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Responding vs. Reacting to the Unexpected

As I write this I am in my 4th day of Covid recovery. The cacophony of covid symptoms; fever, sore throat, dry cough, congestion and wicked body aches have made the last 4 days feel much longer.

I am that person that managed to avoid catching Covid for over 2 years. I washed hands diligently. I wore a mask every time indoors around people I knew and people I didn’t because I recognized that the virus is indiscriminate. It doesn’t care who knows who, who lives with who, or who is visiting who- it just persists at proliferating by finding more and more human hosts.

While I didn’t live in fear, I did live with what I considered to be a healthy dose of precaution. And then Voila… I didn’t wear a mask to an outdoor event on a breezy day thinking that would be ok.

Out of all the times to be down with Covid this month for me would be a 9 out of 10 the worst possible time. Not that there is ever a great time to be sick. I have a lot of extra’s on my plate.

As I am forced to slow down and vacate my typical pace of life, it has provided me with pause to consider how I think, feel and show up for myself and others when the unexpected befalls me.

So, I’ve attempted to be intentional about how I think about this interruption to my otherwise very planned and productive life.

As you might imagine, I’ve run through the gamut of thought and a few emotions. My spiritual side questioned, “Lord, why now?” Which then morphed into “What are you trying to teach me?”(More accurately stated as, what do I need to learn?)

That opened the door to more of a radical acceptance. While I looked at all the things I needed and wanted to accomplish this week, it became apparent those things were not going to happen- not in my timing. That led me to ask, “If not this, then what?”

I then determined to take control over what I could. That included balancing highest priority work obligations with rest, lots of supplements, water and more rest. Taking control over what I can and ought definitely helps me navigate the unexpected more successfully.

Eventually I arrived at the doorstep of gratitude. More like acknowledgment and gratitude. Yes, this sucks, AND…

It could be so much worse. I have not had breathing issues or lost sense of taste and smell. So I became grateful for this more contagious but less severe variant.

As my energy levels have predictably tanked, I am reminded to be grateful for each time I get up and can do something… that it’s ok to go back to bed and just keep pacing myself.

Being in quarantine is allowing me to read more, practice my duolingo lessons more, and has also organically opened up more strategic thinking time. These are all upsides of a down situation. I also have some amazing family and friends who are all singing the chorus of well wishes along with offers for help- that’s both humbling and healing. (I’m quite comfortable at being the encourager for others, the what -can -I -do -for -you -friend. Receiving on the other hand, that has not always been my strong suit. I am learning. I am learning to be a gracious acceptor.

Today I ordered groceries and had them delivered. Rather than tell myself I had to do that because I am in quarantine, I chose to think of it as a pampering moment and took my time ordering just the right items. I was so happy to receive such beautiful, life-giving healthy food on my doorstep. Thank you Sprouts and Instacart.

Instead of focusing on lemons, I like to focus on how to make lemonade. In this case I am choosing to look at this as my “quarantini time” - which once well enough to properly celebrate my recovery will indulge myself in the creation of a fruity quarantini to celebrate my entry back into full civilization, the lessons I am learning, and whatever else God has in store for me. If you see me out and about, I’ll be the one in the mask.


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