How are you all doing? Has the isolation changed you in any way?
I'll tell you, the first two weeks of this isolation we were living the dream! We were sleeping more, waking without an alarm, working a few hours per day, hiking and exercising more, planning every meal, baking cookies .... and baking pies.... and baking muffins and cherishing the relaxed pace together as a family. Without a doubt, I cannot recall the last time we had this pace of life. Isolation has been, in essence, a time of gratitude, reflection, and exhalation.
Then spring break ended, March slowly came to an end and the gravity of this global crisis had really begun to affect change in our realities.
Less baking, more working, more webinars, more homeschooling, more entertaining the kiddies between remote patient consultations, more financial planning / budgeting (ie, reducing useless expenses), sleeping less, stress eating (and wine'ing), escalating panic about the global health crisis, endless brainstorming of ways in which I can volunteer to help our community, and lastly .... to be honest, grieving.
I started grieving, like many of you I'm sure. Grieving for those families whose lives have been permanently affected by the loss of a loved one to COVID-19, grieving for the fear, fatigue and uncertainty felt by the essential service workers holding up our community, and grieving for the members and small businesses in our community struggling to make ends meet. I started grieving for the absence of face-to-face human interaction both in my clinic and with my family and friends, and grieving that the developing crisis is distancing us further from our visions and goals. It's been a lot of grief.
Of late, some reading and reflection has assured me that grieving is sometimes a necessary part of unforeseen change, that it's part of being human, and that it's not wrong or bad or anything negative. Simply, this is our trajectory, our roadmap, or our journey. One step back, two steps forward, right?!. Grieve. Please don't ignore feelings of grief and please don't feel you need to grieve alone.
On a positive note, over the last few days, the grieving has reduced. Firstly, I found some damn toilet paper! haaa haaaa and Dr. Henry has instilled a glimmer of hope for our near future as a result of the collective efforts of our community members. High Fives to all of you! And secondly, I realized that my vision can and will remain the same despite this inevitable change of path. The positivity and pragmatism is emerging.
So, this is how our lives go: from forest fires, slowly and surely the forest returns stronger, healthier and livelier than before.
I was riding the happy wave of being unleashed from the go-go-go of life in mid March, then was moved into a state of deep panic, grief and fear in late March, and now I'm riding the wave back up with a newfound sense of being.
The vision is now a little further away. But that's ok with me. I'll get to that goal but via a new path, one where I walk slower, pay more attention to my surroundings and breathe more deeply. That new path will be full of more gratitude, humbleness and love for self and others. And also kind of important, that new path will be one in which I drive my car less, brew more coffee at home, cook more homemade meals, buy less things I may not need, plant more in my garden, work less hours, and volunteer more hours for the purpose of supporting our community. And.... lastly, but most important, I will spend more time with my cool kids, dogs, and lovely partner. All of this reset, or redirection, as you will, blooms from the tragedy.
Now, can you think about your visions? And, with your strong body on your side, working for you, can you visualize your newfound path forward? I hope you can. And if you are, let's march that together. Now, more than ever, lifting each other up and cultivating renewed health and balance in our communities is paramount for all of our success.
Sending love, hugs and wishes for health and safety for you and your loved ones,