“I’ve taken this time to focus on what matters most”

A Mono teen reassesses her idea of “normal.”

June 25, 2020 | | Pandemic Journals

Mono teen Kate Perreault has been spending her time on walks, meditating, painting and music.

Mono teen Kate Perreault has been spending her time on walks, meditating, painting and music.

I am a Grade 10 student at Orangeville District Secondary School and the day before March Break I was working out with my friends in the school gym. We were all excited for the break to start, but had no idea how long it would turn out to be. It was later that day the extension of March Break was announced due to the global pandemic. Instead of celebrating as you might think, my friends and I were worried. Suddenly everything seemed serious.

During the next few weeks things felt very uncertain. But as time went by, I came to think it does no good to linger on the bad cards you’ve been dealt. If you ask me, the only way to make a bad situation worse is to give in to it. I know the virus has caused a lot of illness and despair for many people, but I’m also grateful that my family and friends are safe here in the country. So I decided to make the best of it. I’ve taken this time to focus on what matters most in this seemingly unpredictable world. Every day I like to take a deep breath and meditate, go for a walk, watch the clouds pass by, because pretty soon life is going to go back to normal and I don’t want this to have been just a missed opportunity.

I like to think of this break as a chance to slow down for a little while, a chance I’ve been given to reflect upon my normal life and ask myself, just how “normal” was it – stressing about the daily social pressures of a 15-year-old girl, spending such little time with family and more time at parties? With the days, months and seasons fading into each other, those things are no longer my concern.

Now I’ve been given the time to spend every day with my family, to paint the view from my kitchen table, to learn a new song on the piano, to forget about the pressures I felt to go out on a Friday night. (I also get to sleep in a lot now!)

The leaves have started to grow on the trees, the grass has started to pop up, and the thermometer is finally in double digits. Summer is arriving, only broadening the number of potential activities I have to keep busy. So instead of being sad and bored, I’ve spent this break being thankful for the wonderful opportunity I’ve been given and what good timing it’s come with.

About the Author More by Kate Perreault

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