I feel guilty for being happy right now.
So many people are sick, are suffering, or have lost their jobs or had to close their business. This is a terrible, frightening, anxiety-inducing crazy time.
But I am grateful for the chance to slow down. And the slow roll has allowed me to take notice of things that I usually rush right past.
I’ve spent a lot of time on our back deck. The seasons are changing here in Tennessee, and the plants are all transforming into that amazing shade of Spring Green (my favorite color in the crayon box). Nature is light, happy, alive.
The birds are bustling about, building nests and singing at the top of their little lungs. We have a bunch of bumblebees flitting around my about-to-bloom lilac bush, and they are so funny to watch. I love the way they dart about. They seem so curious – they come right up to us, hovering in front of our faces, waving their silly little antennae.
Maybe it’s the scarcity complex, but I swear food tastes better. Blueberries taste like pure sugar. Every meal we make out of something in the back of the pantry or freezer feels like a victory: We’re so inventive! We’re so frugal! I’ve never gotten so much joy out of defrosting an old pork loin. Every meal is a little bit of magic.
Working from home has some definite perks. I can sleep a little later, since I don’t have to commute (and I can also skip the whole hair-and-makeup routine). I can take a walk in the park on my lunch break (following social distancing guidelines, of course). I can even sneak in a few loads of laundry before and after conference calls.
The problem is that when I notice that I am enjoying these things – feeling happy about a few minutes in the sunshine, or experiencing the rare joy of seeing the bottom of the laundry hamper – I feel guilty. Who am I to be happy? What kind of a sick person would be happy when the world is falling apart and people are dying?
But I also know this is probably just the calm before the storm. Odds are, someone I love is going to get sick, and I will have to turn my attention back to worrying again. And when that happens, I don’t think I will feel any better knowing that I wasted the last few weeks feeling sad and depressed. I think I would rather know that I soaked up every little enjoyable moment that I could.
So I’m going to save the guilt for another time. Right now, I am going to watch the bumblebees, and count my blessings.