I was sitting in my sadness wishing away the state of the world. Halloween isn’t going to be the same this year. My Thanksgiving table will not host my parents or my children. My December traditions will resemble, at best, hollowed out holidays. These sorrows seem petty next to the messages from my friends tearing further at my heart: a mother-in-law in the hospital likely due to COVID most surely facing her final days, an infant granddaughter rushed to the hospital for breathing difficulties, a suicide attempt, depression, anxiety, and distinct despair.
It is too much. I am too emotionally exhausted to shed tears. I feel the resignation coming over me like my worn weighted blanket. I want to hibernate this out. Or move to Ireland. Or throw my coffee mug across the room aiming to shatter it.
I glance down and the universe is actually talking to me. My coffee cup displays a not-so-subtle reminder of what has worked in the past. What if I sat with this for a moment? I feel the tension held tight in my shoulders weaken with the release of a deep sigh.
Cup of Thanks.
Then the tears come. A tear shed for each shame-induced reminder:
~ I see my mom and dad every other day on our iPads and phone screens
~ I laugh with my best friends near daily through funny texts and memes
~ I have never spent more time with my daughters than in these pandemic days
I have been prepped for this pandemic through my years as a divorcee. I have had many holidays without my daughters. I have had to recreate and reimagine my traditions for 9 years running. I know that time is what we make it.
I am not alone in this perpetual feeling of frustration, resignation, and depression. I know this time requires intentionality and pausing to reflect on that which we have and how we want to use it.
I get out a fresh sheet of paper.
What do I want to focus on between now and December 31, 2020?
What will be different and why? What are the alternatives to get what I most need or want?
What is the pace I want to set?
What is the feeling I want to create?
What are the expectations I need to manage?
My sadness subsides a bit. I have felt my feelings, I shifted to gratitude and carried it forward into an action plan for the weeks ahead. It dawns on me that this is my well-used ritual and with putting it to work once again I feel the comfort of control come over me. And for this I raise my cup of thanks.