The underlying stress of COVID-19, safety restrictions, isolation, transitions for my kids, and navigating school social work, my daily baseline is higher, causing increased stress levels due to the constant level of tension. The more I talk to other people, the more I realize this seems to be the new normal for a lot of people. And, I think that says something about this pandemic and the impact that it's having on us, even when the effects aren’t always clearly visible. As I processed my experiences, I pushed myself to be honest and authentic in writing this post, acknowledging the fact that looking back over this year has been difficult and draining.
So, in the spirit of vulnerability, I have been tired for months. And, although, of course, at times I have been swept into moments of joy and gratitude, I have also spent an inexplicable amount of time barely hanging on through the day-to-day expectations and responsibilities. As I have continued in this less than ideal reality, I found myself confronted with the idea of moving through rather than pushing away the negative emotions and experiences.
This year, my perspective on my process of setting goals and intentions has changed. My expectations of 2021 are reflective of the fact that we are still navigating this global pandemic. But, this acceptance brings a hope of setting realistic expectations, living daily with intention, and dreaming about what I want to carry with me into the future.
Although Christmas celebrations will look different than years past, the beauty, sounds, and tastes of the holidays remind me of life before the upheaval of 2020. In addition, I have found comfort in the celebration of Jesus’s birth and the reminder that 2020 is just a drop in the bucket of time.
I originally wrote this piece only a few weeks into our spring school COVID-19 closure. And, it is safe to say that our stress levels continue to remain high. However, the suggestions in this post continue to be applicable. First, breathe, take the time to slow down, focus on your breath, and actively calm down your brain. Second, find the truth. As I wrote in this post, “I have found that focusing on truth and being aware of the impact of my thoughts on my feelings and actions makes a difference. Fear should not get to control this (or any) situation.” And last, “look for the helpers.”
I find hope in Wendi’s authenticity as she writes about her journey towards being, and comfort in her reminder to prioritize this time. I hope you also find encouragement through her words. Here's to all of us as we find time to be.
Cheers to embracing where we are right now in life while also continuing to grow into our future.
That tiny yellow “flower” was my whisper of hope, my lifeline to start moving out of the muck. It turns out that a whisper can be powerful.
Why is it that the things I know bring me back to a better place are the first things to go when I need them the most. The day that I should lace up my running shoes and let the anxiety roll out on the pavement is the day that I curl up under a blanket and start a different kind of marathon (thanks, Netflix).
Some days I wish I could hit a “do-over” button and start the day again.