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Life in a Holding Pattern


My mother has always had to remind me not to wish my life away.  It's in my nature to always be thinking about the next thing and miss what's happening right now.  In grade school, I waited to go to college.  In college, I waited to start my working life.  When I got out of college, I felt like Josh (hubs) and I were living in a weird limbo between our adolescence and our adult life.  We were living, but how our life would take shape was still ambiguous.  I waited until the day we would get married, then I waited for the day we would get pregnant.  Then, I waited for the day we would have a second kid.  At every step, I was living in anticipation of my life, because the future wasn't set.

What this pandemic has reminded me is that the future is never set.  It is never guaranteed.

After the birth of our second daughter, I had this overwhelming sense that our family, and in turn our life, was complete.  Josh and I had jobs in companies at the top of our fields.  We lived in a bustling and expanding metroplex, and we owned our dream home.  I floated around towards the end of last year thinking, "We've done it.  This is our life, and it's amazing.  I hope it stays just like this."

The thing is, all of the facts I stated above are still true.  Josh and I still have those jobs, we still live in DFW in our dream house, but my sense of stability is gone.  I feel like our life is now in a holding pattern.  We're taking this pandemic day by day, unsure of what we'll see on the news or whether or not we'll continue to be employed.  As the unemployment numbers across the country skyrocket, I have become consumed with anxiety that we'll lose everything we worked so hard over the past decade to build together.  I know I'm not alone in this.  In relation to everything that could be happening to us we are so incredibly fortunate, and I'm still having a hard time.

I think it's completely normal to be mourning right now.  We're all mourning the loss of life across the globe.  We're mourning the stability that we were afforded during an economic high point.  We're mourning the lives we were living, because right now we can't see through to the future.  If we have no sense of what's to come, and the past only reminds us of the things we have lost, then all we can do is stay present.  Your present may look very different from mine, and it may be a difficult space to inhabit, but it's the only space we have at this moment.

I've been taking the girls outside after lunch as the weather has been nice here.  My three year old squeals with delight as she finds rocks to wash in her water table.  The baby babbles and points at her sister from the pack-n-play.  I sit back and just drink them in, jotting down things in my journal and taking deep breaths.  If I don't think about the probable economic recession, and I just inhabit my body as a mother caring for her beautiful daughters, in a home she loves, then I can begin to just live life as it is right now.

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