How is quarantine/social distancing/lockdown/etc. treating you these days? Are you back at work or still at home? Are you isolated from family and friends, or starting to venture out some?
This summer has been...strange. No, let me correct myself. This YEAR has been strange. Strange and challenging and exhausting and tough and... Okay, you get the point.
I have to admit, I was a little worried back in March when the lockdown first started. What would this isolation do to my state of mind? Stuck at home with little to no access to other people, with the exception of limited socialization with my immediate family. And worse, I had no children or spouse at home to distract me, fill my days, and make me feel needed.
It was just me. (Well, and my sister, but that's not quite the same. And she totally agrees!)
I braced myself for boredom and restlessness, which would eventually lead to discouragement and depression. And I did experience some of that. Especially when I realized that the single community was all but overlooked during the pandemic. Programs and organizations and individuals reached out to the families, children, elderly, and the unemployed. And rightly so! But I saw very few references to the single men and women who were facing the pandemic alone. Be honest. How many of you made a point of checking in with your single friends and neighbors during the lockdown? Just to let them know they had not been forgotten. I'm not trying to scold or put a guilt trip on anyone. But let's remember that EVERYONE needs to hear a friendly voice every now and then. Please check in with your single friends, co-workers, family members, etc. Please get in touch with those single moms and dads who need to hear from other adults.
But I digress from the subject of my post. The silver lining.
Yes, I did get down in spirit during the lockdown. But God was with me. And something good came out of all this stress and isolation.
My writing dream was reborn. Thanks to the extra time at home, I was able to do more writing this year than I have done in a LOOONG time! Thanks to events going virtual, I got access to 4 writers' conferences and several online sessions and classes that fueled the fire to be published again. And thanks to those conferences, I came across some wonderful groups who have encouraged me in this writing journey. I have come to know several kind, generous Christian authors who treat me with respect and caring, and accept me as a fellow writer, though I have not had a book published in over a decade.
Having this dream reborn did wonders for my morale. I did not dread each day. I had a purpose, a goal. Something God first placed within me years and years ago, but I allowed it to be stifled by the lack of time, confidence, and motivation.
But no more. I am writing again. With school starting, my time is not as free as before, but I'm not letting that stop me. I may not be able to write as much, but I will keep writing. And I am SO excited to soon start sharing with you what has been pouring from me these past few months!
I don't say all this to brag or boast. I hope that you will take the time through these challenging times to rekindle an old dream. It's not too late.
One author I recently started following has a phrase I absolutely love. She says we need to "respect our dream." No matter what the dream is.
So, what's your dream? Do you respect it enough to pursue it? Or do you just put it on the shelf with a sigh and say, "Maybe someday?" Well, stop it. Take it off the shelf and decide if it's something you really want. Take the time to learn about it, grow in it, educate yourself. If you decide it's not something you want to pursue anymore, that's okay, too!
While I do not make light of the devastating effects COVID-19 has had on our nation, I do appreciate the silver linings that have come from it. Small little gifts that God extends to help us keep going. Like a reawakening of a lifelong dream.
If you are a single (or even if you're married!) and feeling low in spirit, please reach out to someone. Send me an email. You don't have to face these hard times alone. I will pray with you and for you.
And if you know a single who might need a word of encouragement, please reach out to them. Let them know they haven't been forgotten. Or you can send me their mailing address and I will send them a card and a little gift to hopefully brighten their day.
Thanks for your time, and I hope you are all staying happy, safe, and healthy.
In His Grip!