Wow. Our world in Canada has certainly changed over the last two weeks. The amount of information circulating has reached a certain level of overload in my brain.

I took last weekend to re-group, re-prioritize, and make a list of the new things I am grateful for, things that I have learned in the last two weeks.

I, like others, have added some new words to my vocabulary. I’m pretty sure I had never heard the terms social or physical distancing before, and self-isolation was not a phrase I commonly used in a sentence before two weeks ago. It feels weird to say that I am grateful to have learned these words, but I totally am! Happy to be living in a country that is doing its best to teach people the meaning of these words, and feeling a sense of pride when I join in the millions that are not only using them, but acting upon them.

The past two weeks, messages like these make Kelley love her street and neighbours even more.

Two weeks ago, I would never have thought I would get a glimpse of the living rooms and kitchens of famous people! I am so grateful for the arts and science communities that have come together to provide on line concerts, classes, stories and a sense of community to those who are able to engage with them. As a huge Jim Cuddy (from Blue Rodeo) fan, I was super excited to watch a “concert” that he streamed of him singing with his two sons. Just amazing! Never in a million years did I ever think I would have a private concert with just Jim and his sons singing just for me!! Well, I can dream, right?? It was easy to forget the other few thousand people watching. I am also testing my singing abilities (or lack thereof) by joining in on some on-line sing-a-longs. Singing at the top of my lungs from my couch is VERY therapeutic, I assure you! I’m not sure the rest of my family would agree, but it has forced even more social distancing with my children when I sing. Just doing my part.

And I have learned that I love my street just a little more now, if that is possible. Neighbours and friends checking in on each other from a distance. People walking their dogs stopping on the street to talk to people out on their porches. It’s like a scene from a 1950s TV show. However, it is now reality. People caring for others. Not a bad thing at all. Children have artwork posted in their windows, making our daily walk entertaining. Chalk messages at the end of driveways with encouraging messages. For this, I am grateful.

The importance of reaching out and connecting is not something new for me, but the message has been reinforced over the last two weeks. I have been thinking a lot about the teachings of my Threads of Life family. There is always someone to reach out to if you need to talk. Talking is so important. Sharing your story is worth its weight in gold. Your story is important. All of our stories are important. I am so grateful that this is not a new message for me, but one that is continually practiced.

Lastly, I have learned that now is the time to demonstrate the flexibility and patience that we are always trying to teach our young ones. Be flexible, go with the flow, and don’t let it get you down. These are all messages that the young ones in my life have heard over the years. Now it is time to really live these messages. If the last two weeks has taught me anything, it is the need to be flexible. With every, single thing in my life. That is ok. Because we all have to be just a little more flexible than normal. We are all in this together.

I have heard the phrase “Be the calm” a few times over the last two weeks. It is a good reminder. Hang in there my friends. I can’t wait to see what I learn in the next two weeks!

Kelley Thompson