Come out, come out, wherever you are!
Numerous people around the country are beginning to come out of their quarantine hiding. Folks are finally beginning to creep back into their normal, daily routines. Well . . . at the very least most of us are venturing out to the grocery store!
To say the isolation situation has been “interesting” is quite the understatement. For me, the whole experience has mimicked that of a wild roller coaster ride. Things started off s-l-o-w and ever-so-cautious. Then, there were occasional bursts of positive momentum, only to be followed by yet more setbacks and diminished progression.
Back and forth, back and forth.
Even now, at least in my area, just as I thought we were maybe starting to turn a corner . . . the ride took another turn and continued an unpredictable track. It seems I’ve little choice now than to carefully test my limits.
As I’ve reflected on the various stages of isolation and the multitude of emotions wrapped up in them, something has occurred.
I’ve learned some things.
Though it’s difficult to imagine anything positive resulting from a world-wide pandemic, I daresay I’ve managed to ascertain a few nuggets of valuable insight amid the chaos. I am willing to bet you have too.
Here’s what I’ve discovered:
- I accomplish much more when I’m busy. I learned when I have little to no responsibilities, no one for whom to be accountable, and nothing “required” of me to do, I do . . . well . . . nothing. While I admit having enjoyed some periods of extreme laziness, the enjoyment didn’t last. Nope. Give me some deadlines, add to my tasks and make me responsible for something and wham! That’s when I start accomplishing goals and dreams . . . or at least a few successful cycles of laundry.
- I thrive best with facial expression and human touch. I didn’t realize the depth of meaning wrapped up in me being able to embrace my mother or hug my daddy’s neck, or to simply “see” smiling faces, now hidden by masks. Do you miss that? Oh, I tremendously do. We are designed to be connected to each other.
- I’m capable of more than I imagined. (I know YOU are too!) During my isolation I began a daily routine that ultimately took me to heights I never knew I was capable of. It required consistency and a bit of dogged determination, but I pleasantly surprised myself. My accomplishments resulted in a good lesson in believing in myself and becoming my own best cheerleader. (Go team!)
- Priorities change. I’ve learned it’s not the big events or “things” in my life I value most. On the contrary, my true joy is being increasingly recognized in profound simplicity. The comfort of warm sun on my face. The value of a good day. The exhilaration of fresh air. Treasured conversations with loved ones. The beauty of nature. Laughter among friends, even if only through “Zoom”. Achievements, responsibilities and status are all great and wonderful . . . but they don’t hold a candle to those little things, which ultimately are the “big” things in disguise.
- Life is unpredictable. Always. You may have heard it said the one constant thing about life is that it continually changes. I know, right? Never in a million years could I have imagined one of my routine household tasks would be that of washing masks. The less I scramble to keep all my ducks in a neat, organized row, the less disappointed I will be. We need to take life as it comes, in all its shapes and sizes, and figure out how we are going to choose to respond.
- I can survive without getting my nails done! Okay, I threw this one in here just for giggles! The bigger picture here is my increased grasp of things I take for granted. Going to the hair salon, gathering with friends at a restaurant, taking in a movie, and . . . getting my nails done. I have learned that, while frustrating at times, I truly can survive without my creature comforts.
- God shows up the most when I expect Him the least. Always. Whether my soul is quiet, or my mind is screaming, God always shows up when I’m not necessarily looking for Him. He excels in making appearances that cause me to stop in my tracks. Whether it’s something I suddenly read, something that appears outside my window, or a scripture verse recalled to memory, He fills me with an overwhelming warmth of peace coursing through my veins. He gently summons my faithfulness to remind me of His presence, and whispers, “I am here”.
How about you?
I imagine some of your routines have been altered and some of your importance levels have been rearranged too.
Life has changed.
If you lean in a little and think about it, “change” can be an effective catalyst for self-evaluation, heightened awareness, and growth.
Don’t miss the opportunity to glean a lesson or two in the process.
So . . . what discoveries have you made during these past few months? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to share in the comments!