Flexibility and Fear, Hope and Spring

There are no words to describe our world right now, or are there?  Fear and worry seem to come to mind most easily.  I realize how much I like to be in control of every little thing, and today, I realize that I have NO control over what’s happening.  The only thing I can control is my response.  Some days, it’s good – some days, not so good.  The mental/psych component of this pandemic is huge, and it’s not being mentioned much.  I am trying to put myself on a media diet – limiting the times I check the news, and then only focusing on a couple areas that are most pertinent to us.  I’m not hiding my head in the sand, just trying to not be buried by the sands of speculation and a barrage of opinions and interpretations.

Flexibility is becoming more comfortable.  Because we live in our rig, we don’t have the security of a home base as such.  Right now, home is Osprey Cove.  We are grateful for every day that we are able to stay here.  That is not guaranteed – if conditions change, there is the potential we could have to leave.  We’ve had experience with that from hurricane Matthew.  Unfortunately, our home campground in Michigan had to close.  We have contingency plans that we are working on.  The really uncertain part is the travel between Florida and Michigan.  On the other hand, there is comfort in knowing that if we have to travel, we have a bathroom that is clean and familiar, a bed that is safe and warm, food and a place to cook.  The only unknown is having to stop for diesel – and we have a few gloves and wipes to manage that.  In theory, the only stops will be for fuel and comfort, and won’t require much human interaction.

In our efforts to maintain optimum health, we have quit setting alarms.  We wake up when our body says it’s time.  We spend more time setting outside.  We are still getting our daily walks in, maintaining distance from others.  We are eating healthier – when I buy groceries, my focus is on nutrition, and essential food stuffs.  Unexpected bonus – I’ve been losing weight!  Closer to my goal weight by about 8 pounds and counting.  We haven’t eaten take-out in at least 3 weeks, maybe longer.  I don’t mind, I have enjoyed experimenting with my cooking appliances, and trying new recipes.  I am practicing self-compassion more.  When I recognize that I am feeling stressed, I acknowledge it.  Sometimes talk to Bill about it.  Often walk it off.  I love that I am more intentional in my prayer time – I never walk alone, I am in frequent conversation through prayer.

As I reflect on the changes, the positive ones are those that I have long wanted to incorporate into my life – but felt, for whatever reason, that I couldn’t/didn’t have time for/would do someday.  The fear, though, I have to work on that more.  I had to go grocery shopping on Tuesday.  I spent all day Monday worrying about it – and planning how to best mitigate the risk.  Although our rules are a little different because we live on base, Bill falls into the category that was asked to stay at home and avoid crowds in the civilian sector.  He did drive me, we took the big truck instead of Casper – and I was nervous enough about shopping to not want to worry about the truck.  He stayed in the truck.  I debated about wearing a face mask and gloves – worried what others might think.  Bill told me to do it anyway.  I was so relieved to get into the store and see others in masks and gloves!  How ridiculous – to consider opinions more important than potential health threats.  We’ve pretty much decided to wear masks any time we have to leave home.  Right now it’s personal choice based on some reading and research.  I hope that soon it becomes the recommended standard.

I miss close interaction and the freedom to hug others.  Never realized how much I appreciated that privilege.  The awkwardness that is now present when you meet someone else out walking – you don’t step closer and exchange greetings – but it is so nice to meet their eyes and share a smile in passing.  It is disheartening to see the people that have total disregard for the advice of distancing and staying home.  A relatively short period of inconvenience in exchange for the health of the population.

In the midst of all this, Spring is appearing in all her glory.  Seeing the birds migrating, the flowers blooming, and everything being painted the yellow/green of pollen – all reminds me of hope and new beginnings.  Yesterday, this beautiful butterfly stopped by my basket of flowers.  Another reminder of transformation and new beginnings.

I am trying to focus of the good things – the lessons I can learn now and work to remember them when life starts to speed up again.  Working on incorporating these changes to be with me permanently – like slowing down and appreciating time.  Sitting outside with Bill and Piper and watching the world.  It really is a beautiful place, so much to see and observe – when you slow down.  Taking the time to try and consider what someone else is feeling – with less judgment and more understanding that everyone struggles with something.  Making prayer more a part of my life – and knowing that God will never get tired of hearing from me.  Interestingly enough, I find myself including more gratitudes, and making my prayer requests less personal and more global.

This truly has been a grace lesson of unimaginable magnitude for me.  Stay safe, be well, and wash your hands!  (And wear something over your face when you go out!)