Seemingly overnight, these phrases have become part of our daily vocabulary as the Coronavirus Crisis continues.
Let’s think about a cup of coffee as a comparison to these times. When purchasing a cup of gourmet coffee, the barista will ask, shall I leave room for cream? Some people (and some people are me) drink their coffee black; no sugar, no cream or milk, no extras! It’s a bitter pill to swallow for some people who don’t drink it this way. Black coffee is definitely stronger; small doses are the best way to go. For other people, the answer is yes(!) leave room for cream…and they load their coffee up with cream or milk, sugar and other additives. Sometimes when I do decide to doctor my coffee up with these extras, I revel in how delightful its warm creaminess is, like the sweetest things in life.
These days, when the news and social media are filled with stories of sickness, death, politics, unemployment and a generally uncertain financial landscape, I liken this to the cup of black coffee. We swallow this collective news because we have a desire to stay informed. Yet it is a bitter drink to swallow, in all of its murky darkness. Because of its bitterness and strength, small doses at a time should be the way to go.
In these times, it may be a better option to leave room for cream. Being quarantined at home means we spend more time with family and/or significant others. It means we homeschool our children and work from home simultaneously – tasks we may not have ever had to conquer before. It can be stressful. But we are strong and we will get through it.
Leave room for the cream. Stay informed (black coffee), but add some cream to it. Cherish time with family, bond with the teen(s) in ways you may not have been able to before. Play games and act silly with the little kids. Schedule “date night” with your boo in your bedroom, locked door, candles and wine included. Take a walk, smell the roses, enjoy the sunshine. Continue or find a new hobby, read a book. Or just spend some time with yourself, journaling, meditating and cultivating your spiritual life.
Once we are on the other side of this – and we will be on the other side of this…our to-do lists and external activities will once again fill our lives. These are troubling times – to be sure. But if you’re able, focus on what you can do now to make life golden right there where you are. Have you left room for the cream?