I have been counting my blessings, aware that being cooped up with a wooded backyard and a neighbor with 40 acres is a small price to pay to keep from infecting someone, or being infected.
My fear, my concern for others, and my sadness in watching Facebook friends post tragic news of family members who are ill, or worse, have made me want to default to depression. But I refuse to give in. None of us ever wanted this, but I’m embracing it for what it is.
I don’t think life will ever be the same. Yes, we will return to a new normal, but we have each grown from this experience and taken hold of something that has enriched our lives. We are discovering things about ourselves we did not know. Those with businesses, myself included, are finding new ways to do business, and that will continue after the all-clear.
This experience has strengthened my own marriage; it has given my wife, Laurie, and I more time together; and now we have our teenage triplets at home, playing and doing projects they had no time for before. They’ve been forced to be creative, to grow. Their last few months of high school would have found them spending no time at home, so now we’re getting the gift of time with them. Deep, rich time.
I’m so impressed with human ingenuity, watching friends whose imaginations are on fire to develop solutions to help others, to expose their enterprises, to survive. These innovations will make them stronger in the long run.
I’m also impressed with how we are coming together as a people. We share this fear, this problem, this quarantine, with the entire world. Because of some of the initiatives I’ve been forced to come up with, I’m meeting and chatting with people around the globe. They are helping me, and I am helping them. I realized after talking with a new acquaintance, an artist in Iran, that his issues and concerns are the same as mine. We’re connected by our passion for art.
Let’s change what we can change in the next 15 minutes. Don’t ruminate about six months or one year from now. Find something to look forward to, to get you excited, something you can learn at home, a project you can take on.
In a weird way, this is a golden hour. It will come to an end. Maybe soon, maybe not, but it will end. After that, you’ll be busier than ever. Take advantage of this time. And Godspeed.
P.S.: My team and I have been working around the clock to come up with new ideas that help artists and art lovers cope with this challenging moment. One example, here’s how my art stimulus package works: Artists and galleries post links to their paintings or websites on their social media and tag it with #buyartnow. People who want to buy art to help them survive put #buyartnow into the search on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter and browse what others have posted.
Another example is the recent Plein Air Live global virtual art conference, which has led us to announce the upcoming Realism Live – learn more at RealismLive.com and join us in October, from wherever you may be.