I can't help but think of the two year anniversary of Covid lockdown. I don't need to refresh your memory of that eerie time of disbelief and sudden isolation when we knew nothing other than fear of an invisible germ. All of a sudden we started using the word "pandemic" like it was normal. We started learning new ways to connect with old friends. Zoom was a kids' tv show when I was growing up. Now it became the preferred forum for many people to host Happy Hour, work, go to school (!?) and have major holidays. We learned to UNmute. After a while, it grew tiresome. We had to use our brains in a new way to keep track on the screen. It was a lot of sitting, a lot of tv. It was a lot of sadness for all that was lost.
On the other hand, at the start of Covid quarantine, a kindness bubbled up--like gratitude for the UPS man, the person who was working the Walgreen's pharmacy. That eventually gave way to... not so much kindness. Breakdowns at the empty grocery aisle, road rage, going through stoplights to "even the score" and taking back your life on your terms.
And what else? What else competed for your attention in a very personal way over the past two years? Rack up your wins right now. How did you manage? How did you conduct your life? How did you make it to this milestone marker?
I know it wasn't pretty. People weren't "acting right" as I say. We were in crisis. A pandemic is a crisis that no one was prepared for. When you are in crisis, i.e. flight or fight mode, you survive. That's the name of the game. Our ancient ancestors' way of life was survival (of the fittest). The ironic twist was that separating was the safest way through NOT gathering as a group. It felt lonely with no finish line in sight.
So, with this icky trip down memory lane, once again, reflect on all the hard work you have done to get to this point. Think of the sacrifices you have made, the milestones you have achieved. Coming through an experience and getting to the other side (take note, I am thinking we are on the other side) is a major achievement. Remind yourself that yes, you can do hard things. You can overcome. You can do things you don't like because that's what life requires. You are resilient.
So, what does all this have to do with the Ukrainian flag at the top of this blog? There is now more heartache and heartbreak competing for our attention. A war of power-grabbing over freedom. A horror show. I am trying to imagine myself fleeing my home with small children under duress? I can't. It boggles my mind. And breaks my heart. Are we affected by things that happen elsewhere? YES. Just like the pandemic was global and affected everyone on every continent, the horror of what is happening in Ukraine is capturing the world's attention. We are all part of the global human family. Just as we are coming out (please) of the pandemic--this death and destruction is now taking up space and competing for my focus on other things.
All this to say--life is always changing and challenging. The pandemic and the war in Ukraine are TWO MAJOR BIGGIES IN TWO YEARS, but no matter. You get to decide how you spend your energy (heart, mind and body). You get to decide what you will do to manage your time. You get to decide what you will do to help yourself and the causes that matter to you. You get to decide if you need to take a break from the news and focus your efforts on something else. This too is part of your resilience. You too are changing through it all. You are winning. Own this milestone.
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