WhatsApp message to my siblings: “Where the potatoes used to be – we were shopping today at a supermarket nearby to get some fresh stuff as long as that is still possible!”
Years from now, younger generations will ask: What was it like to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic?
My kids already asked what it was like to live through 9/11. They were alive, but they were very young. Now they are adults and are facing their first national (and in this case, international) catastrophe. And so they ask: What was it like? What did you worry about? What were you thinking?
And when we aren’t around anymore, those who come after us will dig through what records we left to find guidance, solace and inspiration when faced with their calamity. This is a moment when we can actively write family history because we know history is happening. And we ourselves will want to be able to look back. As events pile on, we will forget the day to day and how it all transpired.
We’re making history right now, in a big way, even in our small lives.
The disruption of daily life is unsettling, as is the uncertainty of what will happen, especially since we have never experienced something like this before. But neither did our ancestors. When we think about preparing for a calamity, we’re always fighting yesterday’s war because that’s all we know. Sometimes science fiction can be helpful in imagining what could transpire, but it never quite happens the way any human thought it would.
When faced with a calamity, we’re always facing the unknown.
It is always unique. That is the nature of the beast. As your own anxiety level mounts, it is reassuring to look back at how our ancestors faced their calamities. There is great solace in the knowledge that they got through it. Otherwise we would not be here.
Furthermore, taking some time at the end of your hectic day to write down or capture, in some other way, what happened to you, what moved or worried you, has a calming effect.
This practice gives you a few moments of mindfulness, of stopping time to see where you are at. And, for the vast majority of moments, you will find that you are OK.
In that very moment, despite all that is going on, you are OK. Reminding yourself of that is surely worth this little effort that will provide even greater solace and insight in years to come, in situations we cannot even imagine.
Be well, keep calm, and carry on!