This week, I learned how to play poker by betting old Chuck E. Cheese coins. My dad sat my brothers and I down around our coffee table and taught us how to play a simple card game. But as simple as poker was, I laughed more than I had in the past few weeks.
When the quarantine started it was difficult for me not to just let the hours float by. I would binge shows on Netflix I didn’t like and I even sat on the wood floor in my room daydreaming for an hour. I didn’t feel like myself and wanted to talk to someone I knew would snap me back to reality.
I called my grandma who reminded me to keep my socks on so I didn’t catch a cold. She also told me to take advantage of this time and make the most of an unfortunate situation. So with that in mind, I started to think of activities I could do to keep my spirits up. When trying to think up ideas, I figured out I had the wrong mentality. I was planning ways to fill up the time instead of doing the things that would make memories.
So with the goal of making memories in mind, my ‘creativity’ kicked in. I tried making box mix blueberry muffins, a recipe incredibly challenging to screw up. They turned out rather nasty and were so brittle I had to throw them in the garbage. My family still teased me about my overeagerness in the kitchen.
And after numerous baking fails, including a tray of botched bagels, I had completely forgotten about making memories that I would remember for years to come. I was too busy spending time with the people I loved to notice the memories were being made.
A time like this has the power to bring people together, and we can see it all throughout the country with the support and appreciation people are displaying in this crisis. On a smaller, but just as important scale, communities, friends, and families are brought closer together as well.
And when something as destructive and devastating as the coronavirus hits, it disrupts your normal routine. Instead of living in my normal little highschool bubble, this crisis woke me up. I started paying more attention to the news and current events, allowing me to see new perspectives of different problems that I was previously oblivious to.
While quarantine has felt like a snowball of creativity that keeps growing, I’ve been able to discover the positive side: creating more memories with family and setting new goals. We should use this time to recharge and take advantage of an opportunity to learn new things. We need to look at the glass half-full and seize the day. So if drawing a picture with those old crayons you found or spending a half-hour making a TikTok makes you smile, go for it.