By this point of the pandemic, I think every person has been impacted either directly or within a few degrees of separation. As a nurse practitioner, I am no longer on the front lines of our incredible health care system but I have relatives, colleagues, former students and dear friends that are. My current mission and purpose is that of nurse entrepreneur, spiritual guide, and author in addition to mom and wife. Each hat I wear has been impacted by the pandemic and each business I own is currently under direct attack of sustainability. But, I can't let this pandemic win. I won't. That said, I tap into my inner nurse and survivalist and begin to prioritize and plan based on most crucial, now and that which can wait, later. Very much like ABC's of resuscitation. Airway, breathing, circulation. If the person can't breathe then that becomes priority one. Without air there is no chance of survival. I have tried to incorporate some crude system of prioritization to manage business and personal life within the pandemic framework, but it seems at every turn the crazy just continues.
In the endless crazy, despair begins to awaken when Sadie's Place, my amazing day service for the aging population, is challenged by the virus. Within twenty-four hours and with no advanced signs, all of my staff, several clients, and myself are ill. Ten lives ill at once despite compliance with guidelines. No warning, no chance to break the chain. Several months of being able to stave off this threat, then exponential growth happened in my community and the transmission rates are off the charts. Personally, I was gripped by illness and unsure of how well my immune system was going to fight this virus. Professionally, I was horrified for all the amazing Seniors that were now either ill or exposed AND for the INCREDIBLE staff that serve our community each day. Then, my husband falls ill. The attack continued to grow.
Body~Mind~Spirit in need of prioritization. Family systems in need of support. A small business that serves other families now also struggling to fight this virus. Too many threats all from one microbe. All that is my world currently challenged and my faith tested.
I am not a person that speaks to "poor me's". I accept that I am ill with the virus and that I must fight to heal, but the "why them?" I still struggle with. The past two weeks I have had to pause from the global drama and bring my energy inward and allow my immune system to heal me. If I am not strong then I can't serve in my other roles. I had to release control of Sadie's Place and put it in the hands of God. I couldn't offer in person help to my staff or clients, so I had to send prayers each day. My contribution to their healing process. I had to receive prayers from them. As the weeks passed, the the lessons that came forward began with the thoughtful daughter of an aging client wanted me to remember those words from her late father.
"This too shall pass" Yes, this is true. Covid will at some point become a memory. A period of time discussed in the annals of history and we were part of it even if we didn't survive it. My body is under attack, but this too shall pass.
As days turned into week 1, I remained ill, but was not getting worse. I would think about how I was still fortunate that things weren't worse. My children remain healthy. We have food. A person born into poverty and abuse, I don't take anything for granted in my adult life. Gratitude is the foundation of my life. It is phenomenal though that degree of gratitude may have been different pre-pandemic than now. Sitting home ill from the same virus claiming a life every 30 seconds seems to change the intensity of gratitude for defying the statistics at least today.
"Things could be worse" joined the list of mantras for healing as I tried to make sense of the chaos My small business may not recover this wave. I have employees that count on me. The community support for our mission has been tremendous, but they too are being tested during this year of shock. My mind is under attack, but things could be worse.
Day 8 for my husband's course of illness and he is in an ambulance. My heart aches with sadness because I am improving but he is not. My heart is filled with gratitude because our children remain healthy. My heart is filled with loneliness because my rock is struggling and I can't help him. Not this time. In the empty of my home as the day progressed I heard "go with the flow" over and over again.
"Go with the flow" I am not in control. Life is proving to be uncertain more each day. But, you have to allow the flow of tide to carry you especially now. Everyone and everything I hold as most precious is under attack. I must learn how to flex with the changes and not resist even when it hurts. My spirit is under attack, but I must not resist the tide. I must go with the flow.
2020 has proven to be the year of shock. At every turn challenges come at us very much like a video game and we have to negotiate each corner, each turn and make decisions that seem much more dire than years previous. I don't dare utter, "things couldn't get worse" because I choose not to test the fates. This is what it is. A year of shock that continues to challenge, frighten, test and break many of us and it is hard to remain faithful. Each role under attack. Mom, spouse, nurse, entrepreneur, employer.
2020 the year of shock. BODY~MIND~SPIRIT tested.
Lessons learned: this too shall pass; things could be worse; go with the flow
I close with knowing that I am not alone. Every human is being challenged. I pause and reflect. I am mindful of this moment and I lovingly suggest that you take a moment to do the same. Release judgement and offer prayers for your neighbor. A kind word or gesture may not be possible as we remain in survival mode, socially distant and often isolated. But, we still have the power of prayer and the energy of the collective that won't succumb to the year of shock.
Today, my husband is home from the hospital, recovering. I am thankful. Life is more uncertain today then yesterday, but I will go with the flow because things could be worse. I will put one foot in front of the other because this too shall pass. Blessings to each of you, Stacey