After nearly four solid months of isolation, my parents made the drive from Peachtree City to Nashville to spend a few days with us. My mother had been using her quarantine time to declutter, so she arrived with my baby books in tow.

I’d always heard the stories, but there it was inked in my mom’s cursive on page four: First word (after ‘Mommy’ and ‘Da-da’, of course): “No!”

Even at ten months old, I had a strong sense of what I wanted and what I didn’t.

Woof. THIS YEAR, you guys.

With every month that passes, I look at the calendar and say, “how did we get here?!” “How is it already August?” In many ways, I continue feeling like I’m stuck in a weird purgatory and in reality, it’s still January. But, it’s not and my brain just cannot seem to compute.

Like many social media memes, I’m looking back on these quarantimes in themes. January was a welcome respite from the chaos of Q4 in 2019. February had me settling into a new, more sustainable rhythm, ready to start ramping things up again. Then March – the Nashville tornado, coronavirus, quarantine… which resulted in April-June: business lost, isolation, and a downward spiral of questioning self-worth. (There’s a deeper well to traverse here, but it’s exhausting, right?)

My enneagram 3-ness leaned toward busy work in the Spring — working on my podcast, taking classes, learning new skills (aprendo español!), creating, but after awhile everything felt forced, like I was pushing a large pile of rocks uphill. I channeled Baby Amanda and started saying, “no!” I stopped everything.

I know what this sounds like. Under stress, Type Threes move to Type Nine where they can be overcome with apathy. The wind goes out of their sails. I thought of my word for 2020: SAVOR. What if I’m supposed to savor being/doing/achieving nothing? What if I’m just supposed to sit here and be?

July, and now August: I’m here. I’m breathing. I’m putting one foot in front of the other even though every day feels the same. It’s hard. There are tears. There is still so much confusion, but my heart beats on, my blood still flows. I’m holding fast to things I know for certain, like life is a gift.

One of my pen pals in Washington recommended The Book of Delights by Ross Gay. It took me awhile to get into it until I could appreciate it for what it was: a book of essays capturing simple everyday delights.

I wish I had answers. Don’t we all? I don’t have clear direction or any sign of a light at the end of a tunnel. But I do have the ability to make my own list of delights and just enough energy to go on a daily scavenger hunt looking for my own sort of lovely.

Today’s looks like this:

  • Felt brisk air on morning walk
  • Admired vibrant colors of flowers and clear, blue sky
  • Enjoyed really good coffee
  • Purchased fresh, local produce at the Farmers Market

Maybe if we all made lists of delights it might change our perspective from all we don’t have to the actual gifts we DO. We might see we have more in common with each other then we don’t. These simple lists might just start to heal divides and ease the heaviness we all feel. That’s my hope, anyway.

Hey. Another delight:

  • And yet, I hope!

What are the delights and lovely gifts you’re noticing in your corner of the world?

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