• Jennifer Cruse

WHAT THE PANDEMIC HAS TAUGHT ME

I have found it helpful to write down the important lessons that the pandemic has taught me and I'm excited to share them with all of you today.


Here are five lessons I've taken from this time in quarantine:


1. Time is an illusion. Ask the importance of time to the medical professionals in the ICU treating COVID-19 patients. Ask the importance of time to an Olympic athlete who prepares herself for the biggest competition of her life. Ask the importance of time to someone who is preparing to take the bar exam after four years of law school. Ask a business owner or an entrepreneur about the importance of time when he or she goes all in to close a major deal.


What the pandemic has taught me is that the perception of time is different for us all. We all have the same twenty-four hours, but how we prioritize what is important to us and use our time during the pandemic says a lot about who we are and what we care about.


2. Pandemics bring out the best and worse in us — Whether it’s people getting in fights on Facebook over the outcome of the election, or medical professionals who continue to work another day of treating people with a disease that could kill them, the novel coronavirus has brought out the best and worst in us as a society. More importantly, I’m admiring humanity as we pull together and show our resilience. It’s inspiring to me to feel our shared determination to overcome, and our undaunted optimism that we will.


3. The importance of feeling connected. For me I've learned that I need to slow down every once in a while and that it's okay to be by myself. I've also learned just how important staying connected with friends and family is for my sanity. And, that I can make do without a lot of what I thought was necessary.


Missed watching my grandpa in his annual Christmas Recital, but happy we were able to connect over Zoom.

4. The power of gratitude. There is always something to be grateful for. Even just a few minutes spent appreciating 2-3 things about your day can show you that you’re not as stuck as you thought you were. And even if you are still stuck, practicing gratitude reminds you that a brief period of frustration really isn’t the worst thing in the world. Be positive about what you have, and you’ll attract more positive things into your life in response.


5. Change isn't easy. This seems like a no-brainer, but I'm a pretty routine oriented person and the change that the pandemic has brought upon my life has definitely caused me a few nights of no sleep. I like planning and setting goals. I thrive off knowing an end result and putting actionable steps in place to achieve what I want. Change is inevitable though. Life is constantly forcing us into changes, rather they are positive or negative. There have been a ton of changes, both minor and major, that have come from this medical crisis. A simple walk to the grocery store or even planning a Zoom call with family for the holidays requires careful planning.


However, there are many lessons and good things that can come from change. Through the struggle and changes, I've realized how lucky I am to have the family, friends and co-workers that I do. Through this pandemic and change, it has become apparent what I want in life and changes I want to be deliberate about making once its over...and for that I'm grateful.


So what has the pandemic taught you? What are you most grateful for during this time?