Way back in 2017 when life was, y’know, normal, I wrote down the stray thoughts that ran through my head as I prepared Thanksgiving dinner. I shared my resulting interior monologue, calling it “Thankful For Ordinary.”
Re-reading this blog post today really cheered me up. Made me grateful that I lived that day, and happy that I didn’t take it for granted. “Good job!” I congratulated myself, “you didn’t squander what you were given.”
I need cheering up too. Because life these days is too eventful. On the one hand, it’s kind of awe-inspiring to be living now. To be a part of history in the making. Even though it’s dreadful history that’s being made, and a little terrifying.
So, to cope with it all, I’m working hard at finding my balance, as I have had to do many times before in my life. Like when my first newborn was critically ill, and numerous times since, as my family has faced serious illness and injury, and yes, death. As we all must do each time life throws a challenge in our laps.
Thank goodness, I’ve gotten better at life in my 58 years of practice. It’s just life. We get thrown in, and we swim. Or we sink. Swimming is better.
I find my balance by staying informed. Not soaking up every bit of news, not marinating in the hyperbole, the hysteria. Instead, I ration it, listening to a full, balanced newscast once or maybe twice a day. I educate myself, heeding the words of my government and public health professionals. I ignore the unreliable voices, checking the source of every interesting headline before I plunge into the content, refusing to consume the garbage. I safeguard my mental health along with my physical health.
I cook ordinary meals, wholesome food, for my family, temporarily expanded this week to include a couple big city refugees. I keep busy. I work at home, so that hasn’t changed, and I have plenty of chores and projects to keep me busy too. I appreciate my family, and my dog, and my barnyard, and my beloved muddy valley.
And I glean what pleasure I can from the experiences this pandemic is beginning to bring. Like the brave Italians singing out their windows. And my coworker’s really good animated short film about social distancing. And the many stories of people helping people. And like the long distance phone call I got yesterday, just to catch up, from a dear cousin who temporarily walked away from her social media accounts last week. Long distance phone calls are vintage social media and happily far more affordable today than they were back when they were the only game in town. My cousin is doing what she must to find her own balance as she faces dual challenges, working in our beleaguered Alberta’s oil patch plus Covid-19. It was good to hear her cheery, spunky voice.
But what works best for me, is just being thankful for ordinary. There is still plenty of ordinary around, I have to look a little harder for it is all. And make sure I appreciate it wherever I find it. As I try to remember what my Dad always says when trouble strikes. This too shall pass.