"There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore."
- Laurie Halse Anderson
The entire modern world is at a standstill.
Streets are empty.
Playgrounds are eerily quiet.
Music venues are silent.
Sport fields are barren.
Going out in public is a risky adventure.
Alarm clocks are unset.
Dogs enjoy company all day.
Neighbors help neighbors.
Hitting a collective pause button has never happened in our lifetimes. It was inconceivable.
So much was lost when we hit the pause button. Big games, weddings, birthday parties, family vacations, grand openings, anniversary celebrations, graduations, baby showers and countless other special occasions.
When external activities disappear from our calendars, what's left? What are the side-effects of this crisis?
In the midst of a pandemic that has disrupted our daily lives, this is where the magic resides.
We can choose to focus on the moments that matter.
We can embrace the surprising side-effects of our lives on hold. We can graciously accept that aspects of our former lives will undergo a transformation beyond our control. We can linger in the unknowing of when our new normal might begin. This pandemic will pass. We will all have new beginnings. There is no going back.
Embrace the magic because we'll never have this time again.
In a TedTalk this morning, author Elizabeth Gilbert urged us to pace ourselves, because this pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint.
What else is like a marathon?
✅ Maintaining a long-term relationship
✅ Raising a family
✅ Building a business
✅ Earning a degree
✅ Writing a book
Every human on Earth is a participant in this marathon. We are more connected and dependent on each other now than ever before. It's already clear this pandemic is not going to last weeks. At best, it's going to last months. And it is going to fundamentally change every aspect of our lives as we live in the new normal.
Some families will grow closer and some families will self-destruct. Some businesses will stay afloat, while others sink. On a personal level, we can gradually adapt to today or exhaust ourselves trying to live in yesterday.
Today's TedTalk was full of strategies to pace ourselves through this experience. The truth is we won't be able to emotionally/financially/energetically/physically help each other if we prematurely exhaust all of our resources with 25 miles to go in a 26.2 mile trek.
Slow down. Practice self-compassion today so you can adapt and be stronger tomorrow.
Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac., DACM
Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac., DACM practices Oriental & Chinese Medicine in Hawaii and Texas.