In the midst of the first lockdown of the 2020 pandemic, many folks began to take a hard look at the quality and trajectory of their lives, personally and professionally. The time spent alone, the required cancellation of social engagements, and a quarantined life for the foreseeable future led many hearts and minds into an extensive re-evaluation of Life, in general.
I was no different. I thought about how I had been leading my life in recent years, and about “promises of protection” that I had made to my heart more than a decade ago. Ironically, despite my affinity for solitude, the pandemic shifted my heart into a desire for intimacy. Yes, I had a man in mind: mind only, as I initially thought he was married. Then, when I discovered that he was not, I allowed myself to think about possibilities.
Alongside this romantic thought trajectory, I began to reimagine my work life. I had grown accustomed to and delighted by my niche in the dog- and housesitting business: I had no plans to alter that. Of course, pandemic times meant canceled travel plans, which meant no pets or homes for me to look after.
And, too, I was dealing with the increasingly swift deterioration of my physical abilities. Pandemic plus arthritic pain slowed my pace socially and professionally, yet somehow accelerated my inner world of dreams, goals, fantasies, and possibility. To delve into that dimension during these times has been an integral part of How I Hang On.
Although I intend to continue with my doggie clients (for I have grown to love them true), I also feel called to share what I have learned from my experience with pain and immobility. I foresee addition to my life, rather than subtraction; I envision a man where once I had built a wall; and I anticipate health and vitality where perhaps I had been waning.
These are months and years that have put me to a strenuous test: However, this is not a situation that demands “pass” or “fail;” rather, it is a challenge that serves as reminder of the nature of challenge. When hardship descends, hearts can open; when Life seems to have come to a halt, minds can persevere. When all seems lost, continue to dream: Therein lies the way through.