Silver Linings Playbook: Covid-19 Edition, Part 1

It’s a cliche for a reason. [6-minute read]

(And HEY FOLKS: I updated my WordPressing, and just noticed that you might have missed page 2, a button you need to punch just below the “share” notice. Not too obvious, sorry.)

This pandemic is a bloody gigantic, forebodingly black cloud that has blotted out the the sun of Everyday Life. (Yet there’s no stopping the literal sun.) Buckets of rain. Hailstones like shot-puts. Figurative lightning strikes, mudslides and wildfires – just ask doctors in New York City, Wuhan, northern Italy, and too many other outbreak spots to name. And still I maintain, and human nature appears to insist, that there are bright spots that pierce the gloom, linings of silver behind the darkest of clouds, just as my mother always said.

I’m looking for them. Lots of us are, and we can train ourselves to see positives where they exist. This is not to suggest that we ignore suffering, nor to shelter in a comfortable place and whine about inconvenience, drowning our petty sorrows in self-absorption, but also not to be blind to the light that every darkness hides. You’ve seen what folks are doing in crisis. It’s widespread, it’s constant, and often it really isn’t that hard: you support your local foodbank, he shops responsibly, maybe she’s making some extra phone calls to family, friends, neighbours, WHATEVER — but I hope you’ll join me in Finding Goodness Where We Can.

Today, I’m reporting on fortunate consequences within the cozy confines of my Ottawa home, which I share with DancerGirl and our not-long-for-teenager-dom son, The Lanky One. So:

Within These Four Walls + Our Fully Functioning Roof + Sump-Pump. Hard Times Have Been Good to Find — Let Me Count the Ways!

  • INTROVERTS for the WIN! My bride laments the lack of people, and I quietly thank my lucky stars. I don’t know if I’m storing up Loner Energy or not, but I do enjoy the lack of appointments and obligations, really, to an absurd degree. Maybe this will pass, but it’s fun for now.
  • Hang-time with the Lanky One has been almost completely good. Cabin-fever hits him hard (I hear girlfriend rumours occasionally), but he’s funny, philosophical, and the all-in-this-together vibe is working for him. (Or on him.) It’s not as sudden as it sometimes feels, but our Ornery Teen is a rather congenial housemate. Silver! Gold!

Comments (3)

  1. Michael Freeman

    Editor’s NOTE: “What are silver linings?” Mr. Freeman began a thoughtful, lengthy comment this way.
    With his permission, I’ve posted it as a response to this piece; you’ll find it as the most recent “He Said/She Said” article, just over there on the right.

  2. Leanna Howden

    Great content in an optimistic light. Not changed much from your teen years! In many ways, Lanky One reminds me of you in those far-back times, ornery in a way not much different than the writer at the same age as him, and before. Like you he sought to identify who he was in different ways, what mattered and where he wanted to focus. The true basis of this edition is gratitude and finding the positive/optimistic aspects in situations where we focus on what we can control.

    • Oh, my: the perils of Big Sister figuring out how to subscribe to The Ster’s website! (“Ster” as in “Little Monster”. I know, TMHI. Too Much Howden Information.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *