Work when there is work to do. Rest when you are tired. One
thing done in peace will most likely be better than ten things done
My daughter works in a large New York hospital. As her mother, I am scared. I maybe putting an undue amount of fear into her situation. She definitely thinks so. When we talked about her job and the risk she faced, her answer to my fears was to say that there is too much negative energy in the world right now, and what we
need to do is to think positive thoughts and put creative energy into our lives. We must move forward regardless of what is happening. Yet, we cannot carry on and live our lives as we did just a month ago.
At the end of February, my daughter took a much-needed vacation to Rome. When she left for her trip, COVID-19 was still in pockets, not wide spread. She felt safe and the virus was located in northern Italy. Even so, she was ordered to self-quarantine for two weeks when she returned home. She felt it was unnecessary and it looked like undue caution, yet she followed through.
During those two weeks, she limited herself to taking care of life’s necessities, and found new ways to do that. She did her laundry in the bathtub because she was not allowed to go to a public laundromat and does not have a washer or dryer in her apartment. She could not socialize with her friends, and could only take walks or run in the park if she kept distance from others. We had no idea that in the space of two weeks we would all be living with these limitations.
Now, she’s back at work, but tells me she must take precautions in order to continue her job. My daughter reassures me that she is doing all she can to take care of herself. No matter what she does, we have no guarantees that she will stay well through this. Here, I face different challenges, yet I don’t have that guarantee either. None of us do.
Even so, it is time for me to do what is necessary to take care of myself, find a way to comfort myself, and find a strong, positive core inside. I must be intentional about what I do and think. I cannot do it alone.
One of the ways I’m coping with this new normal is by beginning my day with a cup of coffee and some quiet, reflective time. I have a book of daily reflections, The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo, which has the amazing ability to speak to where I am. The words I read give me strength and hope. They give me a direction in which to send my thoughts so that I do not dwell on my fear, the uncertainty I face,
and the limitations of life.
Comfort starts with a quiet moment: moment which can be found by recalling an experience that brought solace in the past, such as seeing the first blooms of spring, hearing beautiful music, or the face of a beloved pet, friend or family member. We are fortunate to be surrounded by the beauty of spring. All we need to do is look out our window and see joy in the earth.
Life rushes in and creates busyness, confusion, stress, worry and fear. It constricts our hearts, especially now that we are surrounded by news of sickness, death and warnings. We are living with uncertainty that has no time limit. We simply do not
know what will happen next and what the outcome will be.
Finding Ways to be Positive
What we do know is that the sun will come up tomorrow and there will be a new day. With that day, we have the opportunity to help ourselves by practicing gentleness and openness, to take a moment to calm ourselves, think about beauty and goodness, and to slow our hearts and think of someone to whom we can offer
comfort and peace. Taking advantage of those opportunities can keep the fears at bay.