If you had asked me a week ago if there was any silver lining to being quarantined, I would have told you that at least I didn’t have to put a suit and tie on every day to go to the office. Now, after working from home for the last week or so and rarely venturing out, I can safely say I’ve found a lot more “joy” in being quarantined than I originally anticipated.
Before COVID-19, I was Missing Out
Flashback to March 1, 2020. On that date at 3 a.m. exactly, my wife, Maggie, and I were blessed with the birth of our second child, Scarlett Joy. As it goes, after a 2 or 3 day stay in the hospital, we were discharged and back in our home right outside Moundsville. And, as I had done with our first daughter, Stella, I took one week off of work to spend time with Scarlett and make sure Maggie was back on her feet. Truth be told, Maggie was back on her feet before we left the hospital, and we had a great week spending time as a family.
However, all good things must come to an end, and I was back at work before I knew it. Between my work at the office, campaigning for the WV House of Delegates seat, and fulfilling all of my other commitments, I wasn’t able to spend much time at all with Scarlett, let alone Maggie and Stella. Truth be told, on most days I was out the door around 8:30 a.m. and didn’t return home until 7, 8, or 9 in the evening. There was too much to catch up on and not enough time to do it. I was missing out…
Finding (Scarlett) Joy in the COVID-19 Pandemic
Since Monday, March 23, 2020, I’ve missed out no longer. With the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve taken every precaution to make sure that I’m not putting my family at risk. That means I’m working from and rarely leaving home. As a consequence, I have the unrivaled joy of being able to spend as much time as I want with not only Scarlett Joy but also Maggie and Stella. I take advantage of that opportunity often. After all, they’re all just a room away.
For this, hopefully short, period of time, I don’t get to miss a thing. I see the smiles. I hear the laughs. I clean up the spit up (and worse). I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything. It’s all part of my joy of being quarantined.
That is not to say that being quarantined and the surrounding issues and complications have made for a stress-free stay at home vacation. The COVID-19 pandemic is a very serious emergency and everyone is at risk if it is not contained. Moreover, people are rightfully concerned about whether they will be paid and how they will pay their bills. I am not immune from these stresses and have the same fears.
This is all to say that we must all be optimistic and thankful for what we have in this unsettling and trying time. We’ll all get through this one way or another. In the meantime, find your joy!