Lessons from the Pandemic

Yellow Flowers in Vase by Sheila D of Sheila’s Corner Studio

I confess. I sometimes feel like a slacker. Sure, I am always doing something, but as I said in an earlier post, I’ve been getting nowhere.

Everywhere I turn, it seems someone has completed a book, started a new venture, traveled the seven seas, or even managed to purge and organize their home during the pandemic. I’ve done zip! I’m usually adept at side-stepping the comparison trap, but lately I have wondered if I’m just plain lazy!

Over the last year we’ve been given many tips on how to thrive, how to stay motivated, and how to do this, that, or the other during the pandemic. It was refreshing to join Pastor Lola Johnston’s Bloom in the Pandemic webinar a few weeks ago and hear her offer, instead of tips for thriving during the pandemic, two reassuring pieces of advice—to simply believe God is who He says He is and practice the principle of Matthew 6:33. She encouraged participants to refrain from practicing belief in our outcome and instead practice belief in the God of the outcome.

Whew!

It was nice to be let off the hook, to release the feelings of failure or guilt for not being completely awesome during the last 15+ months.

Of course, I wasn’t a slacker. I did not reach some of the goals I set for myself, but as I revisit those goals, some of them were way too big and way too much for our present circumstances. But during an actual, maddening pandemic, I held down a full time job, ably managed a leadership position that I was suddenly thrust into, taught overloads each semester, and operated fully in my family without losing my mind. And I actually managed to accomplish a few other things.

It helps to pivot our perspective. Doesn’t it?

If we focus on the gains instead of the unchecked items on our goals list, we’ll find ourselves in a healthier mental space. I realized this while writing a list of lessons learned in response to the final prompt of Love Notes 35. Even though I didn’t achieve some of my biggies, I’ve gained in ways that expanded my soul tremendously and I’ve learned so much.

I’ve learned to listen for the silence.
I’ve learned to find the path to stillness no matter where I am.
I’ve learned to adjust.
I’ve learned to keep moving.
I’ve learned to find time to write and “just be” in small moments because there will never be enough time, otherwise.
I’ve learned to appreciate the questions.
I’ve learned the answers do not always come.
I’ve learned [again] to accept sorrow and grief as necessary parts of life.
I’ve learned to let the deep, aching pain of loss do its work.
I’ve learned that my being vulnerable frees others to drop their masks.
I’ve learned that everyone is indeed fighting a battle.
I’ve learned that there’s very little I can control, but what I can control makes all the difference in my attitude and outlook.
I’ve learned that those who need our compassion most are those for whom compassion is a difficult exercise
I’ve learned to walk in the truth that everyone is made in the image of God.

Even though I sometimes feel like I should be doing so much more, I am learning that continuing to breathe and walk with joy during the pandemic are extraordinary accomplishments.

What have you learned in the last year or so?


About the Image: The bright yellow flowers were sent to me by my blogging pen friend, talented artist, and Love Noter, Sheila D. I actually wrote this blog post more than a week ago, but refused to post it because I wanted this particular piece of art to lead the post. I misplaced my “to be blogged” art file and it took me a whole week to find it! Why this postcard? In the face of difficult challenges over the last year+, Sheila has maintained a beautiful outlook on life. I find that inspiring.

26 thoughts on “Lessons from the Pandemic

  1. Christine Brooks says:

    I have learned I am “a slacker” and that makes me feel badly. I do compare myself with others but i don’t compete. I have taken it all internally. I am not as happy as I once was. I don’t trust people like I once did. I have become more concerned about where we are going, but not interested in making a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chandra Lynn says:

      You are in no way a slacker. You suffered a terrible loss and you are still grieving. Allow yourself this space. Do not judge yourself so harshly. Despite what you are going through, you still take time to spread love and share joy. You ARE making a difference!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jesusluvsall says:

    “She encouraged participants to refrain from practicing belief in our outcome and instead practice belief in the God of the outcome.” Loved this!!! We never know the outcome for anything but we can know who controls the outcome- God. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. revruss1220 says:

    What a great list of life lessons. Thanks for sharing that with us.
    I have learned the gift of slowing down and paying deep attention.
    I have also learned that it is OK – sometimes even necessary – to close the door on certain chapters and certain people.

    Given another moment or two, I am sure I could come up with more. Blessings on the journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Akilah says:

    “But during an actual, maddening pandemic, I held down a full time job, ably managed a leadership position that I was suddenly thrust into, taught overloads each semester, and operated fully in my family without losing my mind.”

    Honestly, this is more than enough. I’m glad you are giving yourself credit where it is due. Also, I would add that the pandemic was also DEADLY. And you survived. That is also more than enough.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sheila Marie Delgado says:

    This post is a blessing. Thank you Chandra. I agree with Akilah, definitely more than enough. And YES, you survived, and YES, you are such an INSPIRATION to everyone you come in contact with.
    I thought YES, over and over again while reading your post. Haha. Definitely agree with feelings of slacker-tude. Haha. Seems every artist I “meet” online, has books for sale, dozens of online classes, and product lines of of their own. Stickers, stamps, stencils. Haha.
    I don’t know who decided (the media?) that we all had to suddenly be hyper-productive and over achieving during the most stressful world-wide event that most of us have ever experienced. I am so glad that you, and many others, are talking about the repercussions of those expectations.
    I love your list, wonderful lessons. This one, “I’ve learned that those who need our compassion most are those for whom compassion is a difficult exercise.”, really rings true.
    The first thing that comes to mind for my learning, is the lesson Lupus keeps reminding me of. Just keep swimming. Sometimes it’s enough just to make it through the day. 🙂
    I am so honored Chandra that you shared my art with your friends. Thank you. 🙂 You had me laughing when you mentioned your lost art file. Know that you are not alone in your forgetfulness. Haha. ;o)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chandra Lynn says:

      I blame the social media! But, of course, I blame social media for (almost) everything. LOL! And yes, I have so much artsy clutter that things get lost very easily, especially when I move things out of place to work with them in a different space and forget I had that intention. Okay, I’m rambling. You are a blessing, and I love your lesson…just keep swimming…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. chattykerry says:

    I am grateful not to have died of Covid-19 as my 22 year old cousin did. We can just ‘be’ and not have to achieve great in this time of sadness. I am my own worst critic and wonder why I can’t finish writing the book I started.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mali says:

    This is a really lovely post. Goodness, I think you guys getting through the last 18 months or so with decent relationships and still feeling sane is a major achievement. Don’t ever think you’re a slacker! I’ve watched from afar in our little COVID-free (so far) cocoon and wondered how any of you have coped. Pat yourself on the back for getting through, and just hanging in there.

    Liked by 1 person

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