How are you? Any better today? What worked to elevate your good heart in the last 24 hours?
For me, it was this: We are in the middle of a thing. And with things like this, our feelings tend to ride roughshod over us.
Folks are wondering where they will live, if they’ll finish their schooling commitments, or how they will buy the necessities for the folks who depend on them.
Fear has us by the neck.
This is not the corona we asked for when we planned our March-time adventures.
But here we are.
At the all-clear, we won’t be the same.
If we’re lucky, we’ll be in a new normal of thought, hope, community and living. And this inspires me to add hope to the slenderest thread of it I’d barely grasped since my soul thawed out from a December revelation and grief.
Hope doesn’t ease all of the willies we feel for ourselves, folks, friends and family, but it does keep us above the waterline. If we can add some vulnerability to that hope, we’ll have something that connects us to people and that can make all of the difference.
Remember how we’ve wondered how the world could have become so divisive? How people feel so misunderstood, lonely and “out there?” How the good old days – though not great – seemed a little kinder than the internet-trolling of today?
Many of us wondered how we could either alter the world a little to make it better or endure it.
And then something unseen began to move among us.
Something tinier than the hope we felt. More powerful than our late-night internet rants. More viral than the cat videos. Whether we wanted to our not, our vulnerabilities became exposed.
And the reality of how “we’re in this together.”
So what do we do with this pandemic? This COVID-19, coronavirus, which keeps us indoors and wishing to be outside? Socially isolated by decree and compassion.
We have a choice. Though we may not be able to control how we feel about the onset of illness and fear, we can choose how we eventually respond to it.
Who do we want to be when the bell rings “all clear?” When homeschooling is tapered off and we send the kids back to the teachers and we reconvene at our places of work, worship and sportstering?
Let’s not waste this.
Besides exploring and social-distancing-approved adventuring, let’s choose who we want to be and what kind of world we want to live in. And then move toward those people and that place while the smell of hand sanitizer is still fresh and the world still uncertain (isn’t it always uncertain?).
I would like to be a woman of wisdom and kindness, who builds community and laughs more than I grieve. I want to help build or tweak a world where:
- Neighbors will be less strangers and more friends.
- Our teachers will finally have the appreciation (and remuneration) they have too-long deserved.
- Internet trolls will be a thing of the past and civil discourse will be cool again.
- A place where my granddaughter and your kids can grow with joy and without worry about keeping up with some plasticized fiction in an Instagram feed.
- Where we are more interested in the real things of life happening than worrying about what people might think or might be saying or might have better than we do.
So today I am going to walk the dog. Listen to friends. Invite folks to a Skype wine-tasting and allow the present to inform a better future.
And I might go get a chocolate Frosty through the drive-through. Because, chocolate.
What world do you want? What are you doing to stay inspired now?
You have a voice here. I will listen.