Monday, August 10, 2020

Benefits From the Pandemic

It's become a cliche, but the pandemic has changed our lives. Personally, so many things have changed for us, I would hardly know where to begin. But, now that we've had time to evaluate, some have been for good, not just for us, but for lots of people. 

In our area we are free to go for walks and bike rides and we notice that there are a lot more people out everyday enjoying the fresh air and getting some exercise. My husband and I have started riding our bicycles a lot. In fact, we've logged over 700 miles so far this season! It's been a lot of fun.

We took our bikes on a vacation! Normally, my husband has five or six overseas trips a year with his ministry and I am able to join him on three or four. These trips are long, tiring, and so encouraging as we visit people who are using the Emmaus Worldwide courses to train, encourage, and spur them on in their ministries. We often have a few days in the trip that are just us and we can relax a bit. Sometimes we take four or five days at the end of one to have a little vacation. But these trips are not happening this year, so we took a trip that didn't involve any ministry or people visits. We stayed in motels, took day riding trips and covered 160 miles in six days! Pretty good for a couple of 60 year old grandparents. (Actually, the trip was to celebrate my 60th birthday.)

With all the traveling we normally do, we have always prayed that we would be in town when our parents might need us, all four of whom are living in our small city now. This has definitely been the case as my husband's father passed out due to heart failure brought on by dehydration. Now that he is not driving (for the time being at least), we're serving as part of their taxi service (along with the cars from the Retirement Community.) 

Grocery shopping has been another service we've taken up for them. Actually, since I have severe but controlled asthma, my kids and husband have asked me to not do grocery shopping, so my husband has taken that on for the three households. I recently started doing it for our main store online and picking it up to relieve him from some of the work. The process of having someone else shop for me has forced me to plan more efficiently. I'm back to making weekly menus for dinners and making sure I have everything on hand to make those meals. 

Which bring me to family mealtimes. (You knew I would get there, didn't you?) More people are making time to eat together since eating out is harder and so many extra activities have been cancelled. What a great opportunity to make this a new habit for your family. If you have started, find ways to include everyone in the choices, preparation, activities, and clean up. It all makes it more fun!

If you are new to this, start simple, you don't have to have fancy food, you just have to be together.

Take advantage of whatever restrictions you have in your area and enjoy your family!

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  1. As you commented elsewhere, extroverts and introverts have responded differently. I have not minded at all having activities curtailed and being expected to stay home. Thankfully my husband and two adult children all kept their jobs. So we had no economic stress. We had the benefit of my husband and daughter working from home for two or three months. Sundays became family time again. They used to be very stressful; mealtimes were uncertain on Sundays because of extended Church responsibilities. As of March the schedule became shortened and regular and we were able to have family dinner together again; this was a great relief and encouragement to me. With the discovery of Zoom my extended family living in another country and in distant places of the u.s. began to get together on Monday evenings for a time of prayer, reminiscing, and playing games. This again was huge for me.
    And very special was extra time with my husband home, and regular walks with my daughter and a time of sharing deeper and more intimately than we had for some time.

    1. Beth Ann, I'm so glad this has been a good time for you. With two sets of services, Sundays were certainly busy for you! We were able to have our four generation Sundays when we were in town except for March through April. Mother's Day made us decide we wanted to get together, mostly because we wondered if we would have our mothers (especially my husband's 93 year old mother) next year to celebrate.

  2. our grown children and grandchildren live in cities far from us. We have taken to swapping recipes and trying to make the same meal "together" once in a while. We cook and dine together via Zoom. Like you, we are finding the bright side to the pandemic's prohibition on travel.

    1. I'm so glad you have found a way to "get together" when you live so far apart. We currently have three of our four children and seven of our nine grandchildren in town, but next week another daughter is moving away for graduate studies, so we will have to be more creative, too!

  3. We are very lucky. We have an eat out to help out scheme running in August so are able to enjoy half price restaurant meals with family and friends. It is lovely after not seeing many of them since the beginning of March.



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