This is harder than I thought. Yesterday I hosted a group of clients in person for about 5 hours on our corporate campus. I came home before 5:00, and fell deeply, soundly asleep for an hour. I had a terrible headache, stiff neck, and dry throat. Even this morning, after a full nights’ sleep, I still have bags under my eyes. “Re-entry” to life after quarantine is so odd and hard. (I could illustrate this post with a photo of my makeup smeared across my pillowcase.)

I thought since I’d been back to the office for a few weeks, hosting clients in person would be no big deal. It turns out that talking for five hours with a mask on completely wipes me out. I felt like I hadn’t taken a deep breath all day.

I thought my COVID anxiety would go away if I stuck to low-risk activities. It turns out that I still have hint of anxiety every time I am “out there.” I went to a funeral where no one was wearing a mask, and I could barely concentrate on the beautiful memorial because I was obsessing about airflow. Even my long-awaited hair appointment was cancelled for tomorrow because the salon was exposed to COVID. Anxiety is still there.

I thought I should be able to perform at my own pre-pandemic level at work by now. It turns out that I can plan on about 70% of what I used to be able to do, even at my best. My to-do lists need to be shorter, and my expectations lower, because everything is harder and more complex.

@emilypfreeman said on her podcast today, “We are still very much in a season of grief and mourning, from discovering how deep the roots of systemic racism go in this country, to the loss of our daily rhythms, to the low-grade anxiety that visits us every time we put on a mask at Target.” She challenges us to reflect on this time now, in the middle of it, and not wait until we have the benefit of hindsight.

Today, my reflection on re-entry is that it is harder than I think it should be.  Here are five questions for reflection from Emily’s podcast, to reflect on your month.

  1. What was your most life-giving YES?
  2. What was your most life-giving NO?
  3. Name something you are reconsidering as a result of the last 30 days?
  4. What was the funniest thing that happened?
  5. What will peace look like next month?

Blessings to you, friend. He is making all things new.

I really do believe that God is not doing away with all the old things in order to make new things, but instead is actively working to make all things new. God is not wiping us out. God is making us new.

Emily P. Freeman

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