The Lessons of this Time


Our azaleas bringing a breath of Spring.

Covid-19 has changed our lives. Some of the changes have been difficult. Even so, there are lessons learned that would not have been learned any other way. Some of the changes provided us some positive benefits that we also would not have had any other way. The challenge will be to hold onto (at least the memory of) both when we are able to return to (our new) normal.


I am enjoying seeing Spring in full bloom as I walk in my neighborhood.

Mike and I have remained in our home in Raleigh most of the time during the shelter in place (stay at home) order. We have had no physical contact with anyone other than each other during this time. While some others we know have continued to visit with family, we have elected to not do so, since we are in the “vulnerable” age group. Most of our days and nights have been spent within our walls, developing a routine that soon became comfortable.


One of my new recipes, Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli with Oyster Sauce. One of the best dishes I have ever had! (Substitute Soy Sauce for Oyster Sauce.)

My only outing is an occasional trip to grocery stores. I do walk in our neighborhood each day, and Mike and I sit outside in the sun for an hour each day that the weather cooperates.

Although occasionally I have felt differently, much of the time I have enjoyed having no schedule other than the one that I create. I have thought that other than not being able to have any physical contact with others, not being able to frequent restaurants and eat in, and missing my cut and color hair appointment, this time has not been too difficult. However, if this current reality continues on ad infinitum with no end in sight, the positive benefits from this time will not be what we remember.


I continue to cook most days, trying some new recipes and some tried and true ones. I have realized how little I have cooked for just Mike and me before this time, and how pleasant it has been to do so.

Easter day was lonely for us. We did have a family Zoom gathering. While it was good to see everyone, it certainly did not replace having family physically together.

What has this time taught us? We have learned the difference in wants and needs. While this difference is something we have talked about at other times, we did not really know the difference. During the quarantine, we have lived the difference. We now know that sports, bars, restaurants, and Broadway shows are wants, not needs. We have learned that shopping is not a need. While some have done limited grocery shopping, even that is not a need for many people. Eating is a need, but many people have enough food in their pantries and freezers to carry them through this time. There are, of course, some people who do not have enough food to eat. The good work that the food pantries and other charities do to address this is needed at other times, and especially so at this time.

Missing our friend, Maureen, so social distanced with her from her balcony!

One valuable lesson this time has taught me is the importance of being able to be alone. Being able to find comfort in life’s simple moments, not needing the excitement of sports, movies, or even other people, makes this time not just bearable, but on some level, enjoyable. While this does not mean that I want this time to continue, it does mean that I want some of the benefits of this time to continue.

I just hope that once we are able to get back to our (new) normal, that we do not return to life as we knew it. If we do, we will not have really learned the lessons this time may have been sent to teach us.

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About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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4 Responses to The Lessons of this Time

  1. Bonnie Fleming says:

    Beautiful written. I too have been in total isolation since March 14. It is nice to have time to read and reflect. Thank you for sharing❤️

  2. bill D'Arienzo says:

    Hi Patti & Mike…You’ve written it perfectly as it should be…simpler times force us inward toward ourselves from which we invariably go outward to commune with nature from whence it seems we first began…Thoreau may have called this a need, but I suspect Patti might call it a want…and it’s something we all want… the serenity from gazing at the beauty of azalea’s in bloom…this I trust will remain long after this painful time has passed.
    So good to know that old friends like the Fralix’s are safe & well and that Patti can, through her prose, share feelings of intimacy that we all want and yearn for… Thanks Patti!, That’ll show “the need” for social distance a thing or two!
    Bill D’Arienzo.

    • Patti Fralix says:

      Thank you so much, Bill. Your words warm my heart! You are a writer, and you have captured the essence of my message in a way that I could only hope others would. Mike and I send you our very best.

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