It is no secret that the country and the world as a whole is entering the “re-entry” phase of life after experiencing this global pandemic. While some places are farther ahead than others here in America most states are entering into what is fondly known as “Phase 1” of the re-entry process. For several places this means that most businesses that were closed as “non-essential” (more another time on my new hatred for the word “essential”) are being permitted to re-open with an extremely reduced building occupancy rate, church and house of worship gatherings are being permitted to resume-again with an extremely reduced occupancy, and mask or face coverings are required for those who are choosing to be out in public. For some this is a relieve, others a nightmare, and still more an outrage. I’m not really in the mood to discuss where on that spectrum I fall, but what I have come to realize over the last 2.5ish months are several points about myself that I hope to continue to explore and focus on as I work to be the best version of myself that I can be.
Some of the things I realized about myself are things I think I already knew but have just been solidified. Others are relatively newer revelations.
1) I have no need for politics.
When I was in college I was an active member of the local College Republicans chapter. We sponsored events on campus and I helped with a few events around town and in the state. I realized that I really only did this because I was dating/engaged to Dusty at the time and it was something that was important to him. If it had not have been for that connection I would not have been involved in the least. To be 100% honest, I don’t remember a single thing I learned in my senior Gov. & Econ class in high school because it had to do with our political system and I completely tuned out. And that is exactly how I respond when the news is turned on or when someone around me starts a conversation that falls within the political spectrum. I really don’t even care if I vote. If I have learned anything over the course of the last 16 years of being “of age” to vote it is that it doesn’t really matter anyway. Nothing is going to change. Policy isn’t changed, things don’t get better, and the ugly mudslinging hateful debacle that is our government only gets worse as time goes by. So in short, when it comes to all things politics…count me out.
2) I truly value all human life.
As a Christian human life is something that has always been important to me. All human life. For as long as I can remember I have always questioned the validity of capital punishment. I have also been against abortion. I believe with every fiber of my being that ALL human life was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and that means that all life is precious. That also means it is up to the one that created the life to determine how and when it is no longer useful or necessary. It is not my job as one of the created to make that decision.
Some may ask how this pertains to the current pandemic and it is simply this: Life is more important than money. While I am aware that business and money are things that we have turned into “the driving force” of society, there are ways to survive without and there are and will be ways for that to be replaced or who knows…maybe even a better system put in place. What I can’t replace however is family and friends. People don’t come back. And when people don’t come back then there are holes left in lives that can’t be filled. There will be a day when we can all be in each others company again and what I don’t want to be saying is “Gosh (insert name here) would have loved this. I really miss them today.” I am aware that at some point that is going to happen but I would rather do what it takes for that to be later rather than sooner in life.
3) I don’t have to feel guilty for taking time to do things for me.
I have never really been one to take time for myself. For as long as I can remember everyone has always taken priority. I think I get a lot of that from all the women in my family. The only thing I ever really remember my mom doing in terms of “me time” was there for a while when we were in elementry/middle school my mom took the time out once every 2 weeks to go get her nails done, but even that didn’t last all that long. I am very much the same way. (If you’re my friend on Facebook you know that I haven’t had a hair cut in over 2 years.)
One thing I have tried to do for a very long time is find time to exercise. However, almost always things get in the way and I just don’t get it done. When April 1st hit and I set myself a goal to workout every day during the month I had to find the time throughout the day to get it done. What I learned is that my kids, my home, my responsibilities aren’t going to suffer if I take 45 minutes to an hour each day to exercise. In truth, I am wasting that much time (if not more) each day on social media and that will cause my home and life to suffer. When I redirect that time into making a healthy choice for my mind, body, and soul, things just get better. And sometimes the kids will even join in and we are able to crate fun, happy memories together.
I am sure there are more things that have come to light over the course of the time but those are the few things that I have noticed within the last few days at least. The truth is that none of this probably even matters or means anything to anyone other than me but in the end, I am having to learn that what other people think, even those closest to me, doesn’t have to guide or dictate what direction I take. As hard or uncomfortable that may be, I am learning it is okay to disagree. All I can do is pray that the discomfort eventually fades away and somewhere we all really do still love one another.