I began my website, “So It Seems,” in April of 2020; my first blog post appeared within days. At that time, #45 was heading into his fourth year in office. We were less than thirty days into the pandemic that still controls our lives. George Floyd was murdered one month later, a horrific illustration of racial tension in our country. To make the unbearable even worse, the planet kept sending clear—and violent—examples of climate change. Floods, heat and cold, hurricanes and tornados, massive fires: all signs of the consequences of our oblivious behavior.
My posts have been my personal reactions to the strange and, at times, terrifying days we were sharing.
Since spring of 2020, I’ve had more time at home than ever before, of course. The enforced set-apart made me even more reflective than usual. And, watching more CNN and MSNBC news than was good for me, made me reactive. It was healthy for my mind and soul that “So It Seems” existed and that you were there to read/react/respond. I am grateful that most times you saw what I said as hope-filled. That was my intent.
The current news reports say that many people are “done with the pandemic.” They are sick and tired of the regulations: masks, social distancing, etc. Scientific evidence has nothing to do with it. They’re just done.
That’s not me. I wear my mask into every store and venue, into the worship services of my congregation. (I’ve given up my colorful, one-to-match-every-outfit-masks for the more protective, but not pretty, KN95s.) I still pay close attention to Jay Inslee’s directives and my ears perk up when I hear Dr. Fauci’s voice on the TV.
Some have given up on Covid. I’m giving up on feeling stuck.
- I still care about the consequences of #45’s tenure in office. For a long while I naively said “T’s influence will wane once he’s out of office.” Rubbish! His influence and power filters down through the Republican party and his many faithful MAGA supporters.
- Racial discrimination continues its evil work, centered currently on making voting more difficult for people of color going into the mid-term elections. That’s unacceptable!
- Covid is not done with us yet. I’m writing this on February 18. The New York Times records the daily death rate in the US on February 17 at 2,467. The horrid accumulated death rate is at 933,000, a number made a bit more tolerable on Google by noting it as 933K.
- Earth is crying out in anguish. We must start listening.
- And now, for heaven’s sake, we are sitting on the brink of a possible WWIII, as Russia invades Ukraine.
But, damn it, I’m giving up on feeling stuck.
I can’t whittle down all those problems. I shouldn’t let them whittle me down, either, for that would mean they win. I need to self-focus.
My Google Bible-search led me to these familiar words from Timothy. “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.”(2 Timothy 1:7)
Here’s what I’m thinking: God doesn’t promise we’ll act with power, love, and self-discipline. That’s up to us. God reminds us of the potential power waiting inside us. It’s up to us to decide the healthiest, most productive way to live out our best self.
Last Christmas, Linda’s eldest son, Jason, gave me a copy of the book Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results, by James Clear. According to the sticker on the cover, over two million copies have been sold. A review on summary.com suggests the book “makes good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible.”
I admit I haven’t yet read Clear’s book, but it’s already helping. Here’s something about me. The mere presence of a book is reassuring—knowing I can access its wisdom at any moment feels almost as if I’m already tapping into its riches.
My goal going forward is to take care of myself, to do whatever I can to be ready for the small part I can play in this whittling that needs to be done.
I’m setting my mind to writing poetry. Check my post where I announced my aspiration. Roses Are Red I’m also off to a small but hopeful start on getting control of my weight and there are other bad habits, just waiting for me to take them on.
Over fifteen years ago, I attended a women’s spiritual retreat at Cedar Springs Christian Retreat Center in Sumas. At one point, the leader suggested we go off by ourselves, to “write a letter to God,” and then listen for God’s answer. My letter included a flimsy description of what I wished I was doing in my life, and then a self-centered litany of excuses on why I couldn’t initiate my plans. God, clearly responded, in a voice I felt deep inside, “You have everything you need right now.” That was true, of course—inertia was my opponent. Whenever I’m making excuses for myself, that God-voice, that proclamation still enters my mind.
Linda and I check our horoscope every morning. A few days ago, Linda received this advice, “Step lively when the trail is clear.” I know that, technically, horoscopes aren’t transferable, but I adopted that one. The world’s a muddle for sure. But, if you look closely, there are some clear trails. I’m taking care of myself, preparing for the pathways ahead. I’ll keep letting you know how I’m doing.
Dear Reader, may you step lively whenever you spot a clear trail ahead. Happy adventuring!