When It’s Hard to Sound Upbeat about “The New Normal”

Okay. I’d planned to write an upbeat blog about practicing gratitude. I made up a whole list of things I was grateful for during this crazy time:

  • The courageous medical personnel risking their lives to care for us
  • My amazing husband who still holds my hand when we take our daily walks
  • Thanks to technology, the ability to stay in touch with loved ones and even get to see my grandchildren’s beautiful faces
  • My passion for writing and singing and playing music with my husband, which I’m able to continue to do at home

Like so many of you, aspects of my life have been put on hold: no writing conferences, presentations, swimming, singing at nursing homes, teaching sexuality education, hanging out at the library, etc.

Yet, this morning as I spoke to my older son, I came face to face with just how relatively insulated I’ve been from all of the dislocations this virus has caused. It’s not that I haven’t been watching the news. It’s just that talking with him brought the magnitude of the crisis so close to home.

My son is trying desperately to save the business he’s devoted himself to for more than a decade. With drastic declines in business, he’s now being faced with the need to furlough treasured employees and significantly cut pay for others. He himself is taking no salary beginning on April 1. He’s barely sleeping, and I’ve never heard him sound so stressed.

My son would be the first person to tell you not to feel sorry for him. He’s been successful. He has resources to weather this, and there are millions around the world who are so much more vulnerable. They’re ill or wondering how they will pay their rent or buy food.

And yet, I see how much he hurts. And I hurt for him, and all the folks who’ve worked so hard at what they do, only to see the survival of their businesses in jeopardy.

I have great faith in our resilience and our ability to recover and rebuild. We will all get through this.

But it is just so damned hard.


  1. Connie Bergstein Dow on April 1, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Sending good wishes to you and your family, Lynn.

  2. Marty Stiffler on April 5, 2020 at 11:30 am

    I think this is beautifully written, Lynn. It really captures the duality, and gradations in between, of the effects of the corona virus on our lives. Gratitude and loss seem hard to encompass simultaneously, yet they’re very real right now. Thank you for writing such an emotive piece at this time.

    • Lynn Slaughter on April 5, 2020 at 11:58 am

      Thank you so much– means a lot to me!

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