Breath of Hope – Thoughts from April

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Hello readers,

As I sit here thinking about the blog, I confess to being tired. It’s not the best time of the day to try to be creative, yet there is only one day left in the month to compile Breath of Hope. And in some ways, I. Got. Nothing.  So I decided to write this in a letter form rather than compile a bunch of tips. That okay with you?

It’s been a wearying month for the world really, and every one of us is feeling it in some way. Whether affected by health or economic/employment change (we’ve experienced the latter, so far okay on the former) or the emotional toll of seeing how it has affected others, it’s no wonder that we feel drained during a pandemic and such change in our countries.  (If that’s not enough, we’ve had a tornado every month of the year in our state, one not known for that kind of weather!  The last two were pretty severe in some areas.)

Some feel that the “extra time” we’ve been given should motivate us to complete projects around the house or with business or “side hustles” or writing or…

Others feel like they barely have enough energy to keep up with daily responsibilities with children, working from home, or navigating all the confusing inputs of information (not to mention the range of emotions.)

I fall somewhere in the middle. Having worked from home for years now, it’s not much of a change to be in quarantine. I’ve been out only a handful of times for about six weeks now.  But it is still strange to now have to put more thought into what should be simple decisions about “going out” than in the past, what effect I could have on others even if I feel healthy, and grieving the loss of the same freedom to plan my days that I enjoyed just a few weeks ago.  My husband and I are also living a “new normal” of being together a lot more during the week due to changes in his work. (Good thing we get along!)

In some ways, I’ve been productive, in a plodding way. I’ve had the opportunity to give thought to some matters with HOPE Unlimited and personally. I’ve connected in different ways with people such as Zoom hangouts (and I’ve learned that online interaction can be draining.) I’ve worked on projects here and there, and have enjoyed continuing to use my Silk and Sonder planner journal.

In other ways, I’ve been lethargic and had pockets of time where I felt drained and discouraged, wishing I had the mental and emotional energy to create more elements of my upcoming book or organize something in the house.

I’m realizing through all this that it’s okay to feel a wide range of emotions and energy levels at a time like this. It’s important to embrace grace and extend it to others.  Not everyone is going to process this in the same way you are, and you may surprise yourself in how you feel some days.  You may be ultra productive one day and get very little done the next.

I encourage you to navigate these days with fewer expectations on yourselves AND others. If you feel productive, go for it. If you need a nap, take it. Let go of some concerns for even a little while.  Forgive someone for not seeing things the way you do.  Do your work for the Lord, not just your boss/client.  And, please, take care of yourself (beyond just protecting yourself and others from the current virus, but also for general health and avoidance/management of illness as best as possible.)

I’ll be in touch again next month, but please feel free to reach out to me if you just want to say hello in this time of isolation!

Beth

 

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