We’ve pivoted from shutting our worldwide doors to the opening of stores and social settings. From zoom to podcasts and back to instagram, we squint at another required computer password. Then, pivot again through drought, dreading the fire season, hardly past elections and the tax man and into our next endeavors. Fumbling with the next technical, emotional, fiscal, physical or emotional relationship challenge, we carry on.
We almost have to be like Steph Curry to stay on the basketball court of life. Soon, we’ll transition again to daylight savings changes (oh when will that ever end?) and then to who knows what and then, god help us, the holidays.
We’ve been through big transitions. The Psychological Association found that almost half of Americans surveyed felt “uneasy about adjusting to in-person interaction” following the pandemic. Still, we can’t stay under a stone, like a caveman with hair dangling down to our shoulders. As the joke goes: What’s a caveman’s favorite kind of music? Rock.
While we wait for sand to settle down in the hour glass, there have been plenty of whiplashes. But, life can be resilient. We truly are Sonoma strong, disentangling the next ball of yarn or emotional hairball so we can finally take a deep breath, feel some gratitude for this time of year amidst the vines and between possible upcoming airless seasons.
Okay, some days we’re grumpy; but others we’re grateful. It’s not easy to swivel, rotate, stretch like elastic, then shift gears. We tip-toe out to greet each other because we need belonging and community. We hesitantly and eagerly lean towards each other, trying to work out our differences, still staying safe — we don’t know what’s around the next corner — another virus, an earthquake or a calm and easy season. But, we feel the natural need for friends and cheer. As the eloquent Richard Harwood wrote, in Stepping Forward, “We often become unwilling or unable to knock on people’s front doors. Perhaps this is due to a fear of the unknown. What will we find out? What will the other person say? All these concerns and uncertainties prevent us from knowing about other people’s lives. It prevents us from connecting with one another. It causes our human spark to dim.”
Life has challenges, but we persist with a little help from each other. I remember 2008-09 when the bank tried to foreclose my home. Two years of terror later and working my tail off doing documents and getting constant auction letters, my grit work, my asking for help and my prayers paid off. I’m still stunned and humbled by my own and others’ endurance. As Geneen Roth says, “I know that when I am afraid my whole body closes down. My heart bangs shut.” But, she adds, then “resilience floods back in, my heart opens. And I start trusting again in goodness.”
Whether we’re thankful, grumbling or tip-toeing through it, be patient with yourself and others. We have been through a lot. As Austrian Josef Koeberl discovered, he could endure sitting over two hours inside a nearly 500-pound box of ice cubes, winning the world record, by “visualizing and drawing on positive emotions.”
Focus on possibility and hope. Watch the bouncing ball and pivot.