I’ve been pondering why it is that I don’t seem to be as stressed out by the Covid-19 shutdown as many people around me are. First of all, I acknowledge, as I have before, that I have it easier than many. As a retiree, I don’t have a business to close, a job to lose, or children at home. Trusting in a God who makes manna also makes all the difference in the world, but I believe that there’s another factor as well.
For most of my life I was a long term planner to such an extent that I tended to live more in the future than the present. When I retired a little over a decade ago, one of my primary goals was to learn to live more in the moment. I didn’t anticipate that cancer would be what it took to teach me that, but when we’re not guaranteed a future (none of us really is), we start to look at life quite differently and each day becomes a gift. What I’ve discovered about myself during this unusual time is that I truly have met my goal! While people all around me are worrying and making dire predictions about how long this is going to last, I’m finding myself quite unbothered by that aspect of it. I’ve learned to inhabit one square on the calendar at a time and I’m not giving a lot of thought to what the future will bring. It’s very much a “que sera, sera” attitude, but it seems to be serving me well!
I’m sad that I won’t be able to celebrate with two grandchildren who have birthdays in the next couple of weeks and that the trip we were planning for next month had to be put on hold. I’m also hoping that we won’t have to miss a whole season of camping and golf, but mostly I’m just living one day at a time and not worrying about what next week or next month might hold.
An old Merle Haggard song keeps running through my head:
One day at a time, sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m asking from you.
Give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do.
Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus, and tomorrow may never be mine,
So for my sake teach me to take one day at a time.
In closing, I want to be absolutely clear that I’m not suggesting that everyone should be experiencing this time of uncertainty in the same way that I am. Of course, I’m deeply concerned for those who are living in fear and for whom the outcome might be quite devastating. I’m simply enjoying the fact that I’ve met my goal and learned to live in the present moment.
Stay home, stay safe and I hope that you can find some joy in this day!