t’s been a weird few months.
Our musical family lives in many different communities -- we have students all over the U.S., and in Switzerland, Bermuda, and soon Germany and England. Some communities have fared relatively well. Some have been hammered.
There are lots of places to go to see bad news, so there’s no need to rehash it here.
What we -- Mr Michael and Miss Mary -- would like to do instead is express our gratitude and look for some silver linings in these dark clouds. Because they are there to be found, even if you sometimes have to look really hard.
First of all, let’s talk about Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and all the other video-communication platforms. No, they’re not perfect, not by a long shot.
But they did make it possible for my family to attend two funerals that would otherwise simply not have taken place. The churches were empty except for the celebrant and the assistants. It was strange. Yet we (and the rest of the extended family who were also barred from attending in person) were able to take part, despite Covid, despite distance.
In a similar vein, we’ve been able to keep up with our families spread all over the world. Like many of you, we were doing that before Covid. But it has been interesting to see how we’re all sharing the same experience simultaneously, everywhere. It’s been reassuring -- knowing we’re not alone in this. Maybe some good will come out of that one simple fact alone.
These technologies have also allowed us to continue in business. Had the pandemic, lockdown and other attendant miseries happened just a few years ago, we would have been out of business. That simple.
But because we were able to seamlessly switch to online instruction, and because our wonderful, loyal families were willing to embrace the new medium immediately, we continued to thrive, students continued to learn, music continued to be made.
* * *
So... what has this experience been like for you?
We’re not the only ones with crazy, uplifting, sometimes terrible stories about the last few months.
We’ve all heard about the ‘attitude of gratitude.’ Sometimes that phrase is just motivational-speaker fluff. But not always. Like some of you, we’ve lost elderly relatives to Covid over the last four months (those funerals we weren’t able to attend). Remembering what we’re grateful for has been central to keeping despair at bay and hope alive.
- We’re grateful our business is still strong
- We’re grateful we’ve personally stayed healthy, so far
- We’re grateful we’ve had a bit of (enforced) downtime
- We’re so grateful we have such an incredible family of music students and their awesome parents
- We’re grateful to have had more time at home, so a few household projects have finally progressed (a little)
- We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to make some extra
progress with our daughter Athena’s homeschool work (she was homeschooled long before everyone else got a taste of what it’s like...)
The enforced downtime -- what there’s been of it -- has also allowed some of our more long-range plans to become a little less long-range. We’re working on some surprises for you. More on those next time...
All in all, a lot of silver linings. There’s certainly more to list, but those were off the top of our head.
There’s more going on in the world right now than Covid, much of it also distressing. It’s requiring us to really dig for the bright spots. This isn’t a Pollyanna thing -- it’s a perspective thing. Before we can count our blessings, we have to know they’re there to be counted. The alternative is too bleak to be borne.
So, in the spirit of “we’re all in this together,” we’re asking:
What are you grateful for?