The Big Take-Away

Monday, May 4th, 2020

First, I need to say, I send compassion to those out of work, in pain or hungry, the ones afraid they could lose their homes, or even worse, a loved one, to this terrible and awful thing.  Or already have.

Those critical mass emergencies require swift action and total focus, and I understand if you need to stop reading right now and get back to work.

But even without critical loss, there have been critical changes for us all.

So how are you doing?  How are you holding up?  If your family and life are anything like mine, there have been…gaps.  Days where I simply slowed down the pace, took a breath.

And in those long, restorative silences, a funny thing happened. I began to ask myself what I was willing to give up.

It’s interesting, in a pandemic there’s a lot we feel forced to give up.

I marvel at how huge and important the sense of touch is, now that I can’t.

And I feel grateful and blessed that I don’t live alone, that I have a tender-hearted life partner to share this with.  A lot of people don’t, and I honestly can’t imagine how hard it is, surviving a time when we’re told that we’re not allowed the simple comfort of another human’s touch.

That’s a big one.

But here’s another, and this one’s in the opportunity department.  This terrible time—away—gives us all a chance to rethink how we want things to go when we finally are back.

Is there something deeper our soul is calling us to do?  Have we crammed our day so utterly, there’s no time left to dream?  What would happen if we just did?

My adult kiddos—(and I include my son-in-law here), gave me perfect complimentary gifts independent of each other.  My son gave me a five-year diary.  I love that it’s got only five lines. It comforted me in the beginning that it wasn’t so big I couldn’t do it. Now I find that I cram the lines and sometimes steal from other years—my days are so rich. My daughter and son-in-law gave me a planner, extravagant in its encouragement to explore passion and dreams.  I color-coded it and casually one day opened a random page, showing off to a friend who is also a life coach.  “Wow,” Suzanne said, as I snapped it closed, “there’s not one space that’s not colored in.”

It gave me pause.  I, who come from a genetically long line of Type A doers.

She was right.

So I added a color solely for vegging out, appropriately green.

Problem solved.

Except it wasn’t.

During this experiment, this ‘life-away’ piece, I’ve played with switching things up.

Some calendar days have no colors in them. At all.  And when I think back to what I did that day, it’s hard to reconstruct.

But maybe that’s the point. Maybe this deep Time Out nature has sent our way, is giving us all the chance—if not a gap year like kids delaying college—at least a gap season.

So that’s what this one’s about.  May’s Word/Smith is the Big Takeaway.

How we’re navigating these changes.  And how we’re changing our navigation…and by doing so, in curious and dazzling ways, changing our world.

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