Choose your rut carefully… You’ll be in it for the next 150 miles
I’m not even going to ask if you’ve been in a rut lately, because, helloooo, Covid.
How are you coping, friend? I keep thinking about a line from an old Mel Gibson movie, when someone asked him how he was doing after his wife died, he replied, “It’s just breathe, breathe, breathe all day long.”
Amen. You, too?
The ruts have become deep around my household and not just because of the pandemic. In the past four years we experienced a catastrophic health event, (my husband’s pulmonary embolism) prolonged pain and immobility, (my husband’s arthritic hip) surgery and recovery, resulting emotional and financial challenges and now the isolation and results of covid.
Then there’s the ongoing political rancor, racial tension and overall, “I don’t even recognize my country anymore,” angst.
(Feel your anxiety rising? Inhale. Hold four counts, exhale through your mouth seven counts. You’re welcome.)
Pssst… can I tell you a secret? You’ve got what it takes. Really. Everything you need you already have. You already have everything you need. (Notice I said “need, not want.”)
One of the life lessons I’ve heard people speak about during this season of isolation is they’ve realized the blessings of what they already have. Without the normal everyday distractions of commuting, car-pooling, shopping, movies, concerts, eating out, their eyes were suddenly opened to what was there all along: ENOUGH. And not only was it enough, it was morethan enough.
It’s like the whole world stopped for a moment, took time to breathe and collectively murmured, “Ohhhh…..”
Of course, now that we’re in the midst of back-to-school craziness, elections, racial divisions and hurricanes x 2, the collective sigh has turned into a groan. NOT ENOUGH. Not enough patience, emotional and mental capacity, clarity; not enough bandwidth to deal.
So, it was a mercy this morning to read this verse in 2nd Peter from The Passion Translation:
“May grace and peace cascade over you as you live in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Everything we could ever need for life and godliness has already been deposited in us by his divine power.” 2 Peter 1:2-3
The practice of list writing has been so life changing, especially in this season, that I keep coming up with new list writing prompts. Aside from the usual TO DO list, (which by the way, is the only thing that has motivated me to move at all since the beginning of March) I’ve made lists of what I’m longing for, and lists of my favorite things. (Remember that song? Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens?) “When the dog bites, when the bee stings; when I’m feeling sad; I simply remember…”
Lists help me remember.
Nightly #countingitalljoy gratitude lists remind me to purposely look for joy throughout the day. I’ve found list making to be a tremendous help during this strange time of feeling like the world (including me) has gone stark raving mad.
Emily P. Freeman, author of The Next Right Thing, encourages her readers to keep a different sort of list, one that will change according to the season of life you’re in. It’s a way of making peace with the present and therefore being present. She calls it “These are the days of…” fill in the blank with your current experience of work, family, recreation, and spiritual life.
This is maybe my favorite list of all, because it helps me celebrate the good things and remember that the hard things are (hopefully) not forever. Here’s my current list:
It’s a word that’s been on my mind lately. Everywhere you look, things seem precarious: flip on the world, national or even local news…yikes! Precarious. Friends and family with scary health circumstances….precarious. Financial needs vs checkbook balance…precarious. Suddenly, life feels uncertain. Risky. Perilous. Insecure. Dangerous.
So being a writer and a word nerd, I did an etymology study of the word precarious and it was pretty eye opening:
Precarious is a legal word meaning, “held through the favor of another,” from Latin precarius “obtained by asking, praying or mere favor,” from prex “entreaty, prayer.”
The notion of “dependent on the will of another” led to the extended sense of, “risky, dangerous, uncertain.”