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Fatigue and Resilience

Are you experiencing “pandemic fatigue”? You might also suffer from political and election fatigue. A good bunch of us are “Zoomed” out as well. On top of all that, we have had fires, smoke, floods, hurricanes, earth quakes. Is it over yet? In the last many months, we can’t tell you how many times we have heard the refrain, “I can’t wait for this to be over.”

So many “Argh moments!” Last weekend, Christian and I had plans to stop in Roseville at the Apple store to pick up my new iPhone before heading to Sacramento for a bike ride. We stopped at a restaurant to grab lunch, but our car died right there in the parking lot! We found a friendly nearby driver to jump our car – no luck. The first three tow companies had zero availability. The fourth said the tow truck would be an hour. We decided Christian would ride his bike to the Apple store while I waited for the tow truck.

But the van hatchback wouldn’t open without power, so we couldn’t get the bikes out. We could open the side doors, however, which meant we had to remove the backseats to carefully maneuver Christian’s bike out.

When he returned over an hour later with my new phone, the tow truck had still not arrived. By the time it finally came – three hours later! – we had to cancel our bike-ride date.

That’s a whole string of “Argh moments”. But we actually high-fived each other for keeping our cool and getting really creative in the face of these breakdowns.

While Christian drove his bike to the Apple store, I coached a friend in need of relationship support. When he returned, we played a couple of Backgammon games. We read out loud from a funny book we’re in the middle of. Had a snack from the restaurant we were still sitting in front of (hey, at least the car died in front of an organic food restaurant!). And we arranged to have our daughter pick us up in her truck (thanks, Shayna!).

Obviously, this was NOT the afternoon we had planned. I was admittedly a bit angry the last half hour, but we were determined to not let that experience deter us from enjoying our date-day together. We drove our bikes home in our daughter’s car, went back to Auburn for a delicious outside dinner and moonlit walk around town. The next day, thanks to our new car battery, we drove to Sacramento for our do-over bike ride date. It was fabulous!

Like many of you, Christian and I have spent the bulk of our time at home these past eight months. We have had outdoor visits here and there with family and friends, but most of our visits have taken place online. Our sessions and workshops are online too. My piano lessons take place over Zoom, my bridge lessons take place over Zoom, and the classes we have participated in on Business, Social Justice, Happiness, and Racism all take place online. We even volunteer online.

Sure, we still garden and work in the yard. We take our bikes to new places and ride around. I play pickle ball outdoors several times a week. Christian attends his men’s group outdoors. Our rotating community workdays have resumed with social distancing guidelines. But there’s no doubt that life has changed. Not socializing in groups, holding back hugs, straining to hear one another though masks, reconsidering travel plans, and exploring new ways to navigate holidays and special occasions are all becoming the new norm.

Dancing with the challenges and unexpected happenings of life is something we all must face in our lifetime. Interrupted plans, unmet expectations, disappointments, loss, and grief are a part of the human experience.

Like it or not, life is happening. Life is always happening, and often not according to our plans! We can complain about the changes afoot, or we can learn how to dance in the rain. Now more than ever, we need to tap into our creativity and consciously design the best possible time of our lives.

There are many ways we can rise and shine in the face of the current restrictions.

One family responded to their cancelled vacation by creating a Staycation where they ate breakfast for dinner, roasted marshmallows by candlelight and watched movies outdoors on a big screen. Another family celebrated their daughter’s birthday by having a parade of her friends drive by singing her happy birthday and throwing gifts to her out of their cars. My niece had her wedding shower with family and friends online – we played games, expressed our well wishes and she opened the gifts we had sent to her a week in advance. On Halloween we saw drive-through trick or treating, family candy treasure hunts, and neighborhood residents “handing out” Halloween candy by shooting it through plastic pipe to the kids.

Couples likewise are finding creative ways to keep the passion alive and boredom at a minimum. Dancing in living rooms, trying out new recipes, rekindling sex and revisiting favorite positions, dressing up fancy for a date night out at home, chasing each other around the house, reading romantic novels out loud, writing up their dreams for the future, and asking each other intimacy questions to get to know each other anew.

Some singles are having more connections now with others than before since there are so many activities online. Dance lessons, spirituality conferences, intimacy mini-workshops, speed dating, and taking hikes while talking with dating prospects, making a date to watch a movie together from their respective homes on FaceTime, or cooking a meal together over Zoom and eating together.

We’ve been supporting couples and singles to keep connecting, keep learning, and keep focusing on what matters.

Over 600 singles and couples have chosen to join us for our mini-workshops as a way to create deep relationship connection and transformation – some with miraculous results!

The possibilities are endless when we engage our creativity. On those days when you feel your creativity blocked and you run out of ideas, ask your friends for help, or post a request for new ideas on Facebook or Instagram.

Life is happening. We sure hope things will get better, but who knows. This is it.This is your life. Make this moment count!