Before getting too deep into this topic, I’m going to make it personal for a minute.
About five years ago I kicked an unhealthy addiction. It was one which had plagued me for most of my adult life. As addictions go, I was in the company of others suffering the same problem, inherently making it harder to shake. I mean if most of the people you surround yourself with share the same problem it must not be a problem, right?
Then one day the wisdom of a friend caught me at just the right time.
My unhealthy addiction (at least in my opinion) was wishing for more hours in a day. As a mommy and a professional, it’s a habit many succumb to as we find ourselves overbooked, under nourished and ultimately unhealthy in some way shape or form.
Paraphrasing the friend’s wisdom, she quite simply shared the power in learning to say no and the freedom that comes with that. So, I began turning down offers to join the PTC, attend events which didn’t coincide with my family calendar and the like. In short, I continued to love, support and show up for much, but I didn’t guilt myself for saying no.
In time, I learned to adapt when not everything I intended to do was completed. I began to show myself grace and stop beating myself up for not being able to do “all the things.”
Most recently a friend said to me, “Speak to yourself with the same love and kindness you give your best friend. Be your own best friend.”
I have wise friends, this I know for sure. So it only seems fitting to share their wisdom on a broader scale.
Now on to “the virus,” as my 12-year-old has named it.
I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I still feel as if I’m living a surreal space in time. Watching a movie unfold from the confines of my “safe place.” And excuse my ignorance for a moment, as I openly share, I’m still very confused about the extreme measures being taken for something which is essentially the flu.
Was that a gasp? Is your head shaking or are you in my same camp?
You see what I’ve come to learn is that there is indeed a camp of us who are completely confused. Yet, we’re not law breakers and don’t want to risk infecting those we love, but we’ve had the flu and we know with rest and care it too will pass. Or, now this is the big show of ignorance, we unknowingly infect someone, their illness progresses and they become hospitalized and that’s horrible. But that does happen with the flu, pneumonia and the like.
Yet, I digress and here we all sit staring at one another under quarantine because … Italy. Or is it because ‘Chy-na’? I’m not sure. This darn movie script changes so much it makes me a bit dizzy.
Then there’s the plot twist, which I think a few have missed. Remember those days you’ve wished for more hours – you got it! Remember “all the things” you envisioned you’d do with those more hours – you got it!
But here’s the comedy angle.
Just like in the Disney movie when the genie comes from the lantern, you get those three wishes; that’s it. You don’t get to place conditions on each wish. You don’t get to say, I wish I had more hours in my day so I could spend more money, be away from my family and share it all on social media. It just doesn’t work like that.
Almost two decades ago when I struggled with infertility I wondered why. After all, I had done “all the things.” I had gotten married, gone to college, landed a great career, bought a home, paid my taxes – no baby.
Once again a wise friend said, “There is your plan and God’s plan.”
So here we sit, living with more time as many had wished for, yet under God’s conditions.
Side note: If the God thing or faith for that matter isn’t your thing, my apologies. You probably should have jumped ship on this piece about 500 words ago.
In short, please understand I’m not taking the death and illness of others lightly. Just as I don’t when a friend battles cancer, heart disease or the flu. I’m just wondering if we’re all really paying attention. Amidst all the political hype, intensified by national media it boils down to – God listened.
Do with it what you will. My hope is once we come to the final credits of this very twisted sci-fi movie, new habits have been established for most and clarity becomes us more than tragedy. God Bless.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.