There is no question that 2020 has turned out to be a year like none we have experienced before. We have faced a pandemic that has changed our lives; we have endured a contentious election year. We have made many adjustments and been creative in how to ‘carry on’. We have ‘bucked up’, ’taken heart’, and ‘pushed through’. Now, at nearly 8 months in, we may feel our ability to continue to push forward waning. The truth is, we still have a way to go. With numbers of new cases of COVID surging and the realization that even when a vaccine is found it will take months to get it to everyone and then we will have to wait to see how effective it will be over time.
Now, we may have days where we feel like we have hit a wall…where we have reached our limit of being brave, being positive, and crushing the struggle we have been facing. We may feel like we want to run away; we just want it to be over. My grandson asked his mother, if it were over in the middle of the night, would she please wake him so they could go camping. We have all had our moments when we want a date and time when it will be over. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. In fact, if we had a moment in time that we were looking toward, it would be easier…we would know how long to hold our breath or hang on or march on. We may even have times when we think that it might be easier to just go expose ourselves and take our chances. Sigh. It is a struggle. It may seem insurmountable…like it will go on forever. It is a pandemic so we cannot even run away from it.
If we consider what we have already done to adapt, we will realize that we have already found ways to cope and we can trust that we will continue to find ways to live in a different world. Some of us have bought groceries online though we have never done that before; we have adapted to working remotely; we have found ways to have meetings and gatherings without leaving our homes; we attend school online; we have parties and play games with friends and family around the country without leaving home.
This is not the first time we have had to deal with difficult times. We recognize that there are struggles that block us and stop us. However, this too shall pass. It may not feel like it, but it will. We cannot move the brick wall. However, there are things to do in the meantime. Work, exercise, cook, teach, study, do your laundry…take care of your obligations. Appreciate and love your family and friends. There is no need to add extra pressure to your situation…do not assume that you should be writing the great American novel or creating a work of art or being ecstatically happy every day. That just adds an extra pressure to an already pressurized situation. Find those moments where creative and relaxing moments are times of joy, not another chore to accomplish. You may need more ‘breaks’ than you normally do…take time for mental breaks and offer yourself and others grace.
You may have ups and downs and that is a typical life. Celebrate what you have already accomplished and how you have already navigated this new world. You are amazing. All the beauty, creativity, and joy that filled your life in the past will return. You will travel again. You will have family gatherings again. You will find yourself in a theater again. You will even have dinner at a restaurant again.
You are doing great! You are fabulous! You will feel normal again.
Spread love and laugh out loud.
Pat Donahoo, Executive Director