I get it. When the calendar flipped over to 2020 I don’t think any of us expected this. I’m not even sure how to describe this, honestly. Crazy, chaotic, unsettling. Hard, scary, conflicting. Unknown, new, trailblazing. And yet, honestly, in some ways it’s the most alive I’ve felt in years. I don’t say that too much because I think there is so much emphasis on the hard that hearing the good almost feels callous. But listen, really listen, it’s not that it’s not hard there just has also been good.
The world of not-so-long-ago seemed to be on fast forward. Everyone racing but no one not really knowing how to stop. The busy was maddening and never-ending. I was exhausted, bone-tired exhausted trying to keep up with everything and fearing that if I stopped I’d get further behind. So if nothing else, I’m so grateful for the pandemic for throwing me off that racing posture of life. I kind of had a moment where I was forced to catch my breath.
The world did, truly.
But when the brakes hit suddenly you still have to deal with the after space. And that’s kind of where we all are now. I see memes and quotes about how awful 2020 has been and how we can’t wait until 2021. But, friends, there is STILL TIME.
I know the world is different. Education is different. Shopping is different. Parenting is different. Social media is different.
But just because it is different doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. We celebrate the underdog stories. They are the ones we read to our kids and tell them how amazing those people were because they dug deep and stuck with it. We watch movies about survivors and find the inspiration in their stories.
That is our story right now, your story. Mine. The world’s. We are writing a powerful chapter in history. We don’t share history lessons where everything was the same, same, same – we share history lessons where powerful change happened. We share lessons of how people explored and discovered new things. We share lessons that impact the next generation. That is what we are in right now.
I think of my grandparents and how the lived through wars and the Depression and the loss of children and I really believe because they lived through all of it they learned to survive and more importantly thrive. They learned to appreciate the sunrise and the sunset. They loved times at the table and family laughing. They were grateful in a way I must admit I lacked until our foundation of normal was ripped from us. My grandmother had a calendar where every single day she wrote what happened. Sometimes it was to the store, sometimes played cards, sometimes gardened. It was all there, all marking a life.
Life isn’t just the good. Life has the normal. Life has the hard.
Listen. My grandmother also wrote on the same worn calendar the words “Clarence died” on the day my grandfather passed. I remember seeing it being shocked at the bluntness of it. I wondered how it could be written, recorded, right next to words about groceries and church. But as the years pass, as we move forward in this time of uncertainty, I realized that, my friends, is life. My grandmother appreciated, lived, recorded it all. And it’s best time that I start to appreciate the moments right in front of me now.
It’s almost as if I was a bit naive to the fragility of the moment. Living a bit untouchable.
Expecting normal, not realizing normal was precariously perched.
So maybe you are like me, struggling a bit trying to find balance in a world that seems chaotic and full of unknowns. Maybe the balance is embracing the unknown, my sweet friend. Maybe it is deciding to not long for what once was but delve into what is. Maybe it is about speaking up when we were silent. Maybe it is about embracing school and education and discovering new things. Maybe it is about loving more and forgiving even more. Maybe it is looking at the reflection in the mirror and being proud of all she does. Maybe it is not waiting anymore to pursue those dreams. Maybe it is about change.
Maybe it is learning to give yourself grace.
And seeing all the things you do every single day. My grandmother wrote about the ordinary. The nitty gritty ordinary every day kind of stuff that we do. Stuff you do.
Start to see it.
Really really start to see it. Our kids need us to see it. To believe in the possibilities of the future. To not give up, to not quit, but to raise our hands and fight for the good.
I can promise you that happiness can emerge even in the unknown. It takes you and me deciding to rise up and deciding to be beacons of good, of light, of hope. It means deciding not to share fear-mongering posts and deciding to share things that build up and unite.
Life is short.
This year matters, sweet mom. This messy, unpredictable year is still a gift.
It still counts.
Don’t give up on it. Don’t decide to wait until next year. Don’t live on hold. Don’t pause.
You have now.
Your kids need you. Your heart needs you. This world, this story, needs you.
The rest of this year can be amazing. One day, one moment, one breath, one minute, one mindset change at a time.
I believe in you.