This isn’t normal… Part 2

I have been working from home for two whole months. As I mentioned in Part 1, there are a lot of things I don’t mind about working from home and staying in a lot more because of the COVID-19 restrictions, although there are things I miss. I am not alone, and I know this from reading articles about the positive habits people are cultivating during this odd time. From drinking more water, getting more sleep and more exercise, baking, and spending more time with family, some people are taking advantage of new opportunities for self-care. When life gives you lemons…
 

I am no different. I get to see my husband and my cats at different times during the day on my work breaks when I am not half awake or exhausted, which makes me smile. I’ve managed to lose a few pounds from eating what is available at home rather supplementing with whatever snacks I stop off for to get me through a stressful day. Most of days are less stressful simply without the commute. There is less of a feeling that we need to go somewhere or do something, only to get there and be disappoint or wishing we had stayed home.

The things that stress me now are what the future will look like. It’s hard to fathom going to a crowded restaurant, getting on a full plane, or grabbing food at a public place that has been touched and breathed on by other people. I realize this is controversial territory, especially in the midst of the everyone must wear a mask/masks are an infringement on my freedom argument that is raging throughout the United States right now. 

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Photo by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com

I know that this whole situation is experienced differently by each and every person. Some people have lost everything, be it a dream, a home, a business, the safety of being at school or work away from someone who causes them stress or home, opportunities, time with family and friends, and a myriad of things I’m not thinking of. I read more news than the average person, and it is absolutely heartbreaking to read people’s stories of loss, trauma, and devastation. Some people have created opportunities in the midst of chaos, while others have just adapted and are living one day at a time. The scary thing is that no one knows where this goes or how it ends. Will the COVID-19 virus go away, or be around in some form for the foreseeable future? Will we all be vaccinated by force or shunned by society if we don’t get vaccinated? Will the economy continue to collapse or will it recover? Will there be a 2020 Presidential election? Will life ever be so-called “normal” ever again? Your guess is as good as mine.

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Photo by Lynnelle Richardson on Pexels.com

For now, I am happy to see my family from time to time via ZOOM, in short, manageable doses. I enjoy leisurely walks around my neighborhood. I cherish the painstaking work my husband does on our yard while I help collect rocks, gather supplies, and move bags of mulch and soil so we can have a garden. As anxiety-ridden as I get sometimes, I try to focus on now instead of worrying about if I will ever be able to travel again, or if the world will break out in war over tariffs or the origins of the Coronavirus. Will we ever get to see live music again? Will we ever get to watch professional baseball again?

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Photo by Chrellie at Guaranteed Rate Field (formerly U.S. Cellular Field) in Chicago, IL

I can’t spent too much time worrying about these things because the information available causes more confusion than clarity, no matter the sources you read. I try to remain hopeful, and I try to be mindful of the world around me. I’m not without challenges or struggles, but I am much luckier than some. I hope the best for us all.

Faith

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In Good Faith.”

My faith has fluctuated throughout my life. I grew up Roman catholic, then lost touch and have, over time, found a comfortable level of faith-based beliefs and independent spirituality. I believe in God and that He gave us free will.  I believe that miracles can happen. I believe that we sometimes face challenges that help us learn and grow. I believe that He can intervene in life but I am sometimes confused how it all works, the why and how of it, and I don’t believe that He saves close parking spaces.

I recognize times in my life when I got a favor and I was clearly given a hand, if you will, though I struggle with faith in other situations. I had an alternator go out while I was driving on a city street but I was able to keep the car running long enough during a brief red light to turn a corner, turn into a business parking lot and park the car in a towable parking space before the car completely shut off. I believe that I was kept safe in a situation that could have gone wrong. I was a on a two-lane street with no street parking available, my panel was not lit and I had no idea of the speed I was going. If the car stopped in the middle of the street, it likely would have resulted in an accident. This car presented me with other similar situations and I was protected each time, thank God. I also believe that God has helped me through some tough times.

I struggle with faith when it comes to bad things repeatedly happening to good people and the suffering they endure, seemingly while bad people carry on with minimal consequences. They somehow manage to get sympathy, justification for their bad behavior and, in some cases, multiple chances for redemption, while others get the book thrown at them for the smallest of infractions. I am told that they will “get theirs in the end”, that “God’s justice is not the same as human’s justice”, and that “everyone deserves a second chance.” Yes, and I am familiar with the Holy Bible’s stance on this  in Matthew 18:21-22 NASB.

“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

I get that we are all human and that we will have our day of judgment to answer for what we have done in our lives. I am even sympathetic to the plight of the wronged and abused who were not taught a better way and committed horrible acts but I believe that they still, in many cases other than severe mental illness, made a choice. We are all held accountable for our actions and the choices we make, especially as adults. I believe in forgiveness and its power to free us, yet I also believe that our forgiveness of others can be taken for granted.

I believe in free will and I believe in divine intervention, but I often wonder how God decides when and when not to intervene. Why does He intervene in some situations and not others, especially a situation of magnitude? Or did He try to intervene and the people were willful, preventing a different outcome? I contempt this as I see terror attacks, wars, crimes against humanity by companies, countries and individuals, oppression, child abuse, and a world in which the most basic human freedoms are being restrained and struck down by powerful individuals working for the supposed “greater good”.

I have faith that there are good people who care about others and about what is going on around them, and I have faith that they can make a difference by speaking out, helping and educating others and by just being honest, decent human beings. Maybe God is using them as instruments to fight back against the evil order at work. Although I try to be a realist, I remain optimistic that life can get better, even as I see signs of life getting harder, and that humanity can band together to fight for true good – freedom, liberty, healthy non-genetically modified food, clean air and water, self-defense, self-sufficiently, an end to wars and power struggles, true healthcare rather than sickcare, individualism and respect for our likenesses and differences. We all need to have faith.