We Press On
There’s no blueprint for this time of our lives. We’re all living in this completely unprecedented time in our world history. It’s complicated, with twists and turns and theories and new ideas around every corner. Where did this thing come from and what are our lives going to look like when the dust settles? Sometimes it’s all a little too much.
When I go to bed at night, I often meditate to try to get myself to sleep. It’s nothing fancy, just something to slow my brain down. (I think too much and stew too much, and it causes bouts of insomnia that are really unhealthy for me.) Sometimes I just try to focus my mind on sensory things, like try to be as still as I can and “feel” the nerves in my head to my toes. It’s sounds super weird, I know, but it’s relaxing. Lately though, I’ve been focusing on memories – and this is has been really amazing.
When we started our journey, the idea was simple – take advantage of our relative freedom (we work from home already, and can homeschool) buy an RV, and explore. No real agenda other than adventure, and no long-term plans. We moved into our camper in March 2019, and set out on the road in June. It’s been unbelievable. But this is the really cool part – when I think back over the first leg of our trip, from June to late November, I can literally think of a great memory (some large, some really small) from every single week during that time. Every week! After a while, that’s what I turned my meditations to – thinking about something fun, interesting, or exciting from every week during our trip.
The second leg has been a bit different, for obvious reasons. At first, things were pretty normal, or at least our version of it. We saw new places, experienced new foods, and met really great people. Then I got really busy with work (a great problem to be sure, but one that kept me working from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep, often really late), we took a vacation, went to a full-time families rally, and then….coronavirus. It’s been such a weird season and the memories have been harder to focus on. We’ve missed stops, slowed WAY down to try to “shelter in place” as much as possible, and all the things we’d want to do in those places have been closed anyway.
Again, we’re talking about some pretty first-world problems on our end. Thankfully, on a practical level we haven’t been impacted too greatly by the pandemic, outside of being generally inconvenienced. The friends we know that have gotten the virus have recovered. We haven’t lost anyone as of yet, and we’re incredibly thankful for that. And yet, I can’t help but feel a sense of loss, and an overwhelming sense of anxiety and confusion over the whole situation. I’m just being honest here, and I know I’m not alone.
Just like that, the meditations were gone.
Even before all of this, we were having to adjust to a life that felt a little bit like social distancing and self isolation. We took this on willingly, so we weren’t complaining, but it’s been difficult. A lot of the daily interactions that we took for granted became noticeably absent, and our general introversion went from cute quirk to possible problem. We don’t call our people or keep up with them as much as we should. And we miss them more than they probably realize because, well, we don’t tell them enough.
Social media has been a real double-edged sword. When the only interactions you have with people in general are done over social media, you begin to think that maybe you don’t like people as much as you thought. Great people, with great hearts and great minds, and posting things that don’t really reflect anything of the values they would hope to espouse. I love them, but I’ve muted so many of them lately. Maybe we can have a drink and chat when everything gets back to “normal”. But for now, it’s hard.
I have grace for those people though. We’ve all been just doing our best – for us that means trying to limit our trips to the store (which is harder for those of us that can’t stockpile), social distancing when possible, and trying to see and do things outdoors away from people. For you that might look a bit different. And for some, they don’t have the option to social distance because they’re deemed essential and are working hard for us. (Thank you. Seriously.)
Regardless, everyone is reacting to this differently, and I honestly believe we just need to slow down our brains for a bit and meditate on what’s good in our lives. And to be honest, this season has brought about a completely unique opportunity to step back and really reflect on what is important and truly needed in our lives. We have an opportunity to reset like very few before us have had. I think back over the last eight weeks and I picture cycling in the park, eating takeout picnics, hiking, binging Netflix while snuggled on the couch, and even taking on some business development projects I’ve long put off.
There are memories in there if I’ll just take the time to slow down and engage with them. Mixed in with the anxiety and confusion we all feel in different ways, there are things to be thankful for. Meditate on those things.
We press on. See you all soon.