Saw this lovely tree during a walk in the park on Sunday.
I read recently that this is a good time to analyze your life strategy. This assumes we have a strategy. I haven’t really thought of a life strategy, in those exact words. Now I’ve been looking at my life to see what sort of strategy I have and it’s caused a bit of a shift because a strategy involves a plan and an objective–how to get the thing we want.
When I think of strategy I imagine scrambling to the top of the heap and I’ve never been that kind of a person. I like to come alongside. I like to help others. I’ve worked under people who clearly had a life strategy and I was part of their success plan. I actually didn’t want to be like them. My life has been guided by principles like “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” “Give and it shall be given unto you,” and be “faithful in the little things.”
Yesterday my husband explained to me why I am having a difficult time with this isolation. It is because I want to help everyone. This morning I checked a few sites I follow to see what others are doing, what “strategies” they have, or words of encouragement. Here are samples of what I found.
Tim’s Blog “We are wandering, perhaps, but we are not lost. And we are not without opportunities.” Taken from his audio recording while he walked in the early morning. This is a great time to look for opportunities.
Another Slice writes with a beautiful pathos and optimism about an 18 year old son who is missing out on all the celebrations around graduation that we have always taken for granted.
Harsh Reality ‘s ten year old daughter set up a google classroom and was discouraged when no one showed up. Her father told her something I needed to hear today, too, that “if she wanted people to interact she needed to really take the reins of destiny and put herself out there.” Sometimes I wait when I need to take action.
Diane Reed is going through her house and reflecting and organizing, as many of us are doing these days. She ran across cards she made years ago and writes about the Early Diane. I encourage you to check out her lovely artwork and maybe buy something from her Etsy site Diane on a Whim.
Patrick Ross shares some insights for creative types who may wonder why they are not able to seize this opportunity for creativity as well as expected.
What I know from my past experience interviewing creatives about their process…suggests this isn’t a great time for many of them. A key element found in most creatives is empathy.
Empathy is what allows creatives to produce works that move the reader/viewer/listener. It also makes them more vulnerable to experiencing the pain of others, in ways that can at times be debilitating to the creative spirit.
I love these glimpses into the lives and thoughts of others at this time. They are so relatable.
This week I heard about one of the many amazing new things that have come out of this isolation. On Sunday friends and family celebrated two very special women by doing a drive-by “birthday parade” for one, and an encouragement “parade” for the other who will be having cancer surgery shortly. I was moved to tears by this show of love and support, even though I wasn’t there to witness it. There were cards and signs and balloons and gifts left at the end of the driveway. Both of these women are very giving and social. This isolation is particularly difficult on them. Maybe it is not a coincidence that the birthday girl is also a cancer survivor in the same family.
On a somber note, I’ve heard this week about a nurse whose ears are raw from wearing a mask as she sometimes works back to back shifts covering for others who are sick. Isolating may be difficult. Wondering how we will pay the bills may be difficult. Looking after young children 24/7 may be difficult. Not getting out to see the people we love may be difficult. But I could think of worse things, like being on the front lines without relief.
These days I draw encouragement from whatever sources I can, and try to give support in return, without beating myself up over how little I feel I can do. I remind myself, everything counts. This is my short term survival strategy (as I keep looking for ways to serve). Smile.
After four weeks of solitude, I broke out of jail for a few hours this week. I bought flowers at Superstore, making a swift ‘in and out’ of the store, from the outdoor, fenced, gardening area. We did our first take-out meal in five weeks – burgers at DQ. We took the burgers to the home of a senior friend and sat outside on the patio and shared them with her. It was lovely. Chilly, cloudy, but lovely. Human contact is suddenly so precious. (I know the admonitions to not meet with anyone outside your family, but let’s be reasonable.)
Once again, we recorded an episode of Music with Mr. Sheldon for the children. I’ve discovered a new gift. I simply love editing and producing video! This is not work for me. It is pleasure!
Now I have started a new prayer for wisdom for those who are deciding how to open up the economy again. I pray for creative ideas, things that may not have been considered, which can be implemented to help keep people well and make things work out better than expected. I also pray for the right timing. I’m leaning towards sooner, like two months, maximum, of isolating before beginning to loosen restrictions.
There are concerns about which I am not writing here in the interest of being mostly uplifting in my conversation. Our words make a difference. During this pandemic I am paying more attention to how I use my words.
I saw this unusual tree on our walk. A good root system helps this tree to survive. If I think about my life strategy, I would say it boils down to learning to draw sustenance from my Source.
Trust in the Lord, with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5,6