The Gift of Time

Confinement, home delivery, six feet, social distancing, masks, washing hands, and ultimately pulling my hair out…that’s how this year started.

Social distancing was, by far, the hardest part for me. 

I am a hugger. I love people and I love to show it. I don’t often hug random strangers, but it definitely has happened from time to time. I try to watch for social cues, because so many people do not like to be touched, but needless to say, that skill has gone undeveloped this year because there was little socialization to take cues from.

After record high reports of depression started to sweep the world within the first few months, I thought often that maybe it had to do with the fact that people were no longer holding hands or hugging one another. Maybe it was directly related to people not being connected with others.

Along with the pandemic, editing came to a sudden standstill and printers all around the country were unexpectedly shut down. Photoshoots had to be rearranged for outdoors instead of in-studio. While it was tough to rearrange and was often uncomfortable making some of the changes, it also came with longer evenings on the back porch visiting with my husband, Larry, and more outdoor activities with friends and family.

I was forced to find creative ways to socialize. I found myself reaching out to those that lived alone or were at high risk of isolation. I started sending cards and letters again. My normal rush to do all the things I did in my daily life was abruptly halted and time became my most valuable commodity.

I sadly realized that reading had been supplanted into my quick-break-time retreat, instead of the occasion in itself that it used to be. Through this time, sitting on a park bench and reading a book quickly inched its way back to the top of my must-do list.

Most importantly, my devotion time with God increased. Reading through my prayer list turned into holding onto each person’s name and praying over their wellness of mind and financial protection a little more than before. I asked God what He wanted me to do, and I tried much harder to follow. When stress and discord tried to seep its way into our lives, my husband and I came up with several God-inspired projects that we wanted to complete and we set about doing the work.

I think life will never be the same as it was before. I know my life won’t be. I certainly won’t return to rushing about doing any work that isn’t significantly meaningful. I’ve never been one to involve myself in arguing over politics or religion, but now Larry and I make sure to avoid even reading or watching the conflicts.

I want to take the gift of time that I’ve misused so often in the past, use it wisely, and treasure every step forward.

As seen in Modern Grace Magazine