobs.
I have to admit, this unmoored me.
So I thought I’d make a list of the silver linings we’ve already experienced in these last two months, to remind myself of all the good things that are also going on.
Our team at 60 Decibels has pulled together, and is more connected than ever. And we’ve managed to pivot our business and launch major initiatives in 11 countries to listen to some of the most vulnerable customers, to understand the impacts of COVID-19 and social distancing, and find ways to support these customers.
My wife and I have gotten better at working together in the same house and not driving each other crazy (more specifically, me not driving her crazy).
And I think I understand a bit better all it takes to make the house run, which is allowing me to be more of an equal partner.
Each day, I see my kids when they wake up and when they go to bed.
Our family eats lunch and dinner together almost every night.
We all started playing ping pong again, and are having a blast.
Everyone has found a way to exercise more, walk more, and stay healthy.
My youngest daughter sewed her own teddy bear, named Juniper. She’s also learned how to make scrambled eggs and French toast for breakfast all by herself.
My middle daughter and I have, for the first time, started to go for runs together, something we never would have had time for before. These runs make me profoundly happy.
My two daughters learned to rollerblade. It’s their new favorite pastime, even though my older one is wearing my rollerblades, which are five sizes too big for her.
They’ve also gotten more independent and have had a slew of outdoor adventures.
And, overall, they’ve been amazing friends and companions to each other through a time when they can’t see the rest of their friends.
My teenage son and my wife have started going on long walks together, and having great talks.
Last weekend, he and I put together a shed behind the house, and, somehow, we had a blast.
We adopted a rescue dog. Her name is Birdie. It’s been a little more than a year since our 16-year old dachshunds, Stella and Blanche, passed away. Birdie has been with us for 10 days. She’s endlessly energetic, gentle and loving, needs a ton of exercise and chews and nips much too much. And we love her already.
Writing this list has helped me remind myself of all the good things that have happened in the last two months. It’s helping me remember that, despite everything, the future is bright and we will all—with a little luck and a healthy dollop of good fortune—get through this.