Wow. The highs are high and the lows are low right now, my friends. Before this, there were so many weeks that I wished for just one quiet day to be with my people–maybe accomplish some house projects?
Ha. We are on Day 32 of exactly that.
The Ups and Downs of Control.
There is nothing like a worldwide pandemic to really unsettle us control freaks. If everything can be canceled, what does that mean? That we were never in control in the first place? (Yes. Okay. Probably.)
Ugh. I hate that—and I know that you probably do too. This realization messes with your rigid expectations of life. Plans aren’t coming together like they were supposed to–and you need the schedule to STAY ON SCHEDULE.
I’m not even sure what lessons I’m supposed to be learning right now. This feels like a low for a control freak.
But I do have a deep trust that good news will come from this. I trust this because of Easter morning. I trust this because we follow the God of Resurrection.
Most of all, even us control freaks learn to live in faith. We can believe that good is coming. We can trust that God’s tapestry is always so much bigger than the little stitches we can see right now.
The News Really is That Bad
Nineteen years ago, when terrorists attacked our country, I was teaching at Lutheran South Academy. I rolled a TV into my classroom to watch the horror unfold. Then I came home and Mike and I watched hours of coverage about the attacks. Before bed, I opened the mail and found our weekly Newsweek there. All the news from just a week before already looked so dated. This is when I realized our country would never be the same again.
Same for now. I remember where I was when they canceled school for a month, and then church for another month after that. There was the day that the NBA postponed their season…and the Houston Rodeo told everyone to go home…and I couldn’t turn off the news. I’ll never forget the panic of hearing about thousands of deaths in one day or seeing completely empty shelves at Target. For me, one of the most eerie parts has been driving down the deserted Seawall and seeing every hotel and restaurant with an empty parking lot. And then they closed the beaches. History-book moments every day. We will never be the same again.
But there’s also some incredible highs here. I didn’t see those coming either. Are we really still fine? Are we more than fine? Have we really adjusted from hustling to soccer practice to making masks for each other and writing beautiful messages on our neighborhood sidewalks? Have our kids really adapted to a completely new mode of learning in a matter of days? Have the seniors I teach really transitioned from living super-speed lives to ones that look like retirement homes?
All the things we feared the worst are happening–and we are totally fine. Better actually. God is still providing and we are still learning and if we can get through this–maybe we can do a whole lot more than we thought.
Twenty-four hours off and twenty-fours on…
It’s taken a little over a month, but I’ve settled into a new routine–and I’m letting the highs and lows be what they are. Some days I’m so tired and crabby–and others I’m elated and full of energy. Some meals are steak with complicated marinades and three veggie sides–others are “eat up all this cereal!” at 4:00 PM. Some weeks we’ve mucked out and transformed disorganized rooms in our house–and in other weeks, our house is like a museum of Unfinished Craft Projects. Some days the long stretches of family time in our pjs feels exactly right–and on other days, they feel like we’re regressing to our worst selves.
There are days that one (or all of us) is trudging through quicksand. And so, grace upon grace for all of us when the isolation and Groundhog Day effect take over.
There are also the days when we are finding our family again–our own rhythm together, our unique schedule that really fits who we are at this moment in our shared history.
I’m working on feeling the highs and lows, without making those the boss. In other words, I’m shooting for vulnerability and connection instead of rigidity and rules.
What about you? What are your highs and lows right now? What does the Quarantine Rollercoaster look like for your family?