When I was a sophomore in college my boyfriend (not Bryan) broke up with me. To say that I was devastated is an understatement. I was sure that I was going to marry him. I remember sitting in a quiet space in the library (the most private place I could find a phone – cell phones were still pretty new and I didn’t have one) sobbing to my friend over the phone completely unaffected by the people that kept walking by giving me odd looks. For whatever reason this breakup was really hard on me. I felt so out of control, there was nothing I could do or say to change his mind (which I am super grateful for now). No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I needed something else to think about. I needed to refocus my thoughts.
I had probably done it before, but this is the first time I remember distinctly asking myself “What do I want to learn in this season?” “What do I want to accomplish?” “What memories do I want to have when I look back at this season of life?”
I decided I wanted to learn how to play guitar, so I convinced a friend of mine to give me free guitar lessons. I wanted to learn how to go rock climbing, so I decided to work as a Wilderness guide at a summer camp. Although that was a tough season of my life, I have great memories of sitting with my friends playing our guitars. I had a great summer as a Wilderness guide, I learned a ton and made lifelong friends.
I am now grateful for that season.
I have been in several seasons since where I’ve needed to ask myself those questions.
I feel like we all are in a similar place today. The Coronavirus has changed all of our lives forever. The Coronavirus is here and while there are ways to adapt, we cannot ignore its impact on the world. I don’t know about you but, if I let it, it can consume my thoughts. I need something else to think about. I need to refocus my thoughts.
I’ve started to feel panicky the last two days as our new reality is starting to set in. Homeschooling my children is literally a nightmare to me. I’ve had to stop myself from going there and have started asking myself those same questions I did so many years ago “What do I want to learn in this season?” “What do I want to accomplish?” “What memories do I want to have when I look back at this season of life?”
I am still coming up with my answers, but here are a few I have come up with so far.
• I have always been intrigued by P90X (workout program), but I don’t really like working out at home. Seeing that is my only option, I decided to give P90X a try. You guys- It’s killer!
• I want to learn the joy of taking walks. I generally don’t like taking walks, they feel inefficient. Why walk when you can run? My goal is to take one walk a day with a friend (6 feet apart obviously) and truly take in what’s going on around me.
• I want to be present. I rarely just do one thing at a time. I want to fully present with my family. I want to listen. I want to say yes to my kids more often than not. I want to put my phone aside.
• I want to re-discover talking on the phone. I hate talking on the phone, but I hate feeling disconnected more. I don’t know that I can do it every day, but I want to call someone just to talk a couple times a week.
• I want to update and upgrade my blog. I want to write a backlog of blog posts. My goal is to write at least an hour a day.
This is what I have come up with so far. None of these goals are crazy or unattainable, but they are just enough to give me something else to focus on. I need that. Because I don’t know about you, but the minute I let my thoughts roam, I get very overwhelmed.
So as we enter the weekend, take some time to ask yourself those questions. When you look back, what do you want to remember about this season?
You will still grieve. It is still going to be hard. Life will be different. But I don’t know about you, but those are not the things I want to remember.
I want to remember going on walks with my friends.
I want to remember pressing into my calling in a deeper way.
I want to remember investing in my relationships in creative ways.
I want to remember reconnecting with people near and far.
I want to remember intentional, life giving time with my kids.
How do you want to remember this season?
We are in this together!