Gifts from a Pandemic #1: We Are More Open to New Ideas

No TP. No Tissues. No Eggs.

I stood there, blinking, blinking.

Still no eggs.

It was the third time I’d gone to the supermarket since the Covid-19 shelter-in-place order and each time it was the same.Empty shelves instead of egg cartons.

It was as if I was watching my brain from the outside.

It just could not compute.

Are the chickens on strike?

Is egg laying not considered an essential business?

How the heck was our 11-year-old daughter going to make her Easter Bunny cake without eggs?

These are different times.

It’s hard to get used to not having basic things we used to take for granted like TP, eggs, flour and almond milk (yes, they were out of those too).

To say nothing of our priorities.

Is a Bunny cake really that important in the middle of a pandemic?

Yet I wanted that cake.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, the vacant roads, shelves and looks on the faces of my fellow shoppers as we comb through empty shelves for necessities bring me down.

So much has changed in our lives since Covid-19, it’s crazy to imagine what it was like before, like giving a friend a hug when I bumped into her instead of a polite nod behind a mask (or even what it was like to bump into a friend!).

It’s just a law of nature that when something goes away, something else starts moving into its place.

Maybe, just maybe, we can use this pandemic to swap a few things out, make a few trades, wave our receipt and demand an exchange.

I know a few things I’d like to swap.

How about empathy for judgement?

Self compassion for perfectionism?

Real-world solutions for political posturing?

I know that some people hate the Pollyanna approach to looking on the bright side especially when there is so much suffering.

It’s really tough when hospitals are teeming with sick people, doctors and nurses are among the shortages, or your family’s fixation is not the challenges of grocery shopping but instead knowing a loved one is dying alone in the ICU.

But I believe it’s possible to hold a respectful space for all of that, all of that hardship and suffering and trauma and also find the unexpected blessings.

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It’s like that crazy kind of humor when we get the giggles at the most inopportune times. Like in the hospital at a loved one’s bedside. Or during church.

Sometimes a little levity and bright side perspective are just what we need to stay sane, survive, and boost our immune system a bit to keep on going.

If nothing else, looking on the bright side is a great coping mechanism.

So, to help myself cope, for the next 14 days, I will be posting an article a day on something good coming out of this worldwide pandemic.

I believe that trauma has the beautiful ability to wake us up, shake us to the core, and snap us out of the deep, trancelike slumber and attachment that comes doing the same thing over and over again.

Hardship, challenge and trauma can be seeds of great inventions, openings to new ideas and solutions.

It’s something I learned long ago when the plane my husband and I were on was hijacked.

While that experience was absolutely terrifying, harrowing and had many negatives (including making us anxious travelers for years afterwards), it also changed the course of our lives for the better in many ways too.

It can be easy to forget when we’re in it and the plane (or in this case the economy, our sanity or our physical well-being) is going down.

In spite of the hardships we are experiencing right now, I have a feeling going through this experience collectively is going to change things big time for many of us in very positive ways.

We just don’t know exactly how yet.

But if we pay attention to the whispers of good weaving through the suffering of this time, we might just get a glimpse of what is to be.

My Brain is Working Differently

So, here’s the first positive, the first gift I’m seeing come out of Covid-19 in my own life.

My brain is working differently.

How about you?

It’s like someone has taken me by the shoulders, is giving me a good hard shake and little stuff is rattling around in there, breaking free.

Stuff that didn’t really matter anyway.

Even the stuff that we still deem important like Bunny cake is happening in new and creative ways. (Blueberry yogurt was the magic egg replacement.  And it was delicious.)

I’m starting to have more “what if…” conversations and less that start with “it has to be this way” if only with myself.

We can get so attached to the status quo that sometimes our brains just can’t see another way.

Until we have to.

After we get over the shock of adjustment, in some cases, we discover the new way is even better.

So here goes, pandemic gift number one.

Gift #1: As a world, we are starting to be more open to creative, new ideas

Here’s proof.

If you enjoyed this article, please share your feedback in the comments section below.

More Like This:

Here are other articles in this blog series: Unexpected Gifts from Covid-19Here are other articles you may like:

7 Lessons Almost Dying Taught Me About Living (and how that can help us get through this pandemic)

How Are You, Really?

7 Ways to Be More Confident and Happier

Copyright © 2020, Laurie Smith, All rights reserved. Photo credits: Jeff Smith – Perspectives/Shutterstock, Laurie Smith.


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