Three Things I Learned This Spring

When I decided to participate in Emily P. Freeman‘s “Things I Learned This Season“, I knew I would have no trouble coming up with three things.

The Coronavirus crisis, of course, dominated everyone’s spring. How could I not have learned from the most momentous event of our lifetimes?

All of us have been schooled by the pandemic.

We learned how to social distance. We learned how to grocery shop while wearing a face mask. We learned that community spread is a bad thing and flattening the curve is a good thing.

We learned not to take the small stuff for granted: eating dinner at a restaurant, getting together with our friends, hugging the people we love. If I see you after the pandemic is over, watch out, I might not let go.

For this post, I tried to distill all of the things I learned this spring into three of the most important ones. Here they are in no particular order.

Prioritize the important things

 

1. By fantasizing about what I would do when the stay-at-home order is lifted, I learned what I missed most.

I miss seeing my family. I miss traveling. I miss traveling to see my family.

We have missed two family-oriented trips already and I am determined not to miss any more. Barring specific orders forbidding it, we plan to travel to Colorado to celebrate our grandson’s fifth birthday at the end of July.

I miss races. Virtual races are not the same thing, even if they provide a T-shirt and medal.

Real-life racing comes with sizzle, with pizzazz, with excitement and energy and fun. And maybe a beer and a soft pretzel at the end if you’re lucky. Or a banana and a bagel if you’re not.

When real-life races are once again an option, I want to get some trail races on the schedule. Maybe even ones we can travel for.

Life is too short to miss too many celebrations, whether they look like birthday festivities, hopping on airplanes, or gathering at the starting line.

I am ready to begin celebrating again.

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered” Psalm 39:4

Still crazy after all these years

Meditations in Motion

2. Bill and I will celebrate anniversary number 42 this August (Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.)

We have told each other several times this spring how lucky we are to be staying at home not only with someone you love, but someone you actually enjoy spending time with.

The photo above was taken before the sixth run of our 4x4x48 caper (where we ran four miles every four hours for 48 hours).

It’s good to have a life and running partner who, when one of us (often me) suggests we do something outlandish, the other one’s response is usually affirmative.

“(Love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:7

Fear and sadness look different on different people

Meditations in Motion
Photo credit

When I was in junior high school my friends and I went through a phase where we frequently borrowed each other’s clothes.

I can remember coveting a certain new sweater that looked extremely flattering on one of my classmates.

I screwed up my courage, asked her if I could borrow it, and, to my surprise, she agreed to lend it to me.

As soon as I slipped the sweater over my head, I knew it did not look as good on me as it did on her. I was not as, um…curvaceous as she. On my friend, the sweater accentuated her good points; on me, it hung limply.

The sweater looked different on different people.

Emotions are the same way.

Joy looks different on my husband than me. I am much more expressive; Bill is more stoic. I wear my emotions on my sleeve; he is circumspect.

Fear and sadness can look like anger on some people.

While we should never condone or tolerate hate, racism, ageism, classism, or any of the other “-isms” this pandemic seems to have accentuated, it helps if we understand the emotions behind the public stances.

I sometimes just need to get over myself and get off of my high horse.

When I immediately assume a position of self-righteous indignation, a discussion of any serious topic is precluded.

It helps if we approach those with whom we disagree with an attitude of understanding.

We are living in unprecedented times. We have all suffered some form of loss. It’s natural to feel somewhat scared and sad.

Let’s not compound the fear and sorrow by deepening the chasm between us. Let’s begin with an attitude of grace.

And if that doesn’t work, we can always move to righteous indignation.

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6: 27 – 28.

 

You can find the places I link up here.

Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.

Meditations in Motion

 

 

 

 

74 comments

  1. I remember the first weekend of social distancing. On Saturday everyone was “am I being rude if I move 6 feet away from someone?” and by Sunday it was “wow, some clueless person just got within 6 feet of me”. That lesson got learned fast. The best lesson is that I really, really, really like being with my family 24/7 and I’m in no hurry for that to change. Happy upcoming 42nd anni!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That lesson did get learned fast. On the first weekend, I can’t believe I actually hugged a friend who had recently lost her husband. She was talking to me, began to cry, and before I thought about it, I gave her a hug. Now, I would never do that!

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  2. Happy Anniversary to Bill and you, Laurie! And yes, if this shut down has done anything positive, it’s certainly made us prioritize what is most important in our lives. I truly want to hang on to that, and never forget how it felt to not be able to realize these dreams and wishes, and to be more grateful for the time when those prayers and hopes will be answered.
    Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s hard to not get a chink in the armor and break down in these trying times Laurie. I heard a psychologist on the radio this morning and she says everyone has had something happen to them during this last 10 weeks, not even losing a loved one, just the fear of the unknown and she would wonder about anyone who DID NOT.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “While we should never condone or tolerate hate, racism, ageism, classism, or any of the other “-isms” this pandemic seems to have accentuated, it helps if we understand the emotions behind the public stances.” Such wise words, Laurie — until we can find that understanding, we will remain divided. When we do find it, nothing will keep us completely apart.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am pretty sure you will be able to travel to Colorado to celebrate your grandson’s fifth birthday at the end of July.
    Densely people-packed races might not happen too soon, but how happy we all will be when they do!
    42 years! We celebrated our 27th last week – but 42 is a different league altogether. I agree it’s not too bad to be locked down with someone you enjoy being with! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Like you, I’ve been thinking about what I’ve been missing most during our time at home. I’ve found that this crisis has really made it clear to me what is most important: spending time with people I care about. We’ve been able to see family (from a distance), but I miss being able to hug my parents. I miss spending time with my family and friends without having to worry about potentially getting them sick. I miss being out in public without worrying about getting too close to others. I miss the simple joy of being able to stop and talk with someone in the neighborhood or go out for a meal. It’s really the human interactions. But I feel lucky that if I’m stuck at home, I’m at least stuck at home with family members I love and whose company I enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post. Congratulations on your anniversary. What I’ve missed is the ability to plan ahead and look forward to something – it’s what I’ve struggled with the most.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy anniversary! I will agree that it’s wonderful to be married to someone whose company you enjoy. It’s made this tough period in time a lot easier since I rarely desire time away from Jason.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy anniversary! We’ll be celebrating 25 years in June — kind of hard to believe it’s been that long, but also hard to believe we’re celebrating a landmark anniversary in lockdown. Weird times indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We may have been reluctant pupils, but we’re all learning a lot this spring. It’s good to be reminded that emotion looks different on everyone. Maybe compassion is the lesson I will gain from that insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow… that idea of how it looks different on other people – that was really powerful. So true. it scares me how people “wear” their fear though… when you’re toting guns down a street or standing in government yards, the its time to check that emotion somewhere.
    & that’s just awesome you two will be celebrating so many years together – you two look like newlyweds still 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I am afraid of men toting guns down the street too. I think that is their point – to make people afraid of them. Ha! We are waaaaay past newlyweds.

      Like

  12. Happy Anniversary! Funny how the years sneak up on you, isn’t it? I’ll have to think about what three things I’ve learned, or maybe re-learned, this past spring. I agree with you about prioritizing, but the other two… I’m not sure about. Good food for thought here.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hello, being thankful for the small things is important. I really miss eating out and traveling. I hope all goes well for your Colorado trip. Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby. We all deserve to be safe, healthy and happy in our country. Wishing you a happy day!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Laurie, you shine in these kinds of posts. Have the feeling I’ve gotten to know you much better! There is a balance in your writing about difficult things. But the end is the clincher. So hard to treat someone nice if they curse you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words. Yes, it is hard and I don’t always treat people as nicely as I should. Something I am working on.

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  15. My husband and I just celebrated 19 years this week but 42?! That’s wonderful!! I sure hope you can travel this summer (and it is sounding that way so far!). I am pretty much at the point that someone is going to have to tie me down to keep me from traveling. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m with you, Laurie. I can’t wait for the celebrations that are face to face and not via a screen.

    And congrats to you on 42 years. A milestone for sure. How cool that you share so many of the same interests.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our region of the state is having the rules relaxed next Friday. We are having an (outdoor, socially distanced) party with 8 of our closest friends on Saturday.

      Like

  17. I appreciate the analogy of the sweater, comparing it to emotions, and your wise words, “Let’s not compound the fear and sorrow by deepening the chasm between us. Let’s begin with an attitude of grace.”

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Early happy anniversary to you! We just reached 40 years last December. I agree, it’s nice to live life with someone you like as well as love–especially in a quarantine. And that’s so true that emotions come across in varying ways on different people. We need to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).

    Liked by 1 person

  19. “When I immediately assume a position of self-righteous indignation, a discussion of any serious topic is precluded” Now I have to check the date you wrote this but I think it preceeded the death of George Lloyd, but that is what I thought of when I read this line in particular. I am saddened by the rioting, but when I read some responses to it, I think it is sad, because no good discussion can come from dismissing the pain of someone or a people and the combination of rioting and the responses of dismissive indignation prevent any real solution. Because it seems like that would have to come from listening. Anyway that is where I went with that particular line, but I appreciated the whole post.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Really enjoyed reading this post, Laurie! As a former runner (wrecked my knees, unfortunately, so now confined to power walking), I’m kind of dumbfounded at the idea of a “4x4x48 Caper” … wow! And who better to share that with than your beloved of almost 42 years … congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lauren. I’m sorry about your knees. Yes, Hubby and I have done some wacky things in those 42 years. 4x4x48 was right up there with the wackiest!

      Like

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