Easter's Lilly

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The New Normal

Social distancing appears to be our new normal. As a result, our gyms are closed. As Texas is opening back up, gyms and hair salons are on the bottom of the list of importance. For me, this has been tough. Although I can live without getting my hair done for a while, I am a slave to routine. I used to wake up early, go to work, and stop at the gym on my way home. I lost 30 pounds, was feeling great, and was loving my schedule.

I worked out at Planet Fitness. We had the nicest staff. They greeted me by name every day and congratulated me when they noticed I was working harder or looking thinner. The positive vibe when I walked in the door motivated me to get my workouts done. Now, it is up to me to become intrinsically motivated. This could be a problem.

I started running outside. Fortunately, I had weights and a sit-up bench at the house from when I was a stay at home mom and writer and was unable to get to a gym. Now, I get my work done, (I am a teacher), write in my book, and head outside to run. Sometimes this means I get a little wet, and sometimes it means I have to wear a sweatshirt. I get it done, but it is certainly harder on my body.

If this is you, I have some advice. If you can’t run, or just don’t feel up to it, walk every day. Find a place where there aren’t a lot of people and make it a routine. It is important to keep our minds and bodies healthy as we try to discover our new normal. If you find that you cannot get yourself to exercise, find a buddy. Call a friend and ask them to keep you accountable. For me, it is my sons. They push me out the door when I don’t feel like moving, and they are role models for me on the daily. You can use cans or food for weights, or even watch a video. My gym sends me workout videos once a week. They are certainly more popular than ever, so they should be fairly easy to find.

Remember that we are all in this together and to be friendly to people we may see when we are out and about. Let’s not radiate fear because most people are already afraid. Let us exude love, hope, and follow the rules of social distancing. Let us embrace our new normal and continue to be grateful for our blessings.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hoarders Stay Home

The reality is that there is no food, no paper products, and there are only a few people wearing masks. It is hard to remain strong in times like these, especially if you still have a face-to-face job. I can teach from home, but I still must go to the school for people who need extra help. I am not going to lie; it scares me a little.

There are four of us in my household; so far. Two of us have jobs. My boys are desperately trying to finish college, and with everything now online, the curriculum is more difficult than before. I don't want them to work. I want them to finish school because we all know that things are going to become more difficult quickly. We have to feed everyone, try to keep the panic to a minimum and remind ourselves of our daily blessings. Although spending time with our family has been such a huge blessing to me, I worry that when we do run out of supplies, we won’t have many options. So, what do we do?

Let us encourage those around us to have faith. There are no atheists in fox holes, someone once told me, and I believe we are all sitting in a fox hole right now. Be the light in our dark times. Remind people that they don’t need a garage full of toilet paper because God will provide. He always does. Sing in times of discouragement, and make sure that the people around you are really doing okay. Sometimes, the strong ones on the outside are actually the ones holding it together for everyone else. Let us lead guide and direct those with little faith, and remember that God is in control.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge to Him, and He will direct your path.





Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Pandemic Panic

While I am walking through the grocery store with a mask secured around my face and tears filling my eyes, the reality of the empty shelves fills my soul with trepidation. Suddenly, things that used to be important to me mean almost nothing as the world reevaluates truth versus denial. Losing an extra five pounds, worrying about the well-earned lines on my face, the makeup that I wear that is probably too expensive for me to afford, and the cream in my hair that isn’t working anymore are all things that I used to manage with way too much significance. Now, with half the world under some kind of quarantine, two of my boys, my husband and I are “trapped” inside our house until we need to venture out to look for toilet paper, which doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Playing board games is a new normal for us, and we play them almost every night, having fun, laughing, and of course one of my sons is taking videos of me going crazy over a Friends’ trivia question that I should have known the answer to without a thought.

As I drive up to Costco and see all the people standing outside, not practicing social distancing, by the way, the reality of our situation suddenly resonates within me. This could get a lot worse before it gets better if we all don’t take social distancing seriously. My family appears to be the only people with masks on our faces, and although masks may be hard to find right now, anything over the face would probably be helpful. I see on my social media that some of my former students are out on road trips instead of staying home. All we need to do is look at the statistics in other countries to know how serious this situation is.  

In closing, I would like to suggest that we make good use of the opportunity we now have with our families while we are cooped up together. Watch movies, pop some popcorn, play games together, and slow down. Reacquaint yourself with your family, find out how everyone is feeling, and try not to get involved in risky behavior that could put you and everyone around you in danger. So, look for the good, look for the joy, and trust that spending a little extra time with family may be something to take advantage of while you are asked to stay at home as much as possible.  

Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.