By Yvette Tello

This pandemic has changed our lives. I have seen people create art, cooking, changing their careers. Many have greater pur- pose, spirituality, empathy and appreciation of life, as well as strengthened relationships. What are you doing with the new time you have available? What would you like to do? Are you pursuing your dream? Let’s talk about it…

Jeff Hull: “ I am resting. What’s made me laugh is that people are always saying they wish they had time to rest or simply do nothing. Then when given the opportunity. So many stresses out over it. Unfortunately bills do have to be paid.”

Mary Svetlik Watkins: “I want to learn to knit. “

Rose De La Fuente : “I wanted to go back to school. ”

Charlene Smith: “I’m building a house”

John Gonzales: “Pfffft. I was working on personal growth trying to get out of a crap work situation and get my young adults launched. Now I am stuck- er than stuck and kids are unemployed and miserably holed away in their child- hood bedrooms with no prospects. I climbed out of a devastating situation a decade ago and was just getting above water. Only people who haven’t had much adversity see this as a good thing. Give us some Ehrenreich and spare us the bright side of the things.”

William Barrera: “The fundamental question is not whether there is or isn’t suffering. It is how we work with suffering so that it leads to awakening the heart and going beyond the habitual views and actions that perpetuate suffering. How do we actually use suffering so that it trans- forms our being and that of those that we come in contact with? How can we stop running from pain and reacting against it in ways that destroy us as well as others? This is a message that people can hear, but they have to hear it a lot, and with great heart, and from people who really care, not from somebody who is just passing through to make a few dollars. People need a lot of support for suffering to turn into compassion. What usually happens to people when they don’t have teachers and guides and the support of people who care is that great suffering leads to more suffering.”

Thomas Mc: “I’m starting my PhD next week:) Taking some online classes on wine Cooking gourmet food at home, Trail running, Writing and new business ventures.

It’s tough times but for those who are able and willing this is also a good time for self growth. There is no doubt for some they are hurting and my heart goes out to them. For others, well others are complaining needlessly. If they stopped and realized how blessed they are to have their health, their job, and necessities, they would be able to grow more and not complain about the little things”

Angel Adame:” I am put- ting more time into my children. They are only two and three years old. I have had to think outside of the box and become more creative. I have had to grow with them and find ways to keep them entertained. It has been a learning process. I have bonded with them in a way I never knew possible”

Eddie Flores: “My dream was for my family to be able to spend more time together because we all work so much and I thought we could reconnect. It has turned out to be a night- mare because we fell apart. The pandemic made some family members very resentful to one another and have chosen to shut each other out. It is quite sad in a time where we are not promised tomorrow that someone would choose to not be kind to their own siblings or parents. I have seen things I never thought would be possible. Corona- virus killed my family; ”

Jenifer Perez: “I’m meditating as much as I can, so that I don’t explode.”

Eric Garcia: “Though I appreciate you wanting to be positive, this is not a positive time. People are suffering. I am glad this is not your reality but it is mine. I have not grown or evolved. I am sad and I want my life that I took for granted back.”