May 12, 2020

Pandemic Reflections #3

To Our Clients,

As we were considering what Pandemic Reflections we wanted to share in this installment, the third studio album by one of America's greatest singer-songwriters Bob Dylan came to mind (at least to one of us!)

The Times They are a-Changin' was released in January, 1964. Many feel that the album and its title song captures the spirit of social and political upheaval regarding the issues of racism, poverty, and social change that characterized the 1960s. Fast forward 56 years to the year 2020 and the Coronavirus Pandemic.

We found ourselves wondering what "times are a-changin'" as a result of the current Pandemic. Through our continued electronic engagement with many of you, we have heard fascinating stories of the impact the quarantine and its subsequent necessary social restrictions has had on daily lifestyle routines and requirements. We have heard stories of families embracing the opportunity, albeit forced, to spend more time with each other. We have heard from parents how their children have expressed a level of relief that they are not being chauffeured from one extra-curricular activity to another after a long day at school. How they have loved the extra time with their parents due to work-from-home requirements for many of you. In our neighborhood we have watched as more people walk their dogs or are out in their yards tending to their gardens and lawns. We have learned that several of you have discovered or re-discovered hidden culinary talents. It is not uncommon for us to hear how this period of necessitated change has allowed (forced?) you to stop and take inventory of the lifestyle choices you have been making . . . and now you are asking yourself what are your real priorities that you want guiding your decisions regarding your limited time and energy and how they are expended. All too often the frenetic pace of today's societal demands causes us to lose the ability to choose between what is absolutely necessary and what is actually self-imposed chaos.

No doubt not everyone has been able to embrace the challenges that have come with the Pandemic with arms-opened appreciation. Jobs have been lost. Parents have been forced to learn how to become a teacher's aid and ensure assignments are being completed. The adaptation to being in each other's presence almost 24/7 has produced a different kind of stress for some parents, their children, or other relational partners. The uncertainty that comes from not knowing how this is all going to play out can be very unsettling. We invite each of us to find a moment to literally stop, take a deep breath, and focus on those elusive gifts of time, priorities, and choice. How are these times "a-changin'" us?

May we all find ways this week to express gratitude for those in our communities who are working diligently to keep us safe and moving forward.

Be safe, be patient, be loving.



P.S. As a reminder, we will continue to limit our services to phone and video only at least through the month of May at which time we will reassess based on the recommendation of our local health authorities.