October 23, 2021

What I saw when I went to a pandemic

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
― Socrates

It’s been a year since the coronavirus sent us all into hibernation. I have to say that journaling has helped me through what has definitely been the weirdest year of my life.

In the beginning, I urged my journaling friends to write about the bests and the worsts of being in lockdown. Now, as I look back, I’m thinking about not just the pluses and the minuses, but also what I’ve learned.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, learning has always been of paramount importance to me. That’s why I loved being a journalist – meeting new people and finding out about their lives; exposing myself to the workings of government, business and sports.

Learning is a big deal

My zest for learning has also sparked my interest in travel. There’s so much to see, hear, taste and soak in when I journey to a foreign country or another part of the U.S.

Now, you’d think if I love learning then I would have been an avid student. Sad to say, I wasn’t. I made good grades and took my studies seriously. But it was work to me and my classes often weren’t that interesting.

Now that I’m an adult (and retired), I’m glad I’m free to pursue whatever interests me. 

What I’ve gained

Being in lockdown has afforded me lots of time to write. As a result, I finished my first novel (working title To be a Skylark.) I also learned to write fiction, something I never thought I could do.

I’ve also developed a new pastime – coloring with pencils. I just happened across an adult coloring book at Costco one day and decided to buy it. Since then, I’ve watched many YouTube tutorials on how to use colored pencils and finished many colorful pieces and greeting cards.

I’ve also discovered that staying home is not only good for my writing and artistic endeavors, it’s good for my soul. I’ve had more time to pursue my spiritual life and that has been very enriching.

I wish it hadn’t taken the dark cloud of a pandemic to open up these new worlds for me. But the silver linings are shining pretty brightly nevertheless.

Writing spark

Whatever happens to us in life can be a learning experience. What have you learned in the past year? Perhaps you’ve learned something about yourself or developed a new skill. Maybe you’ve grown on an emotional level. Take a few minutes and write in your journal about one thing you’ve learned since the pandemic hit.

“Some things cannot be taught; they must be experienced. You never learn the most valuable lessons in life until you go through your own journey.”
― Roy T. Bennett

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