“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
Well, hey there! How are you?
It’s been awhile….even though in many ways it feels like it’s just another hour in what has turned out to be an incredibly loooong and exhausting day, right? I know I could use a vacation. And by “vacation” I mean essentially anywhere….an obligatory kids birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. A ride in a slow moving, humid elevator full of people carrying doggy bags from a seafood restaurant. A late running appointment at my doctors office with a waiting room full of annoyed women….all of us waiting to get mammograms and pap smears together. Delightful.
Needless to say, this pandemic has altered my standards. Almost everything that used to be sort of annoying and torture-like, sounds appealing, charming and even whimsical these days.
Yet, as much as I yearn for the waiting world to reopen, I have to admit that I’ve tried to embrace the opportunity to slow down, however much I also desperately wish the catalyst for it was something profoundly different and better….like, the world taking a collective timeout to reflect and restart. Instead of a global health crisis that has wreaked massive, unimaginable havoc.
I can’t say that I’ve used the time in any really profound way though. I thought I would write more, but clearly, I haven’t. I didn’t master the piano, or split an atom, or even look up what “splitting an atom” means.
I mostly just stayed home, stayed out of the way and did what I was told….by the scientists, not by they who must not be named.
I’ve read some books and enjoyed some long walks. My son and I set up several bird feeders and we enjoy learning about the different types of birds who visit. We also enjoy finding creative ways to thwart the efforts of the super cute, but also greedy little chipmunks who inevitably discovered our feeders and have no concept of portion control, or what it means to share.
👇🏼 What a glutton…
I’ve listened to every true crime podcast available. I now feel fairly confident I could easily commit the perfect crime….so there’s that.
I discovered that the first few seasons of essentially every reality TV show that follows the lives of housewives and polygamists and bartenders, etc., etc., are actually really interesting human interest pieces….until the subjects begin to consider themselves actual celebrities with talent. Then, they all morph into the worst, most desperate versions of humanity as they desperately try to stay relevant. So sad.
I finally learned how to use an eyebrow pencil. So, yes, I also spent a lot of time admiring the transformation.
But, of course, it hasn’t all been woodland creatures and makeup tutorials and Bravo TV and murder (none committed by me though, just so we’re clear).
It’s been a year that continues to present itself in peaks and valleys. I’ve lost some things and some people. My kids have struggled. I’ve spent more hours than I care to admit crying over third grade math. My business folded. Yet, overall, my family and I have been extremely fortunate and for that, I am grateful.
Believe it or not, I’m actually an everything happens for a reason, there is always, always, always something to be thankful for, this too shall pass, the glass is half full, sunshine practically shooting out of my ass, annoying AF optimist. It’s true. Genuinely believing that the only thing I can truly control in this life, is the way in which I choose to respond when life kicks me in the teeth, has helped me through some pretty hard times.
It doesn’t mean that I walk through life with a perma-grin, stifling my feelings and suffering in silence. I feel it all. I sit with it, I rage against it. Sometimes I feel bad for myself and I hate the world and everyone in it. But, even when it seems like the worst won’t ever end, I do my best to keep an eye out for the bright spots and the opportunities.
Sometimes, they present in the form of lessons and I don’t always enjoy what I’ve had to learn. Quite frankly, many times the education sucks, but still, I welcome it. I’d rather learn something hard than repeat a cycle that doesn’t work.
This past year, my personal bright spots and the lessons I’ll carry with me have come in moments and days that have both filled me up and broken my heart and, at times, made me wonder if I’ve lost my mind. I imagine the same is true for many.
If you’re reading this, I hope your silver linings this past year have been more abundant than your darkest days. And if not, I hope you’re hanging in. I think the world is on the verge of opening up again and I think it’s worth waiting for.