I chuckled at the stranger’s tweet. The words brought me a moment of joy in the midst of these crazy Coronavirus days. The Twitter user shared that their child had asked if “Daddy had lived through COVID 1 to 18 when he was a little kid.” How sweet… and how sad.
The truth is, none of us have done this before. No one. We are all learning as we go. Each day brings fresh understanding, and new questions. Each morning, we read updated guidelines based on new statistics. Each evening presents a dichotomy of hope and fear.
In the midst of all of this confusion, there are those of us (myself included) who are adding our voices to the sea of those trying to make sense of it all. We write blogs, post videos, make graphs, share photos, and more in hopes to find some meaning and purpose in these days.
And it’s wonderful.
I’m grateful for those who are presenting ideas and virtual help. Indeed these things are a gift!
As I’ve shared in previous posts, I lived through a three-year period of isolation and social distancing due to our toddler son’s cancer diagnosis and compromised immune system. That was 2007-2010. Even though that really was not very long ago, I didn’t have many of the “modern” conveniences that we have now. For example, I wasn’t on any form of social media during those days. I was so isolated and had very little idea what was going on in the lives of friends. I shared about this in my book, Brownie Crumbs and Other Life Morsels:
Social media had not yet taken off, so I did not have Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms where I could keep my finger on the pulse of society and the happenings of my friends. The isolation left me out of the loop. One of my girlfriends, Amy, recognized this and began to send me weekly emails she entitled, “The Society Pages.” These updates made me smile, and sometimes laugh out loud, as she humorously informed me of news she thought I’d wish to know. This ranged from the story of a mutual friend who had recently received a traffic ticket for not wearing his seatbelt in the passenger seat, to news about a girlfriend who was due with a baby any day and her antics to start labor. She was considering drinking castor oil, but hadn’t yet brought herself to do it. I read the list of possible baby names for that little one, details of a remodeling project at our church, a friend struggling with her thyroid, and a couple whose water meter had burst and flooded their garage. And I was delighted to be part of it all, even if just in the reading of Amy’s words. She offered me social media before its time, without the annoying political rants and recipes. These emails filled a need for me, and I loved them. She cared for my soul, and it only took a little bit of time, and an Internet connection.
So, let me be clear that I LOVE the added connection technology has provided. That being said, there is something I keep thinking about that I want to share. Yes, I’m adding my voice to the din again.
Sometimes the opinions we hear and the posts we see add unrealistic expectations to our lives.
It’s a new form of peer pressure, virtual pandemic pressure, if I may. We think we should be accomplishing what she is, teaching what he is, upgrading like they are, etc.
In This Too Shall Pass, But What Will Remain: Part 1, I shared 3 “G” words that helped me during our son’s cancer days; Grieve, Gratitude, and Give. Basically, I shared that I had learned to grieve what was lost, have gratitude for what I still had, and give back when I was able.
I stand by these three G’s and think that the process of grieving, having gratitude, and giving back is a continual cycle we all need to keep working through. Lather, rinse, repeat.
But, I’d like to add 2 more “G’s” to the formula. I think these new “G’s” help give it some added health. If we don’t add these two G’s to the cycle, the gear can get stuck when trying to spin. These two round it out and make it run much more smoothly.
Go on and Grace.
First, Go on. Live. Simply just keep breathing. I know that many of us are trying to draw every lesson we can out of this time. I confess, this is me. This is a major “pot calling the kettle black instance” for me. I am not one to waste a moment, whether it be good or bad. (Um… my entire first book is based on this idea). I savor and I strive to learn and grow. This is okay, BUT, sometimes we just need to live. We have to go through the moment instead of around it in order to draw from it.
This past Sunday was Palm Sunday, and in a way it felt like deja vu to me. As my daughters cut out paper palm branches and we did an online “Hosanna lesson,” my mind flashed back 13 years ago when our son, now too old for children’s church, was sick and isolated on another Palm Sunday. That day in 2007 we didn’t have an online church service, but we held one of our own at the kitchen table. My husband, son, and I cut out paper palm branches that morning as well. We made it through and found joy and worship in 2007, and we made it through in a different but similar way to joy and worship in 2020. Paper and scissors and a little effort were enough both times.
So, make the best of it today. Live right where you are, sheltered in place, six feet away from others.
Go on. Just be YOU and live in your own way where you are.
And while you’re going on, give yourself and those around you some GRACE!
If you are a healthcare worker or other essential worker, your life has not suddenly become more still, but has gotten more stressful than ever! We are so thankful for your time and talent. You are amazing! Give yourself some grace if you are doing nothing more than what is essential. You aren’t getting house projects done or playing games with your kids. And that is okay. What you ARE doing is helping many people do those very things you are missing.
If you are working from home and trying to hang on to your job and your laptop while trouble-shooting your teen’s math homework and breaking up a fight over Pop-Tarts amongst your children (speaking from experience here), give yourself some grace! You didn’t seize the moment today? Guess what? No problem. Take a deep breath and try again next time. We are not going for perfection here, we are going for grace. And grace is a much better companion.
We are not failing if we simply make it through this pandemic. No! Simply making it through this pandemic is the goal!
If we don’t capitalize on every moment, glean from every change, or produce something beautiful from every scrap, that is okay. Those things are bonuses! Extras! Wonderful gifts! But let’s not throw out the baby with the hand sanitizer, the goal is to do our best, not be perfect. And grace makes this possible.
Go on, and as you do, give yourself and others grace.
GRIEVE, BE GRATEFUL, GIVE BACK, GO ON, GRACE…
It’s a cycle. Let’s keep it moving individually and together.
And we’ll be ready to face COVID-20 to 100!
4 thoughts on “This Too Shall Pass, But What Will Remain: PART 2”
This is great stuff, Christy! Kevin and I were just commenting to each other that we were wondering when we’re supposed to have all the extra downtime everyone is talking about. We’re so grateful to have our jobs and work to do that we certainly don’t want to complain, but at times we feel busier than before. I’ve enjoyed the additional time hanging out with our kids though as they’re confined to the house. I think the spring cleaning and Pinterest craft ideas will just have to wait! 🙂
Thanks, again, for your continued insight Christy. Your words continue to help me to regain some kind of normalcy in life. I was in a 44-year relationship/marriage with the love of my life that ended two years ago. This pandemic is simply a continuation of the tremendous changes and challenges I have conquered since that time. I feel blessed to have taken my life day by day…that’s all I am able to do. And, now, we all will be doing that in unchartered waters. Thanks for your encouragement!
Great writing as always. I’ve been a little disappointed with myself with not getting all the things done I want to and I don’t really have an excuse. I hear of others getting a lot of projects done and feel like I’m wasting the time I have (comparing as you said). I’m trying to balance giving myself grace and also being disciplined during this time. It’s a learning time for sure. Some days I feel like I’m doing okay with it and other days not so much with my energy.
Lately I’ve been thinking about Karson’s diagnosis and you and Kraig walking through that time. So many pictures I have in my mind from then and so much praise for how healthy Karson is now!!
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Thanks Christy. Love you and miss you!
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