Finding Beauty Despite the Virus

Finding Beauty Despite the Virus
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After being bombarded with ever-darker news headlines, I was determined to submit an uplifting column. It wasn’t an easy task for me.

I’ve battled depression most of my life, and past experience has taught me that exercise and socialization are my two most effective therapies. Given social isolation restrictions and a pulled hip muscle that resulted from attempting the Lotus pose, I’ve been denied both of them this week. 

As a substitute for socializing, I’m so grateful for my iPhone and the group of friends who text me each day and share my sense of humor. It’s not as good as being together, but at least it’s a link to other people. We’ve been exchanging snapshots of mundane things we normally wouldn’t look at twice. Adding fun captions or comments can keep us occupied for the remainder of the day.

I’m fortunate to be married to a gardener who specializes in rare tropical plants native to Borneo, called vireyas. My most frequent contribution to our texting marathon is a photo of that day’s “bloomers.” I must admit to sometimes taking them for granted, but the reaction from others always renews my appreciation. Here are some examples: 

Here’s my point: Even in these dismal times, beauty is all around. We may not be gardeners, but we could be painters, photographers, sculptors, or whittlers. Or maybe we’re bakers, singers, drummers, or piano players. If you have any creativity at all, this is a great time to use it — or to try it out for the first time.

On the other hand, if you lack creativity of any kind, that’s fine, too. You can be an appreciator. After all, what good is a work of art if nobody sees it, hears it, or tastes it?

This week when you’re outside, take a good look around. You’ll be amazed at what there is to see. Maybe you’ll spy a dog breed you’ve never seen before, a colorful bird, or a flowering shrub. Maybe you’ll find cloud formations with shapes you can identify, or you’ll catch a snowflake on your tongue. Maybe you’ll hear someone shout, “Hello, neighbor!” or you’ll see another person and you’ll wave. And then you’ll see the most beautiful sight of all: a human smile!

Perhaps you’ll notice, as I have, the sound of silence. With little to no traffic, the entire atmosphere feels different. The air is cleaner, healthier, clearer, and quieter. Sights that may not have been visible before suddenly appear before your eyes.

If you happen to be in my neighborhood, you’ll definitely see a teddy bear or two. Many of us are participating in the great Teddy Bear Hunt. It involves placing any stuffed bear you might have (or even a picture of one) in a window that’s visible from the sidewalk. When parents walk by with their little kids, they have something to find, something to count, something to make walking a fun activity. It makes me smile every time I see a child point at my window.

So, go outside and take a close, hard look around. While you’re there, get a little exercise any way that you can. I believe you’ll decide that the world is a nicer place than you thought it was.

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Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

Diagnosed in 1990, Christine has experienced fibromyalgia (FM) symptoms since childhood. After a career in aerospace finance she was trained as an FM support group leader by the Arthritis Foundation and participated in groups on both the east and west coasts. Designated a Leader Against Pain by the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) she advocated for increased funding and awareness for FM. She is the author of “More Than Tender Points: A Fibromyalgia Memoir,” available on Amazon. An Upstate New York transplant now living in Southern California, she credits the sunshine for improving her symptoms.
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Diagnosed in 1990, Christine has experienced fibromyalgia (FM) symptoms since childhood. After a career in aerospace finance she was trained as an FM support group leader by the Arthritis Foundation and participated in groups on both the east and west coasts. Designated a Leader Against Pain by the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) she advocated for increased funding and awareness for FM. She is the author of “More Than Tender Points: A Fibromyalgia Memoir,” available on Amazon. An Upstate New York transplant now living in Southern California, she credits the sunshine for improving her symptoms.
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