The Gwyneth Paltrow movie Contagion is experiencing a revival but the movie of hers that more accurately sums up the COVID situation for me is Sliding Doors. In that film, the viewer sees two parallel stories – one when she catches the elevator and one where the doors slide shut before she can enter. In both scenarios, a mixture of good and bad occurs — confirming there wasn’t one perfect way for life to unfold.
I’ve thought about this movie a lot lately to help me keep perspective during the virus. I know it seems like everything that is happening is bad but there are seen and unseen benefits that will result. Things will be different than they would have been without COVID, but not necessarily worse. You may have averted being in an accident because you weren’t out on the road. On the trip you take next year instead of now, you may meet a lifelong friend. The job you didn’t get because of cancelations may free you up to create something that will result in more clients down the line. The time you spend with family now may solidify a bond that lasts a lifetime. You may have avoided getting into a damaging argument at work because the meeting where it occurred never happened. And on and on.
We’ll never know what twists our life’s path takes because of the virus – or because of any action or inaction we take every day. Instead, we need to take solace that it is what it is and make the best of the world that we find ourselves in at this moment.