I’m on Week Four.
Not sure about you, but four weeks with close to no human contact has drained me in ways I never thought possible. Being an introvert, I would think I would be very much comfortable with this whole concept of “social-distancing.” But oh, how we crave the things which are no longer available to us.
Naturally, changing times and stressful situations cause me to self-reflect. Mainly because I’m in the constant state of trying to find the why, or the lesson behind what’s happening. However, my usual methods of searching for my why haven’t been working. So…why?
I used to have an issue with looking at things too closely as opposed to seeing the full picture. As they say… the devil is in the details. That statement is very much true when the devil is exactly who you’re looking for (meaning you’re searching mainly out of suspicion or insecurity with the sole purpose of proving yourself right in whatever situation you’ve found yourself in). But, what if you sought out to look for something else in the details? What if, instead, you search for light. For good. Hope. Love. And better yet, what if you allowed yourself to find it?
When all of this started I told myself I would keep my perspective in check and make sure I reminded myself daily to think of the entire situation, instead of focusing on how myself and the people around me are personally affected. That helped, for a bit. That is until I couldn’t ignore the everyday effects it had on my life.
Now I’m giving myself permission to miss the little things.
I miss going on dates then coming home and telling my sisters all about it. I miss spending hours in the gym then following it up with hours at my favorite neighborhood brewery (counterproductive, I know; but very much worth it). I miss hugging my best friend and her babies. I miss letting the neighborhood kids jump on me when I see them at the playground during my run. I miss lounging by the pool at my apartment complex after a grueling workout. I miss walking into my brother and sister-in-law’s house and getting annoyed with their barking Rat-Terrier because I’m desperate to hear my niece say “Tee Tee.” I miss waking up on Sunday mornings and sitting in the café at The Crossing with my coffee while watching people greet one another as they walk through the doors and wait for the service to start. I miss following up church with brunch and a full day downtown with some of my best friends because it somehow always results in bowling and consuming far too much sushi. I miss my sister getting mad at me because I won’t share my location with her because she obviously already knows where I am now. I even miss waking up at 6am on Saturday mornings to make it to a spin class that I’ve dreaded all week but am always thankful for at the end of the hour. I miss aimlessly wandering around Home Goods and buying things I definitely don’t need. I miss talking to strangers in bookstores about what they’re reading and not worrying about their proximity to me. I miss sitting at a crowded bar and people-watching while imagining what their life is like. Like many of you, I miss the moments I’ve been overlooking.
Fear of looking too closely has only caused me to neglect the little, wonderful moments which make up my life. Moments I have taken for granted.
I will never again be annoyed when a neighbor stops me to say hello and talks a little bit too long, even if it means being a few minutes late to whatever it was that I deemed more important than this human-being standing in front of me. It will no longer be an option for me to flake on my friends just because I’m “not in the mood.” Hitting snooze seven times when my alarm goes off in the morning will never again be a part of my reality and the word “inconvenient” will not be in my vocabulary. I have time for that workout, or that trip to the store, or that drive to see my parents. I’ll make it work. Want to go for a walk? A drink? Get some food? Just talk or even sit in silence because you need some company? I’m in. Just tell me when or where. I don’t care what time it is.
These moments I took for granted weren’t just the external moments; but the internal as well. These last four weeks forced me to come face-to-face with how desperately I need to foster my heart. Before this, I would go through periods where I would dedicate certain hours of the day to reading, writing, and devotionals. Then after a few weeks I would slowly fade out of the habit, then return a few weeks later when I noticed my heart was unsettled and my mind was anxious. That cycle ends now. If missing a workout isn’t an option, then taking care of my heart will no longer be something I allow myself to “do tomorrow.”
If these walls of my apartment have taught me anything, it’s the fact that the little moments of our day, the small details that make up who we are and inspire us to keep going, are by far the most important.
It’s that simple. It’s love. The love for your family; your friends; the dog across the street or your favorite wine waiting for you at your best friend’s house; the love for your favorite book that you’ve read 20 times already but may just read one more because the fragile binding can hold up for another round of relentless page turns; even the love you have for yourself during the moments when you’re faced with heartache but still remember “I’ve got this.”
As my mama says, “You miss the moments you miss.”
So remember the little things. Once this is all over, they’ll be the big things.