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What Now?

Recently, we observed the anniversary of the day “life as we knew it” went dark.

One year ago, in a matter of days, we went from thinking the cable going out, or a kid home from school with a fever was a major inconvenience, to scrambling for basic necessities and wondering if our children would ever know the simplicity of childhood again.

Everything we thought we needed was brought into perspective as we were forced to pare down to absolute needs. And we spent the next 12 months fielding one blow after another, dodging invisible fists coming from every direction, living in a perpetual state of “What now?”

What now?

One year later, as the world begins to open up again, we emerge like groggy children, walking puffy-eyed down the stairs in the dark, wiping at our eyes trying to bring everything into focus as the first rays of sun peek through the curtains… waiting to see what the world will look like when daylight finally arrives and the dust settles. Asking ourselves yet again, “What now?” What now?

What do we do now that we’ve seen life without so many things we thought we couldn’t live without, and realized that we could?

What do we do now that we’ve felt in our bones, how deeply we love some people in our lives, people we took for granted before?

What do we do now that we’ve been forced to analyze our lives, down to the tiniest detail, questioning the way we spend our days and with whom?

What do we do now that we’ve learned lessons we didn’t even know we needed to learn?

What now? Now we rise.

We dust ourselves off and clear our eyes. We take a breath and take time to consider everything we’ve learned, much of which we still don’t fully understand.

Because the lessons continue, just as they did before the pandemic.

We never stop learning and growing, facing challenges and rising to meet them, walking away either winning… or smarter. What now?

Will we trade in the crazy parts of these last 12 months to hurry back to “normal?”

Some parts, sure.

But the parts where we were forced to slow down, gaining new appreciation for the priceless, simple moments of our lives…

…the parts where we learned that most of the things that stressed us out really weren’t important at all… …the parts where we came to see who we love and how precious our time is with them… …the parts where we witnessed everyone around us coming together to make it through hardship… …the parts where we realized the depth of our compassion, even for complete strangers… …the parts where we surprised even ourselves at how much we were able to tuck and roll, to reinvent ourselves every time we were dealt another blow… …the parts where we realized just how capable we truly are, to achieve whatever we need to, no matter the circumstances… Those parts are the priceless gifts in the rubble. Those parts are the souvenirs we get to take with us on our journey. What now?

Simplified, laser-focused and armed with gratitude and a new understanding of our true strength, we now know that there is nothing we can’t do. If it matters to us, we WILL find a way.

And those dreams we put on the back burner? The ones we thought we “didn’t have time for,” or “weren’t qualified for…”

Those dreams are still there, waiting for us to remember. So now that we’ve seen that we’re capable of… well… pretty much anything…

What now?

(Let’s make it happen. Xx Jen)

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