Pandemic: Life Impacts Now

More concern, more deliberation, more mindfulness probably sums it up pretty well.

I woke up in the wee hours of Saturday morning feeling unsettled.

Actually, I’ve been waking [up] at about 3 am for several days now.

Clearly, worry is high right now all over the place. It’s not just about one topic, either, and that’s part of what’s tough.

I counted about 10 categories of concerns there in the dark. Health of kids, health of ALL of my people: 90-year-old mom, older siblings, my guy, friends, etc., getting things done, budgeting, planning ahead, my daughter’s braces situation which rightfully changes now, which are the gnarly doorknobs and any handle really that need extra cleaning attention(?), is laundry temperature important right now for killing germs(?), what will schooling look like now(?), my online teaching plan, plus much more serious concerns than those even — in other words, what’s ahead…

I felt anxiety rise in me as thoughts came and went, but tried to set it all aside and go back to sleep. I dozed a bit and then got up. What’s the use of trying to sleep? This is such an unusual time. Change feels constant. The stakes are high in so many places.

I have a lively, peaceful, warm, creative house and here’s my inner dialogue thinking through it all…

The backyard is coming alive in these early Spring days which is hopeful and helpful now after so many cold dreary weeks, plus there’s a trampoline. Heck, if I can’t get cardio in on the streets maybe I can jump on the trampoline as a workout. I’ll look that up today and see if it’s a decent replacement. My 10-year-old would love that anyway. Oh, yeah… he turns 11 this coming week. Hmmm… how will that celebration look? Do I have what we need to make it a nice experience for him? I have a few gifts, but this year is different. Is it even appropriate to purchase things that aren’t necessities right now or is it more important to do so right now to support stores? Hmmm…

His sister’s gift to him this year? Coupons for activities he dreams of doing with her since she’s 15 and doesn’t always want to jump in to his plans. Fifteen minutes of backyard football tossing, 30 minutes of Nerf gun fun around the house, 30 minutes of playing computer games together, etc. It is a particularly special gesture at this time.

She can stay in the house to make her gift and it’ll be a creative activity that takes some time to make, so it hits several positive marks at once. Plus, it’s a meaningful memory and he’ll LOVE it. He‘ll take those coupons very seriously:) I hope she’s ready for that;)

I have a lot of gratitude about being able to live in a pleasant place with loving human beings, but it’s not like that everywhere and it’s very worrisome. I read an article today about potential for child abuse to go up at a time like this. What a heart break.

The medical scene mixed with market scene mixed with commerce and social scenes can impact anyone and too many people aren’t safe.

I walk into my bathroom thinking about all of this looking out the window as I pick up my toothbrush. Just past my view of a little wooden quote block I placed on the ledge a couple years ago that says simply Be Still… I see a bright red cardinal perched as high as he can possibly be on the tree branch with not one leaf yet. I consider him for the couple minutes as he sits there. His presence has my eyes pointed toward the sky for the first time in days. He’s such a fine sight. I try to absorb the cheerful energy of his color.

Watching him, I felt significant weight lift from my shoulders. It seemed there was a metaphor in that scarlet bird. I’m not alone. We’re all trying to figure it out together. We’re in it together.

I stood there and watched that free, cheerful little guy realizing the anxious feelings were gone, at least for now, as he flew away. (Ataraxia: the absolute absence of anxiety.)