Greg and I have a walking route in our neighborhood that we’ve named the “Thayer Loop” after the name of a nearby street that’s along the path. I think we started walking the Loop in March, shortly after we were asked to stay home and stay safe. Most days, I walk at least one Loop. If I’m lucky, I sneak a second Loop in after dinner and before I settle in on the couch to snuggle before bedtime.
At a certain part of the Loop, my Apple Watch almost always pings me with a notification saying “It looks like you’re walking” and inviting me to track my exercise. Greg and I often joke as we near that part of the walk, wondering if the “walking lady” will pop in for her daily inquiry. If she doesn’t, we worry both about her wellbeing and about whether or not our walk will “count”.
I share this little anecdote because I was thinking today about how weirdly NORMAL my life has become. I don’t mean “normal” in the sense that my life is like anyone else’s. I mean “normal” or “ordinary” in the sense that life feels so incredibly THE SAME each day. I wake up, I say my prayers and do my exercises, I spend my “sessions” with my Daddy doing his activities on Alexa. I try to fit in walks. I respond to emails and try to “work”. I feed my husband (and yes, doing it this regularly is very new to me). I snuggle on the couch and usually fall asleep to an episode of The Office. I do my nighttime routine, move into bed and crash. I wake up in the middle of the night, stressed about Mom’s ongoing illness, and “talk” with her for about an hour in my head. I fall asleep for another hour or two and then start it all over again.
Two weeks ago, we added Sunday Mass to our loop of activities. I found that when I went back to Church again yesterday, it wasn’t yet a spiritual experience, but that I at least didn’t cry hysterically under the cover of my mask. And yesterday we also saw some family members for the first time since March. Hopefully, that will also become a part of life’s loop.In this week's #UpdateFromTheBallChair @LisaHendey discusses what it means to feel stuck in life's loop. Click To Tweet
In my pre-Covid days, my “normal” was that life was never normal. No two weeks were the same. To be honest, I loved that and I miss it tremendously. Normal was flying to new places and making new friends and serving in ways that felt both significant and fun. I think I’m struggling with the loop of this new normalcy because it feels like my identity is being significantly redefined, perhaps for good. I trust God enough not to fight this, but I’m not submitting to this version of life’s loop with a totally positive attitude. I’m more contentious, more emotional, more easily irritated, and quicker to speak out than I have ever been. So I’m working on trying to contain some of that to an inner dialogue but also on channeling it into a more active prayer relationship with the One to whom I can freely speak my mind and heart.
I’ve been doing some “stuff” and I typically share that in these emails. But these ramblings have taken me long enough to compose that my Thayer Loop walking buddy just invited me out for a stroll. So since the Loop calls, I’ll leave it here.
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What They’re Saying
(I’m starting a little feature here to share reviews and feedback I’m receiving. I hope this will inspire you to review one of my books, invite me for a virtual visit, or simply to drop me an email if my work has blessed you in some way. I don’t offer this to be braggadocious. Your feedback fuels me and inspires me not to give up during these challenging times.)
A review for A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul
Practical inspiration for moms. Good short daily biographies of saints with information on how to apply the virtues of their in their lives to ours.
A question for you: Is your life feeling like a “loop”? How does that make you feel?