in this for the long haul

mountain run david-marcu-8TJbrQGKFyU-unsplash

Image credit: David Marcu on Unsplash

Open up. Close down. Wear a mask. COVID is a joke.

No matter what we believe about all of it, there is no doubt that COVID-19 has changed our lives forever. It continues to affect our daily existence and our future planning. Even if we are unwilling to make personal life adjustments, the virus will inevitably impact our family and our friends in their health (physical, emotional, mental), job security, travel, celebrations, or in some other aspect. It is unavoidable.

My family and friends have suffered in numerous ways, and I have felt worried, sad, frustrated, isolated, limited, and so many more emotions during the last months.

This won’t be over any time soon.

So what do we do now? How do we prepare for the new reality? How do we find strength – emotional, physical, relational, spiritual – for the long-term effects of this pandemic?

SELF-CARE

This is the first area many experts mention. I recognize the need to come back to these basics again and again. Drink enough water. Eat less junk. Go outside. Exercise. Get enough good hours of sleep. Do a little something special you enjoy every so often. Pray.

Our bodies do not function for long periods under stress without paying the price. We cannot run this marathon with necessary physical health, clear thoughts, and creative processes without proper nutrition and care.

RELATIONSHIPS

We are also not created to live alone. We need each other – both for love, comfort, enjoying activities together, etc., and also to teach us, expose us to different ways, challenge us, and display to us the full essence of God. We cannot surround ourselves only with those who are like us, or we miss essential parts of the full image of humanity.

These are perfect days to humbly, respectfully, and authentically open our minds and expand our conversations to include many different perspectives, sources of information, and opinions. We need a diversity of excellent ideas to build together towards improvements and pivots for our future world.

MAKE A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION

Many require help today. All over the globe, children are hungry and lack clean water. Trafficking victims and falsely accused await freedom. Natural disasters and unethical corporations wreak havoc on our environment. Violence steals innocent lives. People die without forgiveness and eternal hope.

So much to do. So many places where compassionate, energetic, sacrificial, committed people can make a difference by using their skills, financial resources, networking – whatever gifts they have to offer.

When we don’t know what to do, we can ask questions. We can research. We can learn. We can join together if we are fearful of acting alone. Even when we do not have much, every little bit we offer is a blessing.

We are in this for the long haul. Don’t get weary. Don’t give up. We need to be as healthy as we can be so that we can also love and support others along the way. 

How are you staying well and grounded during these trying times? How are you helping others?

a 30-year celebration

fireworks digitalphoto KeeratiWhere did the time go? How did I get here? Am I really that old? Did I ever imagine when I was first starting out that I would arrive to this point? Has it been worth it?

This year I celebrate 30 years working with the organization known as cruI started out 30+ years ago with enthusiasm, belief, energy, a bit of trepidation and the support of family and friends. I stepped out of my comfort zone, moved to a new state (and eventually new countries), and I took on challenges that I wasn’t sure I could actually accomplish.

I believed that I could help change the world.

I learned a new language, developed my strengths, grew in weak areas, tried new experiences, tasted new flavors, and worked with some of the most incredible people in the world. Sometimes I made mistakes and poor decisions. I loved working with others, dreaming dreams, and creating something new.

I believed that – even with my weaknesses – I could make a difference.

I trusted strangers. I loved those who were lost; I helped others grow. I changed because they taught me new ways. I asked for forgiveness and forgave those who hurt me. I shared my time, my home, and my heart with many who became life-long friends. I said good-bye too many times.

I believed that people can change.

I laughed. I cried. I mourned. I celebrated.

30 years have gone by, but the adventure continues.

I still believe…

_______________

Are you following your dreams? What do you believe?