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Life is a series of hills and valleys. We really have no idea what we will each encounter in our own respective valleys. Maybe it’s a financial crisis, a problem with one of our loved ones, or maybe a marriage in crisis. One of the usual hallmarks of the valley is that often at times it seems…. well actually feels like we are all alone in it. It’s not until we share what is actually going on with a trusted friend, or co-worker, or maybe even a stranger, that we get the blessing of knowing that we are NOT alone and that others have faced what we are facing. How many times have we heard growing up that “you learn more from your mistakes” than from getting things right? It is so true right!? That was a different version of saying, there is VALUE in the valley.
Right now, we are all in a collective valley, the COVID-19 valley. It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with the thoughts and forecasts of financial doom, death, and isolation. Will we ever congregate for a cookout, a wedding, a graduation again? Will my child fall behind in school? Will I get laid off. All of these are real and valid concerns and realities. However, I want to highlight some other realities as well. Many of us are able to work from home for the first time in our lives. Maybe you have a few more dollars in your account due to saving on gas. Some families are eating together around the dinner table for the first time, or at least more often than they used to. How many people worried about their teens getting into trouble after school or during, now only to find no reports, phone conferences, or notes being sent home. Or maybe your value is even more simplistic, like a few more minutes each morning to take time for that favorite cup of coffee or trying out a new recipe that has sat on your counter for the last 6 months. As many memes about home-schooling that I have seen, laughed at, and identified with, I too must admit that I more present and connected to what my 1st and 4th grader are able to do scholastically more than ever. I have even had the privilege of hearing my second-year college students virtual lectures. I would never have had the opportunity to experience that under “normal” circumstances…there is value in that.
So, in closing, I am not in any way trying to play down or make ok what is happening to all of us in the world right now. It is difficult and scary and stressful. I am also not saying that you need to come out of this valley with a new skill, amazing body, or fluent in a new language. I just simply wanted to take this time to share with all of you that we are truly all in this together. I am sending love and light to all of you who read this posting and to all those who don’t. If you have not already, take time to connect with gratitude if you are able. Even if it’s just for being able to be aware of exactly where your loved ones are at this moment. They may get on your nerves, but you know where they are 😉.
Lindiwe F. Greenwood, MD, CMBM is a Board-Certified Family Medicine Physician with over 18 years of practice experience. She is Chief Innovator of Total Renaissance Wellness, LLC, a health and wellness consulting firm, which aims to “Inspire, Educate, and Transform,” by helping people, patients and their families to live their best lives, practice self-care, stay informed, and navigate the healthcare system and its challenges. Lindiwe is certified in Mind Body Medicine from the Center for Mind Body Medicine and serves on their faculty. She also has advanced coursework in Food as Medicine. Lindiwe earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and her medical degree at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. She completed her Family Medicine Residency at East Carolina University. She does motivational speaking and has written “The Insider’s Guide to Good Medical Care.” She has been a proud resident of Howard County since 1981.
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