The Most Brilliant Pandemic Decision I've Made

Welcome back, springtime lovers!

Right off the top, let me tell you that the hat is no fashion statement.  I'm simply covering up several months of very bad, very scary hair days.  I know you understand!

Meanwhile, I think it's fair to say that we've all been forced to make a continuous series of decisions recently that we never thought we'd have to make.

Some of these choices have been vitally urgent and heartbreaking.  Others have required a bit of flexibility and tolerance, the seeking of wise counsel and prayer.  Some have given us relief, others have left us with a sense of deep loss or an incredible hopelessness.

And other choices we've made have been no-brainers, common sense, pure and simple.


I confess.  I am a news / political junkie.  From as far back as I can remember.

Since childhood I've learned to appreciate the intricacies, the responsibilities, and the fascination of the freedoms provided by our political system at the knee of my Dad, an immigrant to America.

I grew up with my father religiously watching The Huntley-Brinkley Report on our black and white TV as he ate a late supper at the dining room table after a long commute home from NYC.  Born and raised in Scotland, he was enthusiastic in his allegiance to his new home country and always stayed up to date with the latest news and political events.

In his final years, my mom would print out the C-SPAN schedule for the day and he would plant himself on the sofa, glued to the TV, volume cranked up to ear piercing levels as he followed every political speech, vote, and happening, occasionally shouting at whoever happened to be speaking at the time.

So this is in my blood.

Over breakfast, for years, I've voraciously immersed myself in at least four news sites and attended to emails, texts, blogs, LinkedIn, the ever present phone firmly in hand.  And then every evening my husband and I plopped ourselves down in front of the TV and watched a good 60 - 90 minutes of news and commentary.

With all the steadily building influx of 24 / 7 pandemic coverage, I began to notice a distinct grip of anxiety when the news came on.  I ignored what my overstimulated body and fragile soul was whispering, fixated on the horrific reality unfolding in real time.  And, no surprise, it wasn't long 'til panic came over me and screamed, 'enough is enough.'

And I simply said farewell to the evening news.


There are evenings I still hear our friend Lester Holt in the distance if my husband has the TV on.  I may glance over if I'm walking by, but, after 60+ years, the evening news is no longer a part of my daily after dinner routine.

And then a few weeks later, I pretty much stopped looking at anything news-related on my phone as I ate breakfast. 

Just like that.

It was a no-brainer.  My body was saying no more.  And I listened.

I haven't missed a thing.  My husband and I still talk about what's happening but now our conversations center on the people in our lives and our community, not the latest press conference or numbers update or endless droning political opinions. I know enough of what's happening.

I've had no choice but to consciously opt to focus on what's pure and lovely and excellent and praise-worthy.

For my mental health's sake.  For my soul's peace. 

When we give up something that's not particularly good for us, we quickly need to replace it with a more wholesome option or it will come roaring back in to fill the uncomfortable void.  These mornings, I head downstairs, light a vanilla candle {stress relief}, turn the pretty dining room candelabra on dim, and head off to brew a huge mug of decaf tea, pour a small bowl of Cheerios, grab an orange or maybe a hard boiled egg.

Some days I get some soft music playing.  I'm in the process of creating more time to sit quietly with God's Word.  I'm focusing on developing more purposeful Christ-centered meditation practices.  I'm spending more time caring for my body ... a ten minute series of stretches to ease my back muscles and strengthen my core.  Getting out for a walk whenever I stop making excuses not to.

I'm finally doing a bit of gardening.  Indulged in a surprise burst of spring cleaning.  Cooking here and there.  Going along for the ride when my husband delivers groceries and meals to people.  Connecting with the people I love.  Caring for my mom.

In the evening, you'll find me reading or puttering or chatting with a granddaughter on WhatsApp.  And yes, maybe putting my feet up with The Great British Baking Show or Chopped or Columbo reruns.

That's where I am right about now.  Thanks to good medical care and a series of lifestyle changes and immersing myself in springtime's gift of warm sunshiny days when they come, my long gone energy has slowly been returning and I am feeling more myself again.

Thanks for the prompting to a smarter lifestyle, dear readers.

As you've shared your own hard won experiences and wise learnings, you've influenced some of my own recent decisions.  Our Designing Your Morning Invitations dialogue, along the persistent, gracious nudging of the Spirit is propelling me forward to a healthier place.

What brilliant decisions are you making as we weather this challenging new season?  Do tell ...

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