Advice

Dear Julie: Being in the Moment

Dear Julie,

This quarantine has been a gift to my family. I am afraid that people forget how precious these moments of connection are. How can we, as a society, embrace the slow down that was thrust on us.

Signed, 

kinda loving the new normal

 

Dear Loving, 

After my mom went through cancer many years ago, her motto became: 

Is today a good day?

I think about that a lot. Is TODAY a good day. It’s a very immediate way for me to stop the static in my brain and focus on what’s right in front of me.

I would hate to think of the actual percentage of my life I have spent worrying about the future. Not to mention the infinite moments I still spend in the past.

So, for me, a blessing in all of this, is that I have zero options other than being in the moment. I have realized that it has taken an ACTUAL PLAGUE for me to release the need to control everything. Not even the need to control everything, but rather, the belief that I somehow COULD control everything. 

When the quarantine first began, I thought: oh, this is just like being unemployed. As an actor, you get used to that part of life. You work for a certain number of weeks or months, and then there’s a pause, not chosen by you, ‘til the next job. And, during that off time, there’s a rhythm to filling it, because you know, inevitably, work will come again. It might be a while, but it will happen.

Right now, we’re in a place where the world feels so open-ended, we have no idea what’s to come.

But there will be, as there always is after great upheaval and transformation, a new normal. Now, how do we move forward?

I understand that I am writing this from a place of privilege. The mere fact that I have a home and access to food and clean water means I am not physically suffering during this time. The fact that I am white means I can have half of my face covered with a COVID mask, and not be profiled, judged, falsely accused...the list is endless. 

Because I have friends and family who care about me, I might have moments of feeling lonely, but I know I am not alone. I know I am very lucky. 

We are in the midst of a huge wake-up call. 

I am learning more deeply what I appreciate and I am learning more deeply what is unacceptable. 

My personal question is, what do I intend to do about it? And how will that intention create my new normal as a more active participant in the world around me. 

We can embrace this slow down as a way to see how dear our Beloveds are, but we must also embrace this slow down as a way to see more clearly what is going on around us, what our real priorities are, and in what ways we must change so that we become instrumental in making today a good day not just for ourselves and our families, but for our communities and beyond.

Yours With Love and Hope,

Julie