By Ayanna Clarke
During this quarantine, I (and other like-minded individuals) have found ways to maintain a positive frame of mind.
We are exercising, working from home, keeping our young ones educated and entertained, and working hard to ensure that we stay as safe as possible.
But I have to admit that a few days ago I hit a wall. I was standing in my kitchen, prepping my sink and water when I realised, I’m washing dishes for the third time today, and it’s not even 3pm!
I think I even posted in one of my social media groups, “I swear if I wash one more dish!”
I’ve never really taken stock of how many plates I wash, or how many times I sweep, or straighten up or do anything domestic. I mean, it’s a part of life. You live, therefore, you clean. But the tedium of washing then rinsing then drying got under my skin for a bit, and it got me thinking of several things.
Honestly, we may all find similar lessons:
I’m coming to terms with the idea that I may be a bit too anal when it comes to keeping the kitchen sink clear. I mean, washing dishes and keeping the kitchen clean is one thing, but trying to make sure that there isn’t even a glass in the sink and everything is put away all the time – is that even realistic? No one is coming over anyway, so maybe I can drink a cup of coffee early in the morning with toast and leave the cup and plate until I have lunch later on in the day. Then I can wash them all together. Save myself some detergent, bleach and some lotion.
I’m realising just how much I have taken for granted when it comes to connecting with friends and loved ones. I’m not one to just be “out and about”. Makes me seem boring but, hey, it’s me. However reclusively I live, I always knew that friends and loved ones were merely a drive away. If I wanted to see a sister, or hang out with friends, I could just jump in my car and make a quick road trip. But now I’m limited to Facetime, WhatsApp messaging and Zoom meetings. These are all well and good, but the true appreciation of being in someone’s presence, experiencing the nuances of expression, the ability to touch and feel, cannot be gained through the screen of a laptop or smart phone. My takeaway from this lesson then is to be more present, try my best to lay aside my reclusive preferences or my propensity for seclusion every once in a while. I have determined to remember that church and work are not outings and make more time to truly “be there” with those I consider important.
My final lesson is as simple and straight forward as the previous two. Very simply put, I refuse to get tired of the rest I used to complain about needing before. Just the other day I found myself vexed because the only thing I did the entire day was lie down and sleep. Before going too far down that rabbit hole though, I paused and recollected all the times I shouted to high heaven how I needed to rest…relaxation…a chance to take a load off. Now that I find myself doing just that, I won’t complain about it. Now keep in mind, a state of rest doesn’t mean a state of laziness. I’m not guilty of doing nothing. I am just actively taking advantage of the opportunity to sleep, meditate, and reduce activity I longed for in busier times. A portion of Paul’s Philippians 4:11 lesson teaches, “for I have learned to be self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy, regardless of my circumstances.”
I’m going to try:
Leaving a dish in the sink (hmmmm. I’ll try but I’m not making any promises.)
Making plans to get together with friends more
Finding time to just relax and be still from now on.
What is this time of isolation and distancing teaching you? God bless you this week!