10 things I’ve missed &

10 things I haven’t missed &

how it’s changing me

10 weeks into the stay-at-home order, I’m missing a lot of things and not missing others. And it’s changing how I want my new future to look.

Thinking through this list of things I’m missing and not missing helps me plan ahead. I can focus on the good that’s been happening and the good that will happen in the future, even though the future is uncertain and will likely be completely different than I think it will be.

With the beginning of Phase One of the Quarantine-reversal only days away, we are hopeful for a return to normalcy. But I think we all know that’s not possible. Normal has changed. The future will be different than anticipated. Temptation for fear, anxiety, and depression will loom as large as ever. The difference, however, could be in our perspective. Our thankfulness. Our positivity.

On a spiritual note, we can transfer our worry to a God who loves us (1 Peter 5:7) and “Be anxious for nothing… but with prayer and thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). We can pray more and believe more.

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

(Matthew 6:25-34)

We can pine for the past, panic about the future, or we can be thankful for the present. I’m trying to choose thankfulness. In addition to prayer and all that good stuff, I find list-making to be profoundly helpful. Something about writing down words makes them feel more true.

So I’m going to list here the 10 things I’ve missed and the 10 things I haven’t missed during the stay-at-home order.

My goal in this endeavor is not only to feel more thankful, but to carry over the positive activities I need to continue and reduce the activities I can actually live without.

Let’s see how my lists compare to yours.

What I’ve missed:

  1. Friends. Hugging people hello and good-bye. My sons have been hugging me, but sometimes those hugs are more like an MMA take-down, so I’m really referring more to the general “hello-I-like-you” hug. Not seeing people is harder than I thought it would be.
  2. Church. I miss the sound of worship filling a large room. I miss the buzz, the smiles, even the small talk with people you don’t know very well. I miss the feeling of a collected body of people singing and growing together.
  3. TJMaxx & Home Goods. Yes, please open soon! (I have rewards cash burning a hole in my wallet.) Actually, shopping in general. I even miss browsing, and I’m not generally a good browser. I like to buy things. And return them. (And I have a lot to return right now.)
  4. Wearing cute clothes. Spandex and sweat pants were so blessedly comfortable for the first month or two, but I find myself longing to wear real clothes again. And somewhere to wear them.
  5. The beach. It’s not like I go often, but since the beach has been closed, I’ve experienced an intense need to go. Really, this longing might be more about freedom to travel in general. I’ve missed out on a couple cool trips I had planned.
  6. Eating out. I normally only eat out about once a week, but without the option of sitting in a restaurant being waited on, the longing for this service has dramatically increased. This, too, is about to change. Glory, hallelujuah.
  7. My students. School is ending now, without an end-of-the-year party or final exam. I think that not being with them physically made them more endearing to me. I really enjoyed our Zoom classes.
  8. Parties. Normally, my schedule is crammed with showers, dinner parties, church events, and meetings. I’m normally squeezing in friend lunches and club meetings and hoping something in my day will cancel so I can breathe. Now I can’t wait to entertain again.
  9. Going on vacation. I’m on AirBnB right now trying to find a quick getaway I can afford. I will take disinfectant with me. I have to get out of here!
  10. Planning ahead. 1) vacations 2) wedding 3) school calendar 4) moving kids 5) writing events. All of this is in flux. And I don’t like being in flux.

What I haven’t missed:

  1. Getting up early, showering, and leaving the house.
  2. Wearing make-up and doing my hair.
  3. My kids. (I see them all the time now!)
  4. My husband. (We’re spending so much more time together–biking, walking, watching sunsets, binging shows, talking. The way life should be!) I don’t want to go back to our 2 crazy schedules and hyped-up stress. No.
  5. Prayer. I’ve enjoying more spiritual growth during this season. It takes time and attention, like anything else.
  6. Work that lasts all day and evening. It’s time to enjoy downtime every day.
  7. Binge-watching shows. I’ve done enough to last me for the next few months.
  8. Being inside. (Love all the outside time I’m having!)
  9. Cooking.
  10. Traffic.

Okay, time for you to weigh in. What have I forgotten to mention??

It’s been a difficult yet beautiful time. As some things go back to normal and most things never return to normal, let’s make a note of the good that has happened.

And of course, we must stop and remember all those whose quarantine didn’t bring renewed thankfulness and peace. Some have lost everything and everyone they love to COVID19 and the economic downturn. Their new normal will be empty and difficult.

All the more reason to be thankful now and begin incorporating these new good things into our unusual new normal. Let’s work together, regardless of our distances.

enjoy this encouraging COVID19 virtual concert by King & Country, Kirk Franklin, and Tori Kelly