The uncertainty of this time feels scary and out of control.
*cue thunderstorms in the background*
I’m not trying to be dramatic, but especially since the world’s gone upside down, it’s so hard to make any decisions. I keep checking my email, waiting for something to change. Waiting for news that’s supposed to come. I can’t buy tickets to go back to VA because my university hasn’t let me know when I can return. Maybe you were hoping for a vacation with your friends and now you’re wondering whether or not to rebook your flight. Perhaps you were planning a wedding with your friend, and now she’s wondering whether or not she should even get married until this whole COVID-19 thing is over.
There’s a huge weight of uncertainty around us right now. There are not many choices in this season. We wait or we walk forward hoping something good will come out of this time.
I feel paralyzed. There are so many life changes I want to make right now. There’s so many goals I was excited to work towards, so many memories I was ready to have. Sitting in discomfort in the weight of uncertainty is a hard thing. It’s the thing I want to do the least.
From the type A personality who has their entire life organized in perfectly identical boxes to the person who’s late to every single meeting, we’re all feeling out of control. We’re indoors with no real clue when this will all end. Maybe some of us are able to venture out and enjoy the world social distancing style, and others will stay indoors for the health of the dear loved ones we cherish.
If there’s anything I’d wish for, it would be a timeline.
A calendar, a countdown, a sense of time retreating so I’d know when we’d get back to normal. Not living in fear of a virus, but able to love another, give hugs, be around friends and gather. But that’s not our reality right now. Instead we get to be uncertain.
Uncertainty always comes with a slice of fear. A little taste of all the worst case scenarios we hold in our minds late at night. Unfortunately, there isn’t a remedy. There’s no crystal ball, no psychic, no wizard who will tell us how this will go.
This season is making us nervous. None of us were expecting the world to shut down. And we’re not sure what the world will look like when it powers up again. What jobs are in store or no longer available, universities shift to the online world, and local businesses who cannot afford to run any longer. This pandemic has propelled incredible change at rapid pace – the world we were imagining we would step into is no more. That’s a scary thought.
We can ruminate on the ways our lives feel out of control. We can live our lives zoned out of the news and social media and what’s really going on to get away indefinitely. Or we can realize something different. We can’t change our circumstances, but we can change our attitude.
It might be easier to hide away or spend days crying (and sometimes you need to cry), but we can choose to see this time differently. This is the perfect time to be grateful.
So often we live our lives on autopilot, too stuck in the details that we forget the bigger picture. We’re alive! We’re healthy. We’re safe. We have agency and freedom. We have the internet to help us learn and grow. We have access to food and water. We’re okay. Granted, we’re not living the perfect lives in isolation (being alone with family is the perfect breeding ground for all familial arguments), but we’re okay.
That’s something to be grateful for.
Gratitude may seem like the place your mind least goes to right now, but it’s the perfect time to train your mind to go there. Having gratitude in the hardest of circumstances reminds you how lucky you are and allows you to appreciate what you have. I am so grateful that I have a laptop and strong wifi connection to connect with you all, friends. 🙂
In lockdown, you may be getting tired of tv shows and movies. Entertainment can be great but use this time to be teachable. Weirdly enough, social media has become a place to chat with friends and to spread information about police brutality, politics and voting, and COVID-19 breakouts. Be informed. You don’t need to be plugged in 24/7 but be aware of what’s going on locally.
If you’re tired of looking at the news, order a few books online and get into reading. It’s a perfect way to be sucked into something else while learning about the world. Just finished reading Just Right by Rick Tyler and I will definitely have to do a blog post on it. Currently reading The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. It’s all about why people are so divided on politics and religion. So perfect for our current climate.
Be resourceful and open-minded. Be service-oriented. Inside of your home, it’s so easy to forget that you have neighbors who have needs because you want to make sure everyone in your family is safe and has everything they need. But right now, service is critical.
If you have an elderly neighbor, ask them what groceries they need and pick some up for them. If you want to do arts and crafts with your neighbors’ kids, look and see what old things you have in your garage. Maybe look up some DIY projects you could do around your house. Donate food to a church. Give money to a foundation for the homeless.
So many people are in need. When you’re in a place of privilege, you are the perfect person to help someone else. It can be so easy to stay inside blissfully unaware, but don’t let that be how you spend your time in quarantine.
Yes, life has been out of control, but let your gratitude and your service be the way someone else feels a little bit cared for by the end of this season.
I’m sending love your way, friends!
What does life in lockdown look like for you? How have you been feeling?