Music is the soundtrack of your life.Dick Clark
Last night I tuned in to watch One World: Together at Home, a two-hour program of music and uplifting messages from musicians, comedians, and other stars each coming from their own homes. This morning I planned to write about what lessons I had learned this past week of quarantine, but now there is a new twist. After making a list of some of my favorite performances, I realized that my lessons match up perfectly with some of the songs on my new playlist. I am very thankful for the lessons I have learned this week.
“Smile” sung by Lady Gaga https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCNM706Iv8M
The current situation is difficult, but it does not mean that I have to spend my time wallowing in gloom and doom. Smiles are contagious and laughing rejuvenates the soul. Several times this week I was lucky enough to have experiences that had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. These were brought to me courtesy of my daughter, my granddaughter, and my husband. Thank you.
“Lean on Me” sung by Stevie Wonder (originally by Bill Withers) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vgfBJhlEEo
Most of us pride ourselves on being independent but in this time of uncertainty, I am finding that I need to lean on other people for a variety of things. I am leaning on my family and friends when I am feeling frustrated or fearful and on my colleagues when I need help navigating distance learning. Everyone is so generous and patient. Thank you.
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” sung by The Rolling Stones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7pZgQepXfA
I have been very fortunate in my life, not rich, not without financial worries, but fortunate enough to have a roof over my head, food on the table, and a soft pillow on which to lay my head at night. When my husband and I make a list for grocery shopping these days, we are not sure if we will be able to get everything on our list, and sometimes we don’t, yet we have not gone hungry. My priorities are starting to be rearranged, and I am re-learning the difference between needs and wants. “You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes you find you get what you need.” Thank you.
“The Prayer” performed by Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, John Legend, Lady Gaga, and Lang Lang https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYJCYr1I-Sk
“Lady Modanna” by Sir Paul McCartney https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUL7K7RQ8HM
Prayer has always been a part of my life, but in these days of quarantine, it has increased and taken on a new dimension. I am praying more often and for more people. Praying the rosary to Our Lady, Mary the Blessed Mother, is a powerful Catholic devotion. My mother prayed it faithfully, and I hope to be a fraction of the example she set for me. Thank you.
“What a Wonderful World” sung by Camila Cabello & Shawn Mendes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32uSO-1zBL4
Despite the tragedy and devastation of COVID-19, the frustration of stay-at-home orders, and the derision caused by dueling political powers, this is a wonderful world. The news is filled with the good works of healthcare professionals, grocery store employees, and other essential workers. People are rising to the occasion and having drive-by birthday and teacher parades. Neighbors are shopping for the elderly, children are chalking uplifting messages in driveways and on sidewalks, and people are finding new ways to stay connected while still social distancing. If we look for the good and the wonderful, we will find it. Thank you.
“A Change is Gonna Come” sung by Lizzo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVr-Iqr0GTs
These are just a few of the lessons I am learning during these challenging days, and I am sure I have many more to learn in the days ahead, but I want to leave you with my hope. You may have seen lists circulating on social media about hoping that we don’t go back to “normal” when this is all over. It is my hope that there is a change in the world beginning with myself. My list has just two words on it – gratitude and respect. It is my hope that we no longer take things for granted, that we are thankful for every minute of every day because nothing is guaranteed nor deserved. I also hope that there will be a new respect for “essential workers” who so often go unnoticed such as healthcare workers, therapists, police and fire personnel, and EMTs, and for the essential workers who get little respect: trash collectors, bus drivers, grocery store workers, mail carriers, delivery persons, and truck drivers. I hope we learn from this that every person in this wonderful world has a special purpose and that each is deserving of our gratitude and respect.