I don’t need to tell you this is a historical and uncertain time, or explain the grief, fear, anxiety, sadness, and uncertainty many of us are coping with, with regards to the health and finances of ourselves and our loved ones.
Change is scary, the unknown is scary, and so is the threat of chaos, illness, and death. These are all very real uncertainties that we are facing globally right now. In a way, we are united more than ever, although it is an unfortunate circumstance that brought us together.
Like any unwanted moment in life, we can choose to grow from it, learn from it, and come out stronger and better, or we can choose to let it deflate us. We can give up, go fetal, stop showering, and survive on a diet of Annie’s Cheesey Smile Puffs and wine or we can take a shower, brush our teeth, help each other, and do a re-write of our lives and of our world.
We can still have fun. We can still experience pleasure. Our lives aren’t over, they’ve just shifted. We’re adapting, learning new skills, and becoming stronger whether we see it yet or not. We need to stay hopeful.
Amoungst the closing of restaurants, concerts, comedy shows, music festivals, parties, movies, travel, etc. the tulips I planted in the fall are blooming right on schedule, as is the plum tree that will no doubt continue to fruit in July.
That’s the thing about tulips. You plant this dried up, brown, onion-looking thing in the dirt in the fall, forget about it, and one day, you look outside and there’s a candy colored flower show outside.
Maybe that’s what’s happening right now. We feel, collectively, a bit like a dried up onion looking thing, and we’re in the dark, with the promise of flowers some day, but there’s a whole winter and some luck to get through before that.
We’re going to bloom. Just like the tulips. We need to relax.
The tides still rush in and go back out, the moon still waxes and wanes, and the stars still come out at night and sometimes, shoot across the sky.
Our family and friends still call us and talk. Movies and tv shows and music and podcasts and books and art begs for our attention. Our bodies tap us on the shoulder and say they’d really like to dance, could really use a walk or a stretch.
And maybe you are someone reading this who has lost your job. What if this was your opportunity to step into something else, to find remote work online from home that pays better than before? Maybe this is your opportunity to step into your true calling. Maybe you create something that fills a new demand in our changing times. Maybe you get a new job where you meet the love of your life or your new best friend.
Don’t spend your days refreshing the news and getting yourself all worked up in a panic. I mean, forgive yourself if you do, but step away from it. Hiking isn’t cancelled. Humor isn’t cancelled. Creativity and art isn’t cancelled. Exercise isn’t cancelled. Sunsets and gardening aren’t cancelled. Sex isn’t cancelled. Cooking isn’t cancelled.
See the tulips, and let’s take a cue from the earth and keep on keeping on. A tree doesn’t stop growing because cement was poured over it. It adapts.
We, too, will adapt, but we can’t give up. We can’t go fetal. This is as a much a test of our physical immunity as it is of our mental immunity.
We can build our mental immunity, and part of how we will do that is by focusing on the other things. Watching sunsets. Connecting with friends and family near and far. Creating. Donating. Seeking humor and allowing ourselves to be silly. Feeling our emotions, letting ourselves cry, and then dusting ourselves off and continuing on. Meditating. Eating well and getting exercise. Making our homes cleaner, more efficient, and more beautiful. Planting flowers that will bloom anyways.