Getting My Old Life Back
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by Carolyn L. Primm
I just got off the phone with a customer service representative who was nothing but nice to me. I, however, found myself becoming more and more frustrated as she spoke. The representative was explaining why I had not received a package which “should have been there, but is still in transit.” I went silent. I was angry.
Accurately reading my silence, she countered, “We are in troubling times, and we all need to be a little more patient.” I responded in a slow, snarky voice, “Well, I guess there is nothing you can do. I guess I will just have to wait some more!” Hearing those words come out of my mouth, I realized that my frustration was not about a delayed product, but about a delayed life; a life in which I felt there was “nothing I could do. So, I would just have to wait some more.”
This past week has been the hardest week of the pandemic for me. The restrictions, however inconvenient, served as my protector. Now, the restrictions are lifted, and I am my own protector. I feel ill-equipped. I feel flooded with information, but devoid of tools to distinguish truth from opinions, or worse yet, to distinguish truth from manipulations. There are those who are using this crisis to their own advantage, those who seek to undermine the reputation of others, and those who desire to build a following for themselves. In addition, it appears that whatever produces the biggest drama, no matter how foolish or unfair, draws an audience. An audience brings in money, and for some making money takes priority over helping our nation find health and safety. I feel starved of a healthy diet of truth and glutted with the junk food of lies.
In addition, this is a novel virus, so even the experts do not agree what the best course of action should be. Messages are so conflicting. I feel like a gunfighter in the old west. The gunfight has just ended, and I am ready to step out onto the street again. I am cautious. Is this fight really over? or is there, perhaps, one gunfighter lurking out there with that lone bullet that will get me? I hesitate. But, stepping out on the street is the only way to get my old life back. I want my old life back.
Yearning for my old life, caused me to remember a billboard which said, “What if you woke up tomorrow with only those things you had thanked God for today.” In light of that saying, I knew that I deserved this pandemic. I was not as thankful for my old life as I should have been. Was I thankful when a package arrived on time? When I found milk and meat in the grocery case? When there was toilet paper on the shelf? How many days did I wake up and thank God, that my grandchildren were in school that day, or that my children had a job?
I didn’t appreciate my old life until I lost it.
I am still uncertain of the best plan as I step out onto the street.
Dangers are real, but so is My Protector. One thing I do know is that, before I step out, however boldly or cautiously, I will get on my knees and thank God for a life so beautiful that I cannot wait to get it back.