What’s Normal Is Nothing Is Normal.
If we could all have a moment of collective honesty, we might admit that these days, we feel like a herd of two-legged turtles with vertigo stampeding through chunky peanut butter.
Maybe you don’t feel that way. Congratulations to you. But I feel that way times ten some days. Most days.
The Monday morning cautious excitement of March 16, 2020 brought a sense of “Let’s do this.” Home office? Check. Zoom calls? I can do that. A few weeks in lockdown? No biggie.
But as a few weeks transitioned to a few months, I realized that every cubic centimeter of my equilibrium has been tampered with. Simple planning and calendaring has turned into a litany of “What ifs?” Long-planned projects have been put on the back burner. Our contingency plans are getting contingency plans.
And that great unknown of the future has been accompanied by a great unknown in the present: What am I doing? Is my work making a difference? What should I even attempt today if it’s all going to be undone by tomorrow? Those questions lead to introspection which leads to procrastination which leads to a tremendous drop in productivity which leads to a vicious cycle that simply churns up life and spits it out.
I’ve shared that sentiment with my supervisor and my team and a few close friends, and I share it with you because maybe you need to hear it. And you need to hear what my supervisor and my team and a few close friends have been kind enough to share with me:
We’re all there.
None of this is normal. Which means that what we experience in the abnormal is completely…normal. Of course we have trouble getting our schedule under control. Of course we have difficulty feeling like we’re accomplishing anything meaningful. Of course we feel like it’s hard to put one foot in front of the other and plan three months out when we can’t even plan the next three minutes.
So today, give yourself some grace. Better yet: remind yourself of grace. What I’ve learned in the middle of the pandemic is that my ability to give myself grace is in short supply. I’m a terrible taskmaster. But God’s grace? God’s grace is an inexhaustible well. It never runs dry. It’s always available for you, and for me, and for two-legged turtles bogged down in chunky peanut butter.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7, ESV)