I’ve been thinking a lot the past week about what I care about. I think it’s a manifestation of my fear that I may lose something that I love or be unable to do things that give me comfort. I also let the “what if’s” creep into my thoughts. What if the worst-case scenario comes true is a terrible question! These moments have also given me a chance to assess what I really care about. I’m afraid of losing what I love. I’m afraid of losing my own health, my wife’s health or my kids’ health. The level of control I have over our health has led me to heed the warnings to stay put in my house.
Like so many, I’ve gone into protective mode. I guess we all do that, historically and in the present when we fear our locus of control is low. We want to protect what we love most. I’m trying to stay focused on the facts and the recommendations experts are providing in order to have the most likelihood of remaining healthy. I’m also trying to stay active so that the facts stay in the foreground. I’m focusing on being proactive with what I can control. I can control my eating and physical activity. I can control my spiritual activity. I am also more committed to building community even in physical isolation. I’m really grateful for social media and information technology in ways I wasn’t only a few weeks ago.
Pretending the pandemic doesn’t exist or that it will miraculously disappear tomorrow isn’t healthy. A healthy spiritual life these days is certainly valuable. I wrote this prayer for a friend whom I admire greatly and I recite it daily:
My heart is filled with gratitude for the gift of life. As I wake to the light of the new day, you remind me that everywhere around us, there is perfection. You made the birds and the trees, the rivers and the mountains, the soil and the sun for us to flourish. Help me be the provider of calm and comfort to those in need. My friends are lifting me in their prayer so that I may care for others.
I’m sure there’s a whole lot I can’t control and if I tried, I’d spend all my time watching the news and getting more frustrated by what I cannot do. I know that’s not healthy. Instead, I’m committed to developing new routines. A lot of the new routine is pretty great. I’ve been forced to slow down a lot and so has my family. We are talking so much more. We’re laughing a lot. We each have space in the house that’s by default become our own but we’re also sharing space on the couch and with the dogs.
I never really valued routine but as I am building a new routine I’m recognizing what I value most and making time for that. It’s refreshing to be able to start fresh with a full day ahead and fewer requirements for what I have to do and where I have to be. So, as I build new normal, I’m kind of grateful for the opportunity.