Give Me Shelter

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As I type this, I am sheltering in place – at my place.

Why is it that the minute someone tells you that you can’t do something, you suddenly want to do it?

How many times have I mulled over the idea of staying in my cozy house, a little stay-cation of sorts, just me and my dogs, watching movies and snuggling on the couch? What about all the projects I need to get done around my house, anyway? That could keep me busy for at least three weeks. Here is my opportunity to both get stuff done, and to get a lot of nothing done – and yet, I find myself out of sorts.

If only I could go to the movies!

Wait a minute. When’s the last time I actually went to the movies? I usually watch them at home on my couch, snuggled up with my dogs.

Maybe it is the fear factor, the uncertainty. I am told to stay home, unless it is absolutely necessary for me to go out, and that activates my fear and anxiety.

Going out for what is necessary is a scary thought, anyway. The grocery store has turned into a free-for-all. Each aisle is filled with people who are terrified this whole lockdown could get worse and, based on how they’re filling their carts, getting worse could mean no more trips to the grocery store.

Who knew toilet paper would become such a hot commodity? I’ve seen people who have actually run out of it, cursing the hoarders who stocked up just in case … I don’t even know what they stocked up in case of. Is there some survival book that instructs readers to stock up on toilet paper?

People are also buying eggs and meat out of fear. That’s the word that encapsulates these strange days in a nutshell: fear. That tiny word brings out the worst and the best in people.

The “worst” is the self-centeredness that causes us to hoard things we think we can’t live without, with no concern for all of the other people who need the same things we do.

The “best” is the selflessness that urges us to check on our elderly and others who are homebound because their immune systems are too weak to chance an encounter with the dreaded COVID-19.

Is there some grand design to this whole thing?

There always seems to be some good that comes out of the most challenging situations. We often learn how much we take certain things for granted when we lose them. So, our freedom to roam is taken and now we all desperately want it back.

The things we take most for granted are always those things we have in ready supply. So, maybe the answer is to look around you right now. What do you have?

You have your family, or maybe it’s just free time to do things you have put off. There is something you have in spades right now that you would want more than anything if it weren’t in forced abundance.

Find real shelter in what you still have and savor it for however long it lasts – because one day, it will be that thing you are wishing you had more of.

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