What If…Peace is Still Here

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” ~Deepak Chopra 

The days are starting to run together.😬 I have to pause and think about what day it is. We even forgot the trash pick-up day! I’m living in a bit of a blur- feeling disoriented until I see our family calendar hanging in the laundry room. The red ink noting the start time for a track 👟meet. The purple color marking off a 🏐volleyball tournament weekend. Birthdays🎂 circled with pink hearts. Then, I pause for a completely different reason. I stop to breathe.

Have you ever heard of the Serenity🙏 Prayer? It goes like this:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I’ve been thinking about those words a lot over these last couple of weeks. I’m not sure that I have a serenity about the things I cannot change yet. I’m working on the 💪courage part. I struggle to identify the things I can change- I don’t even know where to begin with that one! I do feel like I have the wisdom to know the difference with this😷 pandemic, though. I understand my role, which is to follow the guidelines for the health and safety of myself, my loved💜 ones, and my fellow man.img_0718

We’re taking the social distancing thing seriously in our family. We’re on target with the rules for handwashing and cleaning. It’s a small price to pay for the greater good right now. We’re fortunate to have a 🏠home, 🍝food on our table, and enough 🚽toilet paper (I hope!). Our kids are doing okay. That doesn’t mean I’m doing okay as a mom who is hundreds of miles from my two oldest during this 😱frightening time. If I could lock everyone inside our 🏠home, I would.  They’re smart, though. I trust that they’re doing what they need to do to stay safe. 💸Incomes are coming into question as this crisis lasts longer. Some are learning how the process of filing for unemployment works. 😞 We’re not alone with that one.

I’ve tried to build some semblance of a 📋schedule for our days at 🏠home. A routine helps the mental and emotional part of social distancing in our household. I have to admit that I truly enjoy having ☕coffee with my husband on the couch every 🌞morning. I usually don’t see him before work because his workdays begin much earlier than my days at school. We’re making sure to get some kind of 👟🚴exercise every day. We have projects and organizing to do. I have work for online classes to prepare as our schools transition to virtual classes.

We try to stay busy because busyness keeps the feelings at bay. There are still creeping in, though. Moments of 😢 tears. Moments of 😱fear. Moments of 😠anger. Even moments of 😀joy. Sometimes within the same ⏰hour! Patience is required for the long haul- and that patience can be difficult to find.img_0760

I’ve never been into material 💎things. This whole social distancing situation has only escalated my feeling that 👜stuff doesn’t matter. People matter. This has become crystal 🔎clear as I FaceTime with family members who live in different areas. As I stand beneath the 🏰balcony to chat with my mother who lives in a senior living community. As I 🍴cook with my teenager. As I take 👟walks with my husband.

Life as I knew it came to a screeching ❌halt. I admit that I didn’t know what to do with that at first. It was 😳overwhelming. I found myself standing in the laundry room with 😢tears in my eyes. I spend far too much time 📱scrolling through social media- simply looking because I couldn’t absorb it all. What was I supposed to do? How would we handle this? What is next?

During our online ⛪ church service last Sunday, our pastor asked us to verbalize to the room- in our case, it was my husband, our daughter, and me- what caused anxious feelings right now. Ken and I both agreed that it was the 😱fear of the unknown. Angelina said it was the fact that nothing was normal. I think we were all right.

Sitting on our couch that morning with ☕cups of coffee on the table and blankets covering our pajamas, I realized that I needed to slow ⏳down. I identified something that I could change- and that was my reaction to that 😱fear of the unknown. Slow down. Toss aside expectations of what this situation should look like or feel like. Breathe. 😢Cry if I need to cry. 😂Laugh when that feels right. Play a game with your kid at 🕛midnight. Pop 🍿popcorn for dinner.

What if…peace is still here?  If you’re doing whatever you can do for 💜yourself, for your 💛loved ones, for your 💸livelihood, for your 💞fellow man- look beneath your fears. You’ll find your peace resting there.

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