One of the most common words I've heard and used to describe our current circumstances is disruption. It's the perfect word for me. Every plan has been changed. Our daily routine has had detour after detour placed in its path. Events have been canceled, gatherings prohibited, and many of life's plans have been put on hold. We are in a state of disruption.
There is a lot about disruption that has me down. I miss my family. My day to day has changed and caused strain on my wife and kids. Finishing an entire series on Hulu and knowing they can't even produce the next one until post-quarantine infuriating!
Even with all the negative affects, disruption has its perks.
While I've had my moments of complaining, whining, and throwing pity parties about how much life has changed, I've also had some of the most meaningful memorable and valuable moments that I won't forget long after this disruption is disrupted and life goes back to normal. I made a quick list of good things that have come from being disrupted:
Good Deeds and Special Moments
This disruption has brought out the good in so many people. We've witnessed countless acts of kindness from grocery drop offs, to FedEx delivery drivers wiping down packages for the immune compromised recipients. There's something about slowing down and clearing our calendars that opens our eyes to the needs of people around us.
We experienced that on April 7 when our oldest turned seventeen. Leading up to his big day, he was d
own and grumpy wishing he could just see his friends. Lindsey put out the word that we needed something creative and dozens upon dozens of people gathered via their vehicles to celebrate with a birthday drive-by celebration. The honking and the singing was amazing. He even received a gift via fishing pole out the passenger window of a vehicle. Do you know what he said? "That was the most memorable birthday I have ever had." His smile lasted all day.
Laughter and the Simple Things
What's really surprised me is how quickly everyone has grown tired of streaming television and movies. We've played board games, put together puzzles, and built Lego sets. And that's just Lindsey and me. However, I've heard it so many times it's worth noting. There has grown an appreciation for simple life and finding joy and laughter in the little things. We have found ourselves laughing at the smallest things and joking more than ever. We find little ways to brighten each other's days. This is a family affair. Dance parties, cooking together, and making quarantine jokes has become the norm. A simple life is not an empty life. Everything but the calendar is full. Here's an example of a conversation that led to a moment of simple fun and a silly picture we shared with our friends.
When everything else is put on hold and your sick of whichever streaming service(s) you use, it's simple moments and conversations that keep you going. Disruption reminds you what you have in front of you is more than enough.
Ask people what they miss and 9 out of 10 (statistic is made up) will tell you family. Shockingly very few say they miss their daily commute or even their job. The first place most people are heading is to see parents, siblings, cousins, and even in-laws! Disruption shows us what lasts. Family lasts. Arguments and silent treatments seem less important, who caused the awkward moment at the last holiday dinner doesn't really matter, and nobody seems to care that there's nothing to do at old Aunt Betty's house. Disruption is a powerful reminder of how much we need our family. So much so that we celebrate Easter in our cars outside our parents house while they sit on folding chairs on their driveway in the rain. My mother said it was one of the greatest Easters and she will never forget it. Disruption is a powerful reminder of who we care about most.
Creativity Shines Bright
This has been my favorite part of disruption. Necessity is a great motivator. Have you seen how creative people have become? I have a new respect for celebrities like Jimmy Fallon who has continued his show by producing it from home with his kids as co-stars. I've loved watching people come up with creative ways to stay close even while staying separated. It's in moments where life seems chaotic and disrupted that our creativity rises to the surface. We desire to be connected and to feel alive. As the great doctor what's his name from Jurassic Park says, "Life finds a way." We have found ways to live and thrive together during all this. Even I was able to spread a little creative connection by creating some Quarantine Cards to help people connect with others and raise a little money for a non-profit I believe in.
While I can't wait to leave my home for something other than groceries, there is much I will miss when life goes back to "normal." I pray we will not forget the memories we have created during this time. I pray we will always remember how 2020 brought us closer together as people even as we were separated by no less than six feet at all times. I hope we will continue to value the little things, let our creative juices flow to make others feel better, and desire true connection the way we do now.
This disease caused a lot of pain, discomfort, and horrible loss. The disruption has not been good for most people's jobs or schooling situations. However, it has brought out the best in people. More than we've recognized in a long time. I hope we never lose that when the life returns to whatever normal looks like next.