COVID-19 has created an environment for families to get back to being families. I.E., dinners, projects, games, activities, etc.

It’s important for families to be on the same team because they’re living together.  And it’s time to think differently.

Many of us may be forced to share space with folks who don’t see eye to eye with. Even in tight families. Compassion, empathy, collaboration, problem-solving are skills we exercise daily.

I’m going to share some thoughts straight from the heart. Including what I consider some of the most important positive things to come out of this crazy COVID thing we’re all in: the realization that life is fragile.

Deeper Family Relationships

Before the lockdown, it was usually my wife and I having dinner together, which is a treat in and of itself. Everyone in our family was busy doing their things. But after the lock down, family dinners became a thing again. My wife, daughter and her boyfriend started gathering together for daily meals. And we started having great conversations.

Think about how much conversation happens over a meal. More than just small talk. When you do the dinner thing daily, conversation gets more intimate. You get way past the surface stuff. You can’t expect one dinner to get past all the good, bad and ugly. It takes time and multiple dinners to get deeper. I value them more than I ever imagined. I respect their opinions more now as they start to express things that are important to them or that they may not have expressed before.

This got me scratching my head. It doesn’t have to stop at dinner. Building a pier or dock together. Building coops for raising ducks together. The enjoyment of raising them from chicks and then releasing them to the pond. We may not have done that without COVID-19. We’d likely all be too busy running the rat race.

Getting Through Adversity Together

Intimate family development caused by the lockdown is the opportunity that everyone should try to take advantage of. Build something, play a game, or cook dinner together. Collaboration and communication are the key ingredients.

The average American family is not the Norman Rockwell painting in the living room or the professionally staged family photo. Every family has their issues. And society has painted that as a bad thing. Yet it’s reality for us all to have down times and struggles. Not everything is positive all the time. Getting through adversity together. This is what makes for a better family and a better society.

What’s the take away? Don’t’ be afraid of getting close. Fight for happiness and togetherness. Turn off the news and talk to your family. It’s the conversations about what’s important and what your family believes that matters.

Who is truly essential?

Thanks to COVID-19 it’s become very clear who should be admired most. Is it the touchdown maker or homerun hitter? The pop star?

How about the folks working in the ER? The police? The EMT’s? The nurses? The essential employees that are working through the fear while many folks stay home. These folks are working regardless. Their determination supersedes any fear they may have about being on the front lines. We owe them our utmost gratitude and respect.

Good Financial News

The housing market and interest rates are incredible. This is a great time to buy a house because interest rates are so low. My daughter has a scheduled closing on a house this month. I’m refinancing the house I just financed a year ago and still saving a ton.

With the whole COVID thing, it’s not all gloom and doom when it comes to work. Sign Effectz, Inc. hired 4 people this week. And don’t be fearful of uncertainty because 99% of business is uncertain, even in strong normal times. In the last 3 weeks, we’re up almost 25% in employee count. If it weren’t for PPP, we wouldn’t be in the same position and likely unable to do that. My business partner Rick and I are firm believers in the program.

The power lies in accepting the fact the things change regularly regardless of the times. Many folks become fearful if they don’t have solid input for decision making. Unknowns are not all bad. In fact there are many opportunities in the unknowns. A lot of what I do for a living is done without existing hard data. From my job to my personal life. Take my motorcycle trips for example. I don’t plan or schedule a thing. There’s no pressure or deadline or responsibility involved. Some of our greatest experiences came from not planning and just going with the flow. Decision making on the fly, it’s a beautiful thing.

Conclusion

We appreciate more the things we used to take for granted. Spending time with an elderly friend or watching the sun set. There’s more to a sunset than meets the eye. Each sunset is a new opportunity to strengthen a relationship.

I watch the sunset just about every night. My family knows I appreciate a great sunset. Sometimes my daughter comes outside to share them with me. She recognizes how much beauty is there. She says, “hey dad, check that sunset out!”

Be inspired to recognize that life is fragile.

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