September 1, 2020
Pandemic Reflections #5
To Our Clients,
It's been . . . what . . . five plus months since our lives
began to change drastically? Many have remained somewhat sheltered
in our homes or, at the very least, are limiting how much getting
out and about we choose to do. Many of us truly thought the worse
would be over by now. Yet, sadly, the number of infections and
deaths from the coronavirus continues to grow, and the concern is
that the worse is yet to come as our schools and colleges open or
semi-open for the Fall term.
Our daily dose of "news" is almost entirely linked to the virus.
The political and social unrest that plagues our country today is
beginning to wear heavily on many of us. It is difficult to find a
safe place to run away to should we have that luxury. Several
states do not want visitors from the hot spot state of Texas.
Airlines have changed their travel rules in an attempt to help curb
the spread of the virus.
Negative . . . Negative . . . Negative!
So, where is the Positive in all of this? Although early on we
heard some express gratitude that the limited access to typical
ways of living provided them an opportunity to spend more time with
their immediate families, it appears that some are now expressing
"How much togetherness can we handle?" How many board games can we
play? How many past episodes of The Amazing Race can
one watch? How many new card tricks can be learned before it ceases
Looking for the positive in all of the negative may be likened
to trying to find the buried gold coin among all the buried pull
tabs or bottle tops while metal detecting. In an effort to avoid
wasting time digging up a bunch of "trash," detectorists (as they
call themselves) can fine tune their equipment to avoid the "trash"
signals. However, making such adjustments almost always comes with
the warning that strong settings of discrimination can cause one to
miss a valuable target mixed in among some "trash." As one
detectorist put it, "I'd rather end the day with twenty pull tabs
and one gold coin than one pull tab and ten nickels."
How do we find our "gold coin" among all of the "trash" that
surrounds us today? Perhaps the answer is in choosing what we focus
on. Maybe the focus should be on how we choose to respond
to a situation, not on the situation itself. Choice is a
powerful tool. But the power of choice does not necessarily lie in
the ability to change a situation; instead, the power of choice can
also lie in the way we choose to respond to that situation,
especially one that we do not have the power to change.
What if, by choosing to focus on the "non-trashy" elements
around us we find our gold coins EVERYWHERE? What if our gold coin
is found while choosing to simply sit on our back porch during a
quiet summer evening? Is there a gold coin to be found in the
belly-laugh of an infant who is so innocently oblivious to all the
"trash" around him or her? How many gold coins might be found upon
choosing to spend more time appreciating the gift of our loved ones
just being our loved ones? Is there a gold coin to be found among
the "trash" in the fact that the sun still comes up each morning,
the birds still sing, and the squirrels still dig those annoying
holes in our yard?
There are indeed gold coins to be found everywhere, even among
the "trash." Which will we choose our focus to be? The coins, or
the "trash?" And how will we choose to respond? With anger? With
despair? With frustration? Or will we choose, instead, to respond
with appreciation for all of the hidden, and not so hidden, gold
coins all around us? May we all learn to become better "gold coin"
detectorists. Happy detecting! Be safe.
Dana K. Taylor, Ph.D., LMFT
Kary S. Reid, Ph.D.,
Lubbock, Texas 79411