The Joy I’ve Found in Isolation with My Family

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Life is quite a bit different these days as we all find ourselves spending more time at home, with different schedules and routines. Jamie Bryant, from our sponsor Christ Church Episcopal School, offers some perspective on this unusual time.

The past few weeks we have heard many words tossed around— unprecedented, bizarre, social distancing, quarantine, super spreader, and pandemic, to name a few.  However, words like unity, kindness, peace, and solidarity are slowly becoming just as prominent in the rhetoric.  

Coronavirus has been devastating to the economy, to the health of millions, and has wrecked social upheaval. But the clarity that comes with a crisis should not go unnoticed.  So many people are coming together for the greater good, self-sacrificing for others, and feel true empathy for each other. In these times of social distancing we are, oddly, all deeply connected.

I’ve come to recognize there is a difference between a family gathering, and a family coming together.  We gather all the time, but coronavirus has provided a springboard for families to come together.  The family lockdown began as a means of surviving not only the virus, but also surviving each other.  The reality is the disruption to our routines has resulted in a positive sense of dependence on the family unit.  Rather than anxiety from our loss of autonomy, we are experiencing a critical component of relatedness. Words like empowerment, confidence, self-reliance, and conviction now come to mind.  I can help my children with schoolwork.  I can remain effective in my job.  I can still run a productive household.  Isolating for the protection of ourselves and others feels like the noble thing to do and especially as moms, we rise to the occasion. 

Before quarantine, I could not remember the last time I took a bike ride with my daughter, or played a game of “P.I.G.” with my son.  Now, it is a daily occurrence. The last time we pulled out a deck of cards? Perhaps last summer at the beach. Now our daily games have evoked pure joy and laughter. Ah yes.  Pure joy. Pre-quarantine it came only in moments so swift they flit past before I could truly savor them.  

The human tragedy, financial uncertainty, and the macroeconomic repercussions still evoke words like inconceivable, horrific, devastating; and all of this is not to say I won’t welcome the return to a normal daily routine when that time comes.  

Surely, coronavirus will change the world permanently.  Lessons will be learned and consequences will be both positive and negative.  For now though, I will practice gratitude and offer my most sincere thanks— thank you to all who are showing up to do what’s necessary, despite the risks and fears.  Thanks to those who are staying home, staying safe, and keeping others safe.

About the Author: Jamie Bryant is the Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications at Christ Church Episcopal School.

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