This seems a difficult subject, but I'm trying to find positive things in a very trying time. I was surprised to get three long term bookings after I released my calendar for booking. I had a long-term guest when the lockdown started in March. I was very anxious and she left early. For the first time, I felt I had failed at being a good host, especially as a Superhost. Maybe not as bad as I thought, since she gave me great ratings, and we are playing Words With Friends together now.
I blocked my calendar for quite awhile, and as soon as I opened it up, Boom! I got a three month reservation for the summer. The guest was onboard about safety protocols, so I felt safe. Then I remembered I had an air purifier installed in my HVAC system in January, because of my asthma. It also filters out viruses! Whew! How fortuitous! My listing is a private apartment on the second floor of my home, so air is exchanged between the two living spaces in the house. I never dreamed when I had the purifier installed, it would be so important to my feeling safe to have guests. After a daughter stayed in "her" apartment during September, I got a 106 day booking from the end of October to early February. I also have a 5 week booking for June-July. The surprise to me is that my hosting business has not really suffered that much, and for that I am grateful.
One of the best gifts of sheltering at home for me has been I finally got motivated to declutter and reorganize my home. It didn't happen right away, but after I was tired of binge-watching multiple seasons of TV shows, I found a decluttering school online. It has changed my way of living in my own home and someday it will be as uncluttered as the apartment, I trust. Another great gift is that I've had way more contact with my children, grandchildren and siblings. Nothing in person, except for my daughter, as they all live in other states. We've had lots of calls, video chats, and Zoom meetings. While my daughter was here we physically distanced and wore masks around each other. I'm 77 years old and she was very interested in keeping me safe. At the end of two weeks, we hugged! Never had a hug been more important, as I hadn't had a hug in 6 months!
So what surprised you or gave you a gift during this challenging time?
@Elinor0 we were able to donate stays to front-line healthcare workers via Airbnb's open homes program and feel grateful to be able to help in that very small way, as our family has not been affected physically or financially by the pandemic as so, so many others have been devastated.
The greatest gift of course is the vaccines now rolling out. Some of my family and friends have been vaccinated already and I am extremely grateful for that, and the science that made it happen.
Thanks for sharing @Elinor0 - you're right that it is so important to try to find the positives in these trying times. It's funny as everything seems to go in waves, including my habits throughout this year! Interestingly I was pretty good with decluttering, cleaning and reorganising during the peak lockdown periods we had here in the UK (although there were some definite dips in enthusiasm once we were a few weeks in...) 😁
What did you learn from the school of decluttering? I'm keen to get your tips!
I really agree about the way that it has brought people into closer contact with their families in some ways too - I have been far more regimented in calling my family than I normally am, and that can only be a good thing for me 😊
Thanks @Elinor0 for your nice choice of topic.
I learnt we must look after and listen to those in advancing years more as they have much to teach the younger generations.
I've had lots of fun moments with them here in New Zealand, one lady I meet is in her 90's and said at the start of borders, shops etc being closed, "There's no way anyone is going to tell me if I can meet my friends in life or tell me to stay at home! Life is for living and sharing time with friends not to be alone."
She may use a walking aid but gosh did the old school of living through wars and other life experiences shine through.
She and her friend in her 80's both inspired me to enjoy life and not be afraid.
One thing I enjoy doing and I guess it's kind of like a declutter, is when the garden gets overladen with Lavender and other flowers and I'm cutting them back, I pop a bunch up to the local charity shops which they appreciate.
Take care, remain positive and most of all enjoy life as it's to precious and there to enjoy.
Thank you @Elinor0 for sharing your story. The gifts have been the very “precious” things, like your family contact and the “hug”. I totally get it!
Like you, for me, the family connection has been the constant. But the biggest gift of all was after my daughter was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in March during the first wave Covid19 upheaval, with doctors changing because of state border restrictions etc; after strange medical appointments via tele or phone appointments, (one via Bluetooth in the car so her kids couldn’t hear our conversations to the specialists) an oncologist operated and she is currently cancer free. Although her life and ours, has been forever touched by this, it has made everyone even closer. As she said one day, no one ever tells you that surviving cancer is about ongoing tests and feeling scared.
I think those hugs, become the most important thing in the world.
@Cathie19 so glad your girl is cancer free.....what a blessing. I can imagine the stress on all of you during all the phases of discovery and tests, surgery and more.
May she remain cancer free and your hugs be many and often in the days ahead.
hugs to you dear one, Clara
@Cathie19 I wanted to put all our names or pics inside the hippie sunburst for our zoom group but couldn't do it.....I know you have awesome skills with such????? Yes, finally starting the healing process just the past couple days.....so glad...and yes, hats are needed, indeed.
@Cathie19 thank you for sharing your story about your daughter. That must have been a scary time. My sister had breast cancer several years ago, and did, of course go for follow up tests. We held our breath, every time. She continues to be cancer-free.
@Elinor0 Hugs are the best!
Despite the normalcy of our everyday lives being turned upside down, and so many special moments missed during our time apart from our loved ones, 2020 has taught us that the beauty of true human connection is stronger than any circumstances. We have found a new level of appreciation for what we possibly just took for granted, the freedom to be with family when we want.
@Elinor0: Nice topic!
Related to my Airbnb listing:
A nice surprise for me was that during this year of many cancellations by guests from far away, I also got no less than 4 returning/regular guests from Sweden and Denmark. All have reason to visit Stockholm regularly, they have stayed 2-5 times each this year, and plan to return. And they are all the greatest of guests, too! For this I am thankful.
Otherwise, it fells like this was a «year that kept us apart, but still brought us closer together». Examples:
- My team at work (6 people) did not use to go out for an after work (AW) drink before, or socialize out of the office at all. This year, when working from home, we’ve had several AW sessions via Teams, each from our own living room or home office. It’s been nice to socialize a bit more outside of work, and we plan to continue even when we’re back at the office!
We started having Facetime «meetings» with both my mother and my father-in-law, both of whom live 5-6 hours away and are 70+.
Our best friends moved to Switzerland. But since they immediately started arranging «Zoom-wine-sessions» with our group of friends, we’ve probably «seen» them more often than we did before they left/before this year. It’s easier to fit in a 1-2 hour online session, than a big dinner.
And finally: I realize that working from home - for those who can - may not be easy for everyone, depending on family situation and how you live. But for me, and several of my colleagues, it has actually been really nice. Having meetings and short conversations with colleagues in Teams, has worked very well. Not sitting in an open plan office environment allows us to concentrate better and be more effective. Saving time not having to go to the office leaves more time for gardening, walks, workouts, kids... I hope that this year has proven that people take responsibility, online meetings can be effective, and that we can work more from home, also when things return more to «normal»!
@Trude0 Wow! You have found so many gifts! Thanks for sharing them. I'm retired, but have two fellowship meetings and one study meeting each week. Once a month some members of my church would meet after church to pray for our missionary in Nepal. When we had to go online, we included her in our meetings, and will not go back to meeting in person. It's so much better to pray with her present.