Over the past few weeks, many of us have re-entered society in some way. Like zombies, we are all dragging our bodies back into places where the people are, and we are hungry for people! At least I know I am.
All gross Walking Dead references aside, it really feels that way. The world has changed into a Bizarro version of the world we once knew. It also feels different because our rhythms aren’t the same, familiar spaces are marred by arrows and instructions, and we’ve all developed new social norms in our efforts to social distance.
In stores, people look weird in their masks and they act even weirder. We’re learning to read “eye language” – how strange is that? I watched a woman gently escorted out of a store while yelling the entire time about her stimulus check. I don’t know the whole story, but I found myself searching for the nearest exit.
I thought, we aren’t ready yet. But ready or not, here we are.
At home, I was suddenly faced with the prospect of wearing real pants and jewelry for the first time in over 30 days. I felt like an alien in my own closet. I couldn’t find my favorite earrings or my go-to belt. It’s impossible to retrace your steps when your last “steps” were almost two months ago.
When I finally put myself together, I went back to my office last week. The first thing I noticed was my plant in the window. Poor guy. He was barely hanging on. I had failed to bring it home pre-quarantine and now it was headed for the trash. Lesson learned.
But then I thought, why not try to save it? So I watered it, tore away the dead parts, and gave it a chance to reach for the sunlight again. In just a few days, tiny new leaves were emerging on its stems. The surviving leaves were full again.
The outcome was very different because I chose to see life instead of death.
I chose to reimagine what the ending could be.
As insignificant as that wimpy plant is, it’s also the perfect representation of our current state of being. To borrow a quote from one of my all-time favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption –
“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”
Although “busy” may represent something brand new right now, it doesn’t have to be what it used to be. If I learned anything while sheltering at home, I learned that I have used “busy” as an excuse to store my passions away on a shelf for decades. Decades!
Instead, I should use “busy” to focus on my priorities and realize that everything created by God needs nurturing and pruning. That everything includes me – my relationships, my interests, my faith, and my journey. What that looks like is subject to change, but that’s the best part of the process. Something new is always growing! And growth means we’re doing something right.