On the occasion of my birthday in August, I chose the word “slow” to guide my 55th year.
Even for all the reasons I needed to choose the word, I hadn’t anticipated how much it would prove valuable in 2020. As I endeavored to live a slowed down life, previously filled space emerged to allow me to write weekly many months before the pandemic settled into our lives, a gift nestled in ashes. But perhaps one of the most difficult lessons of this time has been that even when life comes to an abrupt halt, it doesn’t build a wall against heartache or pain. However it can’t diminish our ability to celebrate or find joy, if we seek to unbury it like a treasure. This has been a bittersweet season for so many. I am not sure anyone has been immune to its effects.
The county where I live seemed to be the last in the country to move into Phase One. Last week, I had my first appointment and a couple of small in-person hang-outs. Carl mused how quickly we had gotten out of shape at gathering. Our pace has slowed and is quickly exhausted by an out of the house schedule. There is an extra emotional component related to continuing to strive to keep ourselves and others safe.
As we begin to walk towards the return of daily activities try to remember to:
Pick the pace that is best for you.
Yes and no can be the right answer for different people.
Remember the lessons learned during sheltering.
List them to anchor each day.
Extend grace to yourself.
Extend grace to others.