Like many of you, I am finding an new normal in the midst of chaos and uncertain times. Not because it is something I wanted to do but it is a survival mode. It is -learning to be resilient in the face of the unknown. In January I began to notice the word Coronovirus. It was just a blurp because I am horrible with keeping up with current events. Therefore; I was not knowledgeable about what was really going on around the world. As the virus spread across the world, I began to hear ‘virus’ in almost every conversation. One morning while having breakfast at a local restaurant, there was a rather large group having a discussion at the next table. One lady adamantly informed that this was just a virus and that there is nothing you can do but let it run its course. She went on to state that this is just another version of the flu. I would later that same week, overhear a nurse practitioner state that everyone should just calm down and let this thing pass. It was not until a dear friend, who has family in Milan, Italy would really bring this into focus for me. Only then could I began to grasp the sheer breathe of what we were really facing. I had heard the TedTalk given by Bill Gates and I remembered the warnings brought forth under the Obama Administration about ‘super virus’ and here we were. What amazed me even more so was that we as a country was not nearly prepared as we should have been. We had not heeded the warning and we were not prepared.
On Sunday March 1, I made a decision to change the course of my life. I was actually living what I’d like to call ‘upside down’. My goals and purpose received very little of my time and attention. My job, procrastination and bad health were deciding where I would go and what I would do and I was going in the opposite direction of where I was supposed to be going. Whenever I start a new job or position, I take inventory and set goals with fixed deadlines. Though they are fixed, they are also fluid enough to allow the Holy Spirit and wisdom to flow through. I set a goal for myself for month 6, year 1 and year 3. By the time I hit year 2, I knew I was not going to be where I wanted and needed to be by year 3. As a matter of fact, I was so far off track, I would have to work very hard over the next year to get myself turned around and headed back in the right direction. For two years, I have allowed someone else or something else to direct my footsteps. I had left the One who truly sets my purpose, lights the path and orders my footstep. There are so many Scriptures that I could insert here but I will spare you this time. Monday, March 2, I decided to resign from my position as Communications Liaison at my job. Beginning April 1, I would begin substitute teaching and working on my own business and paying some real attention to my health and writing adventures. Substitute teaching would not bring in a lot of money but I truly believed that this is the path I am supposed to be on. The admission of my resignation would have to wait another week and a day, as my manager was out of town on vacation. During this time, COVID19 would move closer to home and devastating results were forming.
As time would progress, things would grow dire. My last day was set for March 20th and I would grow excited and peaceful with each passing day until about March 12. Events around the nation were being cancelled or postponed. Anything with a group over 100 (initially) was cancelled. We were headed to the Highland County Maple Festival when we received notice that the festival was cancelled in the best interest of the safety and health of everyone. We still went to Highland County and to the Douthat State Park but it was a ghost town. Returning, we would soon find out that all schools in Virginia would close for a few weeks or month. A few weeks later, the governor would declare schools closed for the remainder of the year. And just like a puff of smoke, substitute teaching was off the radar. I, however, still had peace and I still had calm. For I truly felt and I still do feel that God is in the midst of this craziness and he has called me out to follow Him on this path. I do not know all he answers but I know, I must be obedient and faithful no matter what it looks like. I will trust Him. In the meantime, I have work to do.
It has always worked out that when I am transitioning I am able to run down to Mississippi and visit my parents for longer than a few days. This was previously a rare treat because when you work you are only given a small allowance of days off per year and in the private sector, they are usually not generous with the days. Now that time did not appear to be an object, I gathered my niece and we drove down to Mississippi and spent time with my parents. Dad has dementia now and Mom has some health issues that are keeping her from moving about as she desires. As my visit progressed, I realize that I am in another new reality -a sandwich generation, of sorts -helping with young adult children and elderly parents. We spent two weeks with my parents before heading back to Virginia. I returned to hopefully wait out COVID 19 or until we flatten the curve and try to return to some functioning measure. I will probably return to Mississippi around May 1 and stay for the entire month. There is much to be done to help aging parents get use to their new reality as well (this is a post topic all on its own that i will share soon). But for now, this is Pandemic Life. I will follow up Monday of next week to let you know what projects that procrastination has accumulated and the strides I am making for changes that will sustain my goals. I will answer the one question that I have been asked 500 times since resigning my job as well as what my new routine looks like. In the meantime, what does your Pandemic Life look like? Did you have to make changes? I would love to hear from you.
Until our next blog time, be well and stay safe. I need you!