“It’s been a hard year
But I’m climbing out of the rubble”
~”Less Like Scars” by Sara Groves
While outlining thoughts for each of my annual reflections, I’ve considered using the quote above to wrap up the post, as a summary.
Then came 2020! Those lyrics seem spectacularly appropriate as I look back at life this year. For me, adventures in pandemia have included…
- Sinking in a river of tears. Count me among those who initially fell apart. As the coronavirus continued to ransack life as we know it, I found myself wearied by an old battle’s prolonged new attack. For weeks, if I wasn’t melting into tears, I was staring at the floor, shell-shocked and stuck on worst-case scenarios.
- Looking up, pressing on. A modified mental diet — especially turning off the news — helped give my outlook a boost. More than that, I was reminded of a lesson from dark days not so long ago: anxiety, not answers, tends to follow a laser focus on the details of my situation. The only path I’ve found to peace is to process my circumstance through the lens of faith, trusting that just as I’ve seen God work in past struggles for my good, I can trust him with “even this.”
- Virtual officing. My co-workers and I were sent home in March and have continued to work remotely since then.
- Feelin’ the burn… discomfort and malaise. In the true spirit of 2020, my body added distress with an extended flareup of the mystery ailments I collectively refer to as My Condition. Since February, a couple dozen aching, off-kilter body spots have supplied a vicious cycle of discomfort that dominated my thoughts even more than the pandemic.
- Growing my hair. My sole haircut for this year occurred in January, and it may be spring before I’m brave enough to visit the salon. Fortunately, I kept the hair clips, bobby pins, and ponytail holders from the intervals when I had, according to one schoolmate, “[darn] hippie hair.”
- Going (Facebook) live. More than once I contributed to my church’s online Bible studies by joining the teacher for a discussion of the week’s lesson.
- Showing some skin. My first ever visit to the dermatologist was a win-win, with an a-okay for the spots I was concerned about and options for follow up, if needed, on another potential issue.
- Tending to the walking wounded. My mother fractured her arm right before Columbus Day, and that necessitated a whole new wave of schedule adjustments.
While 2020 has been something else (to say the least!), plenty of years have deviated wildly from my expectations. Now, as then, I can crumble or grow. Growing is hard, but (to paraphrase a quote I heard this week) crumbling brings some hard consequences, too. As I see it, growing is the more worthwhile choice. So, some days I can truly appreciate the ever-shifting “normal” as a refreshing change of scenery. Other days, I fall to feeling frustrated and overwhelmed… but more and more, I’m recognizing that doesn’t mean I’ve hopelessly blown it. Bad days and good days are both part of the faith-building process. And so I can take a breath and keep going — even if it’s only the tiniest step forward.