Its been quite an interesting 2020 so far. I’ve gone MIA due to suddenly having all my time spent on freaking out about toilet paper, money flow down to a trickle and becoming a math, science, history, language and heck even a PE teacher overnight for three girls all the while worrying about — a virus.

It’s amazing how fast we start to adjust to a new way of life. We fight a little in the beginning, then we calm down and accept things as they are. In the beginning things were so hard and didn’t know what to expect so we were frightened. We went mad buying TP and bottled water and became restless when all the stores closed. I began to feel anxiety and depression from thinking and worrying about the future. I wasn’t scared of the future as in 10 years from now like I usually do, but a month or two from now. This had never even crossed my mind before in my life. I planned years ahead, never just one day at a time.

All I kept hearing was stay home because the worst in yet to come as we got 2000 deaths in a single day. It was all so terrifying when we heard numbers like 1 to 2 million people could die in the United States. I mean, how on earth was I supposed to wrap my head around those numbers? I am now the mother of three daughters and I had to get my shit together and fast because they all looked at me for answers when I didn’t have any. My mental health began to take a toll.

A new way of life began for us. Streets were empty, stores closed, schools closed, work from home if you can, if not then there is no money coming in, can’t visit loved ones, not going to restaurants while groceries began to sell out everywhere and no end in sight. We all wondered how did all this get started? Who is to blame? How long will it last? How bad will it get? So many questions, but no real answers, so I worried. From the moment COVID-19 was declared a “Pandemic”, we had no real idea what was to come. I have never experienced something like this. My parents have never experienced anything like this. We had nobody to let us know it was going to be ok so I continued to worry. No vaccine, no medicine, hospitals over filling with sick people needing ventilators and protective masks and gloves with no end in sight and suddenly Dr. Fauci was my favorite person in the world. It’s been a very scary time.

I decided to make a post about this because this could be a once in a lifetime event. At least, we can only hope so. This is how this year started for us. January 2020 was a happy and hopeful time. I actually thought 2020 was going to be the “best year ever”. February came around and a little doubt began to settle in when I heard of this virus going around in China. It’s China, that’s far away. March 7 we went to the Houston Rodeo to celebrate my daughter’s birthday a little bit nervous. Thousands of people were there without any masks and no worry whatsoever. There were hand sanitizers all around and plenty of napkins but that’s it. All of a sudden we had a newfound fondness for disinfecting our hands and in a carnival, you know that’s unheard of. About four days later, the Houston Rodeo and Carnival closed and we were all shook. Were we really that in danger? From then, stores began to sell out of TP and life as we knew it was over. First only the elderly were getting sick and dying and then 30 year olds were getting sick and dying and then 20 year olds and then children and pets too. Basically everyone could die from this virus and without a warning making it ever more terrifying. We began to “social distance”, wash our hands and stay at home like there was no tomorrow, because well, maybe there wouldn’t be. The sick grew exponentially and thousands began to die and “stronger together” became the new national anthem although not really sure what it meant at the time.

Every day felt like an eternity and then one day I became exhausted and I began to accept this new way of life. I began to wonder if this pandemic had a silver lining? Could I possibly look at this situation not only as a glass half empty but also as a glass half full? I began to think of this new way of life as a life lesson and to think that maybe everything happens for a reason. The lesson that I have learned was to value, love and appreciate everything I already have. After weeks of not going to the store taught me that I already own everything I need to live. Yes, everything. Our bank account debits had slowed down to a trickle and suddenly money was not disappearing from our bank like it usually did. I didn’t care to look in the Amazon app, or go to a store because I didn’t need anything. I looked around at my family and I found everything I needed right here. For the first time in a long time, I was content with my life as is. I suddenly felt like this new chapter in my life was being written to teach me a valuable lesson. God is in control. Nobody knows what is going to happen this day, or this week, or even this month, but God does, so stop making so many plans and start living life as is.

Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Things don’t have to be plenty to be happy. You don’t need all the fancy things to feel grateful for our lives and our good health. Yes, life is crazy right now but I believe we will get through this soon. This is all I’ve been thinking about. Although it doesn’t seem like anything good could come from this, for me it actually has. For my mental health, I made a choice to look at our new life like this. This pandemic has taught me so many things and it has also showed me new things I had forgotten were missing. Spending time with family became our new norm. It’s amazing how much of each other we are getting to see again. This is by far the biggest difference I have noticed since the pandemic and school got cancelled. At first everyone was at their rooms doing their own thing, then slowly we all began to come out of our caves and began to come together again and socialize with each other. We began to pull board games out, watch movies together, make meals together and play outdoors together. This is my silver lining. My girls getting along and giggling together and finding they have so many things in common, that is amazing to see. This is my silver lining. Not worrying about school work or getting up super early every day, my girls began to show signs of less stress and more peace and happiness. This is my silver lining. Being grateful for our health and our lives. This is my silver lining. I have seen such a positive transformation for us all that in a weird way I am going to miss this part when this is all over. This pandemic has reinforced my most cherished belief that only life maters. This pandemic has taught me to be content with what I already have.

I still don’t know what will happen in June or July or even November. I still don’t know when I will be able to go outside without a face mask. I still don’t know how long I have to still fear for my life and my family’s lives. Heck, I still don’t know what I’m going to do with all the TP and bottled water we bought. I do know we have all been reminded of the humanity in all of us. My heart aches for all those who lost loved ones during this pandemic, I know their lives will never be the same. We’ve also seen the tremendous lengths people are willing to go to help others as we’ve seen so many heroes among us we didn’t know existed. We are good and we are kind and we will get though this together. We never know our strength until we go through something this difficult. We fear, we fight and we find a way to survive. This is the human in all of us. We must always find a way to find our silver lining in even the most darkest times in our lives.

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