I’ve been wanting to write for days hoping it might somewhat quiet the noisy unpleasant chatter within. Not really sure if I thought writing might help me feel better or others… perhaps, in the end, it’s all one and the same. I can probably speak for most when I say that what I am facing has pulled the footing out from beneath me.
One beautiful thing about having been on this planet for so long is that I can look back on many times over the years where I felt genuine fear and see that life moved on, and in time I couldn’t even remember what I was so afraid of. That gives me some small comfort, but it doesn’t prevent me from waking up in the middle of the night fretting about the coronavirus and my loved ones. I’ve definitely lost sleep over this.
And the fear of the virus is only a part of what wreaks such havoc with my stress level. It’s also the changes that are occurring on a daily basis around me, the closing of schools and cancellations of events, the empty store shelves, the upheaval in the economy, and the uncertainty about the choices I am being required to make. There is sound advice arriving each day in my email, and there’s also utter nonsense. I try to raise my guard, but even the rubbish has an effect on me. I feel completely overloaded. It’s been a very long time since I’ve felt so out of my comfort zone.
I look forward to the day when my heart will feel light again. I long to spend time in my garden enjoying the spring scents and beautiful blossoms surrounding me with nothing more important than my flowers to think about. I understand that may be next spring the rate we are going, but that doesn’t mean this Springtime will not be doing her best to capture my heart for a few minutes here and there. And I will undoubtedly breathe deep to receive her healing gifts and try not to work too hard to feel better because that doesn’t work.
My spirits are low for a good reason, and it’s important to honor those feelings. I think the next few months will feel somewhat like maneuvering through a minefield for most of us. We must remember that this is temporary, and to keep an eye on the horizon where we will soon see the first glimpse of the end of this period in our lives. It will be slow to appear, but once it does, before we know it, the coronavirus will be a distant memory. We will once again be stressing about something totally ridiculous, not the welfare of our loved ones. When did I think that stressing about silly things would sound so great?
In the meantime, it’s essential to be kind to others, and maybe more important, forgiving of what we don’t understand about how another person might be acting, or probably more accurately reacting to this situation. Until we have walked in another’s shoes, we can never understand their motivations or the reasons for their behavior.
I learned that lesson at the airport working with the flying public. We had a joke among some staff members that some people seemed to check their brains at the door when walking into the airport. And it was true, I ended up with some interesting stories to tell. But what my boss taught me when I first began, and what I came to understand from my experiences working at the airport, is that you never know what someone might be going through when they board that plane. They may be flying to be with a very sick loved one, or they may be absolutely terrified to fly. There were a hundred and one stories I heard, and once I saw the big picture, their behavior wasn’t so crazy after all. I’m the first to admit that if I’m at a level 8 or 9 and I have to deal with something that’s only a 2 or a 3, I’ve been known to lose my sh–, so far be it from me to judge someone else without the facts. Everyone has a story.
I know people have been hoarding supplies and, in certain instances, stealing, and I would only say this. Not everyone deals the same with stress and grief. Probably the majority of the people with their closets filled to the brim with toilet paper would be the first people who would be sharing it with you. The problem is that in times like this, people are narrow-minded in their stress and not really looking into the eyes of those around them. They aren’t monsters. They are just individuals who are very afraid and grabbing supplies to help quiet the storm that is raging within them. I can relate.
This is a time we need to come together and to make it a point to actually look into the eyes of strangers we meet to share our collective pain, along with whatever we have in our baskets. As we stand in the shopping aisles, we need to picture our neighbor standing next to us and take only what we need leaving enough for them as well. Because regardless of whether they are actually standing physically beside us, they are there in spirit and will need their fair share. And most notably, we need to be sure our caregivers have the supplies they need to care for the sick among us. We cannot deprive them of their protection. The CDC has confirmed time and again that the general public does not need masks, but our caregivers do.
In the past week, I have been making it a point to get outside, take a walk just to breathe in the fresh air, and get the endorphins working. I want to share a thought I had on my walk today. I’ve been fortunate to know some pretty lovely people in my life. And without doubt, the ones I have most wanted to emulate were the few that were beyond generous with whatever they had to share. Phrases like, “He would give you the shirt off his back,” or “she would share her last bite with you,” those are the ones I’ve always admired and wanted to be like.
I’ve talked often about my friend Julie. She certainly was one of these angels. She struggled monetarily for years, and yet her door was always open with a delicious homemade meal, and there was often a crowd around her table. Julie was generous in more ways than I could ever recount. She had the gift of knowing that God would always provide the abundance she needed to share whatever she had with others.
I believe we have to trust in something higher than ourselves, and secondly, we need to try our best to do the right thing. There’s such honor in that. I don’t think I will ever stop working to emulate the angels I’ve known. I still have a far way to go, but hopefully, I’ve still got time to keep working on it.
Last thoughts, a plan is always a comforting thing. And each person’s plan must be tailored to their lifestyle and their story. For now, my plan is to keep walking each day, spend as much time in my garden as I can, stay connected to others even though I work at home and am also quarantined, write often, help out when I can, and do my part to lay low and wait this out. We have a rain forecast for the next week or two, so I will have my fire going, my puzzles out, my books on hand. I will have more time to spend in the kitchen, cooking some great meals. I will be checking in on all those I love. And I will end each day with heartfelt thanks if my friends and loved ones remain healthy.
Nature has sent us a powerful message. We must honor her voice and discover what we each need to learn from this experience. The lessons will vary from person to person. But make no mistake, we will have something to learn, and every one of us will carry something positive away from this. I don’t think Mother Nature would go to this extreme without good cause. In my thinking, we have just veered a bit too far from nature caught up in our worldly concerns, leaving little time for our earthly origins. She’s just reminding her kids to remember what’s really important.
Stay well, live well, show the love within at every chance. Here’s to spring, whether it be this year or next.