I started writing my newsletter before we knew it was a pandemic. It was still going by its informal name, The Corona Virus, and at that time, none of us could have imagined how strong we really were, how much loss we could tolerate or what we really cared about.
Pause, reflect a moment. Who were you in January 2020? Do you even recognize them? What character traits do you share with this younger version of yourself and what did you discard along the way, like the pretty shell of an Easter egg?
It still feels too soon to process these 2+ years of mega-marathon, because we have not yet met a finite finish line! What a weird, frustrating, yet actually common ordeal! It still feels too vulnerable to risk hopeful phrases like, “That was super hard! I don’t know how I even survived! I’m so glad it’s over now.”.
Our magical bodies will supply enough adrenaline for us to make it to safety, whatever that means. Years back, a family’s small plane crashed in the Mount Baker wilderness. The daughter hiked all the way to a phone and called the appropriate folks, then collapsed. Our drive to survive and protect others is so robust that we can carry the wounded back to base, lift the truck to protect the baby and learn to connect with each other via Zoom.
It doesn’t feel like we’ve swum to safety just yet, so I find myself hesitant to let down the guardians and plant the victory flag.
However, being a relentless lemonade maker, I am keen to laud the growth I have noticed so far, as a result of the deprivations and adjustments of these Covid years.
I must first acknowledge that over Six Million people have died of Covid worldwide so far. I had to look that up, (from Our World in Data) and found myself tearing up, feeling guilty again that my troubles have no place in the arena with those who have lost their lives or their beloveds.
This has been the theme throughout: on one hand I was so excited when I could get take-out pints of Mallard ice cream, while my other hand had to acknowledge that lots of people were getting very sick and so many were dying, alone, in over-crowded hospitals with exhausted providers.
The part of me that wants to survive had to get strong enough to face these grizzly stories and savvy enough to turn away when their weight would drop me to the bottom of the lake. These skills are pluses for me and I can now say, “Thank you Covid.”.
More Covid victories~
I faced my technology demons and learned to teach and train yoga teachers on Zoom. Now I can even show people how to do simple things on their devices! I am not afraid to ask for help anymore, nor embarrassed when I don’t understand.
I make amazing food at home, appreciate our abundant local resources, and can unabashedly serve Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken.
Every visit with friends or family still feels like a holiday – it’s so special. Now I don’t worry so much about cleaning the house beforehand (consider yourself warned!). It feels like conversations are more poignant, maybe because I value my time and energy, and spend them more carefully.
I am deeply grateful to have easy access to splendid natural environments, and I prioritize connecting to nature every day.
My two favorite Covid-inspired skills are
Knowing myself better and trying to honor my needs and desires.
Extreme flexibility – making plans and understanding that anything could change, and that I will survive. Even if I die, I feel at ease with myself. I have gotten clear about who I am and somehow these Covid years have influenced me to snip off my straggling threads, and behave as if my values really matter.