I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t seem like July. Really. Don’t you agree? Where did the spring and summer go? Are we going to think of 2020 as the “lost year”? Maybe. (But it doesn’t have to be.)

Some areas of the country are opening up while others are back-pedaling fast. Like North Carolina, where I live. We had a record number of hospitalizations in a 24-hour period. It’s not supposed to move in that direction.

So, how are you coping? Are you able to see the silver lining? Have you been able to identify an opportunity in the midst of the insanity and weirdness we are experiencing? I hope so. If so, what is your silver lining? (You can share it in the comments if you want or on Facebook, or simply think about it on your own. It would be fun to hear from you!)

I’ve thought a lot about my silver linings. First, I may have told you that my mother moved to my town last year but she had a difficult adjustment. Once she was quarantined, though, she started leaning on God in a new way and she’s gotten spiritually stronger. She’s ended up loving God more, focusing on Him more than before the virus hit. God uses whatever He needs to in order to get our attention. I’ve grown closer, too. My life has been simplified, as maybe yours has, too.

What have you found in the simplicity?

Last year, I had a goal of teaching French a bit less and shifting those hours over to more fiction-writing. I was busy planning how this would work and things just fell out of my hands. Now, I teach much less (always online) and I do have more time to write. I’m currently working on the Julia novel (sequel to the Marissa novella you may have downloaded from my website. BTW, if you haven’t, it’s not too late. It’s still there.)

So, I ask myself, what can I do with this time period if I look at it as an opportunity? Of course, there are always house projects, cooking projects, new hobbies, new books to read. Those are great things to do that we often don’t have time for, or think we don’t. There’s more intentional spiritual growth, intentional times with family members, intentional relaxing.

Speaking of being intentional, in what area or areas do you want to be intentional now before the opportunity gets away from you? It is an opportunity if we choose to think of it that way. In any case, it’s not a choice to have to stay home, to not be able to do all the things we used to do. But it is a choice of how we’ll react to it.

So, here’s what I’m doing in addition to writing and teaching.

  • I got tired of wearing the same “comfy” clothes every day and was sad not to wear any of my cute summer outfits. So now, I wear something summery when I go to the grocery store or if I have an errand. Just for fun, so I can enjoy that.
  • I do a YouTube fitness routine each day. One day, Pilates, one day, intervals, one day Fitness Over Fifty! It’s all good, just gotta keep moving.
  • I got new curtains for the bathroom (and am contemplating painting it!)
  • Trying new recipes
  • Having small groups of friends (really small groups of healthy friends) over
  • Catching up on yard work
  • Catching up on reading

I also spend time wondering where I’m headed in life and how I can get there even better, more physically and emotionally healthy, and on target for my goals.

What’s your silver lining and what’s your opportunity?