We enjoyed an active and even enviable lifestyle: retired, traveling frequently, going to about six weekly meetings of various kinds, exercise and yoga classes, meals out with friends, and numerous other social activities—always on the go. So “social distancing” caught us by surprise. One night we experienced some difficulty due to a convergence of conflicting needs: Steve’s need to vent and express his negative feelings before moving into acceptance, and Angie’s need to feel serene and protect herself from negativity. Fortunately, we were able to discuss our feelings so that we could better support each other. We have cataloged some things that are helping us adapt to this “new normal” of relative isolation:
Cherishing our marriage: this is a time
of intense gratitude for having each other, for being a couple, for not being
Continuing our individual morning
spiritual practices and checking in with each other a couple of times a day to
discuss our process and reflections.
Expressing and being in touch with our
feelings, which may fluctuate between anxiety, acceptance, fear, appreciation,
Coming back to “now,”
enjoying what there is to enjoy this day, and even allowing ourselves to feel
happy despite what is going on. Remembering that, “This Too Shall
Keeping up some activity, whether it be
walks, biking, dancing, at-home yoga or other exercise videos.
Limiting the news we take into twice a
day; we do want to be informed, but we do not need it in our consciousness
Being of service: reaching out to
others, especially family and friends who are at home alone.
Relishing the extra time to attend to
long-neglected household projects, establish order where we can, read, not have
to rush off somewhere.
Taking advantage of technology,
websites, meditation apps, and Zoom meetings to keep our couples’ group and
other meetings alive.
comfort in “normal” activities, such as cooking and cleaning our home
what is really important to us. Did we really need those travel plans, shopping
trips, eating out, etc.? Now that our main priority is staying alive, our
perspective has drastically changed. (Angie even canceled hair and nail
this one-day and practicing constant gratitude for every single thing, no
matter how small. Our guilty pleasure jokingly referred to as the
“evening’s festivities,” consists of escapist TV shows, and
“whooping it up” by adding popcorn a couple of times a week.