Staying in Control

Other than the serious medical issues surrounding this virus, which are significant, I think part of the recent psychological challenges to our current predicament might be traced to what seems like an increasing lack of control.

Things are happening to us and around us that we are not in charge of, but that does not mean there is nothing we can control.

For sure, our routines are changing. 

Because of a temporary situation related to apartment maintenance (or more to the point, lack thereof), our youngest daughter and her two kids stayed with us for a few days.)

Because of this, I have discovered that five year olds must stomp like a dinosaur whenever they are moving from one room to another (growl included, free of charge.)

I have re-discovered the fun of hearing dreams recalled in lazy mornings before breakfast.

I have found the importance of protecting one’s quiet space.

I have re-discovered the joy—and challenges—of having little ones spread around the dining room table and the importance of who sits where (for no apparent reason).

These are things that I never would have come to appreciate on mini visits; they are only things learned over an extended stay.

In these stay-in-place days of the Great Virus, tensions run high as college students and parents learn to live together once again.  As our seniors are confined and little children out of school must endure loss of contact with their friends and a tremendous interruption of their daily schedule, everyone must learn to be flexible.

But that doesn’t mean we are instantly holy.  Patience is being tried everywhere, for sure. 

Part of the problem, I really believe, is that our freedom is limited in various ways and we can’t do anything about it.  That raises our frustration, impatience, anger and fear, just to name a few consequences.

But the key is not to focus on the limitations put upon us, but our ability to take charge of the things we can.  I really believe that.

Even when we are “stuck at home” we are still responsible for keeping ourselves mentally and physically healthy.  I won’t list the various things we can do, because it looks different for each of us, but we do still have the power to choose, and giving up simply cannot become an option.

For many, the looming question about what will come can be overwhelming when faced with a layoff, incoming bills and just the plain ole’ fear of getting sick.  It can be terrifying.

In the meantime, in the midst of this mess, we must look for opportunities to reach out and help however we can, be it a phone call or even sending a little card or note to lift someone’s day.

Most importantly, let’s keep praying to our God who loves us and continues to walk with us.  And remember, this really, truly, honestly is a temporary situation and will pass.  While our lives will be changed by it, some of ours more than others, we are in this together.

I would like to end on a note of levity.  I saw this on Twitter the other day and thought it was right on:

“I have lived through six decades:  the 1980’s, 1990’s, 2000’s, 2010’s, 2020’s and March.

Janet Cassidy


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