The Gift of Isolation – II

Day 6, almost half-way through this isolation phase, and I am just starting to check off some of the tasks I had hoped would help safeguard the memory of this compelled, quiet and slow period of time. Some tasks have an obvious end, and others have a definitive start, but I am finding more than not, my chosen tasks have an ongoing momentum, which means it must be time for a shift in thinking or living.

Hearing about toilet paper being ‘wiped’ out in the grocery store aisles, or nothing but animal carcasses left in the meat department, made me reflect on the general state of my basic resources. Our house is stocked with normal amounts of everything. Since we are not driving anywhere, our cars do not need gas. If we absolutely need something, a few clicks of a mouse… and voila! Credits cards make things appear at the front door.

But, is this how I would like to remember and honor this time, by just substituting one form of resource obliviousness for another? Even though we are not going out of the house, our household is carrying on with most of the same habits we enjoyed 6 days ago. Happy hour, home-cooked meals, video chats with grand-girls, robust conversations… and from the looks of it, a list of tasks that I actually have no hope of completing by next week!

This is not boring… or making me stir-crazy… or feeling like a disadvantage. This feels like an extreme blessing. In Part One, I made reference to 2020 being a difficult year so far. Our trip to Atlanta promised to tip the scales in a good direction with warmer weather, southern food and hospitality, and walking into Ebenezer’s Church, listening to the sound of Martin Luther King Jr’s voice, preaching about love, equality and harmony. Besides being personally overwhelmed with a flood of social awareness and motivated by the unity MLK sought for all mankind, sharing that moment with Hubby strengthened our spiritual bond, increasing my love and admiration of his incredible soul.

Having a troubled start to the year makes this current isolation feel like a reprieve. Putting a big, perfect, unilateral pause on medical appointments, a re-assignment in my work role, my volunteering responsibilities, and being available anytime of the day to answer calls from sons overseas or from behind bars… THIS is exactly what I needed, when it was needed.

Am I missing something or wearing extremely rosy glasses? Maybe if I look out the window long enough or late enough at night, I will in fact see… the COVID-n-n-n-n-19 zombies are upon us!

Naturally, there would be a grave difference in circumstances for people living with young children, consumed with entertaining, educating, and maintaining a sense of calm in a drastically sudden upset of routine. And those whose employment has suffered from closures or interruptions of service would understandably be rigorously challenged to re-invent what career and financial means will look like going forward.

Which brings me back to resources. I am not an expert, so please excuse the raw and simple structure of how I am framing my thoughts and attitude toward the resources I have, the stuff that I can control, and the things that ultimately bear value and necessity in my life.

Love yourself, so that you may love others.

Forgive yourself, so that you may forgive others.

Trust yourself, so that you may trust others.

WE are going to get a lot wrong in this particularly strange period of human experience, but we are also going to get many things right.

THAT is the direction I want to keep heading…

AJ

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