Never Forgotten. Forever Changed.

May 2020 | by carina deguire

There is no doubt that this is a time we will remember forever, a period marked by immeasurable suffering and loss for many. The thoughts shared below are meant to encourage, and in no way take away from the devastation and heartache being experienced by so many people and businesses.

The only expectation I have for myself during this time of social isolation is not to emerge unchanged. My aim is to let go of control, give myself grace, embrace this new way of life head-on, and, ultimately, look within instead of questioning everything around me. I have come to realize that the only thing that I can control in all of this is me. It is unknown if or when schools will open this spring, if there will ever be toilet paper on store shelves again, and whether or not we will face unemployment, financial hardship, or a COVID diagnosis. Despite the lack of control in many areas of my life right now, I can control my thoughts and actions. Forgo intense focus on the unpleasant and uncomfortable and, instead, find the hidden blessings that exist in this whirlwind of chaos and uncertainty. Have no doubt, there are many.

In the same way that I have had to be intentional about choosing peace, joy, and togetherness over anxiety, stress, and feelings of loneliness, I hope to continue to choose those things in the days, weeks, and years ahead. Planning now to intentionally choose these things later, would no doubt be of benefit, as life will inevitably pick up and I will run the risk of falling victim to the fast-paced, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants life that was lived before all of this began. 

When I look back on the memory of this season, I want it to be a time when I stopped doing everything possible to fill my days and discovered that I already had all that I ever needed right in front of me. A time when learning to live with less allowed me to discover that it was, in fact, more.

Twenty years from now, we aren't likely to remember how many closets were cleaned (nor do most of us have hope that those closets will remain clean). When we look back, we will remember how we felt during this time, and how we made those around us feel. Personally, I want this time to be marked as one in which I learned to: love more deeply and selflessly, embrace a slower pace of life, become more intentional with my time and actions, and rediscover how the great outdoors truly is a magical place full of adventure (no toys required). I hope the sound of laughter and birds chirping (that has temporarily replaced the sound of busy streets and hustled people) will forever be ingrained in my mind and serve as a beautiful reminder of the good in a difficult time. 

This season of life will affect and change us all in different ways. I encourage you to contemplate the change that is happening within your own life. To pull the good from it, and intentionally curate a place for that change in your life as you forge ahead. Every situation in life, whether good or bad, is an opportunity for growth. Don't waste this opportunity and what it may hold for you!

Originally printed in the May 2020 issue of Simply Local Magazine

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