I am not at rest, not at ease. My mind churns over and over, looking to make a decision, to decide, to then be at rest. But I am not at rest, and I wonder how it can not be so?
The Pandemic looms over us as the holidays approach. Something in our hearts propels us toward gathering. How can we not come together, share turkey and mashed potatoes, play games, draw names for Christmas gifts, drink wine, and look around the room at happy faces on people we love more than anything in the world? How can we not?
But then I ask myself, am I being foolish, defying the odds? I am 77 after all! So will we be filled with remorse and regret and guilt if a loved one becomes gravely ill? Will we beat ourselves up and say “it wasn’t worth it?”
We cannot know for certain the best and rightest choices to make. Because we don’t have enough good and trustworthy and “for sure” facts. We just don’t.
I think the length of time we have been in such turmoil has exhausted us. There is no real, for sure, end in sight and that exhausts us. Isolation and separation exhausts us when we don’t now for real and certain that it is absolutely necessary.
Do we hunker down for a year? Stay in our own little houses, seeing no one? For another year or more?
Do we do our own grocery shopping, masked up, fearfully watching everyone to be certain we are a full six feet apart? Quickly darting around a corner if they come too close? We come home exhausted and afraid.
Or do we live our ordinary lives with some cautions in place? Some that are not too invasive, too stealing away of joy? But some that still afford us some level of protection?
Do we cancel Family Holiday Gathering to be safe for certain or do we draw together with some wise cautions in place so that our hearts can be full? And what cautions are those?
We want to know for certain that we are making the right wise and good choices. We don’t want to be wrong about this because the price we will pay for that wrongness may be very high.
We want control and certainty and no matter what we do we can’t have it. Can’t get it no matter how much news we listen to. No matter how many web sites we follow. We fear they have their own agendas and we don’t trust them beyond the few hours after we’ve listened to them – them, the experts. Because they really don’t know either.
So how can we not be at unrest, doubting everyone, second guessing ourselves, trusting no one? How can we not?
I have decided to be at peace with my unrest. I will just have to sit with it because I can’t make it go away. I have tried to find peace in all this about family holidays and I just can’t. But then, how could I? How could any of us?
But there are some things I know for sure.
I will stop berating myself for being unrestful.
I will not give up being with family. Not sure what that can look like for the holidays, but in my gut it just feels wrong for me to cancel Thanksgiving and Christmas at my house with my grown children, my grandchildren, and my great-grandchildren. That feels wrong to me.
I will take some precautions to keep us all safe and then I will stop being afraid.
Can I stop feeling unrestful about this? Can I stop doubting my decisions? Probably not.
But I can accept that this is the world right now. A world in upheaval. A world in which I have no control.
But I will be ok!