I saw them coming. I just called it a couple of weeks before it actually happened to us.
I told my mom and sister a couple of weeks ago that I feared that we would be going back into lock-down out here on Okinawa. Since last March, I have tracked the numbers and the responses to the virus. There have been times when the military has reported higher numbers. There have been times when the Okinawans have had higher numbers. Sadly, we are currently living in a time, when both the Okinawans and the military community are reporting higher than normal numbers at the same time. It was just a matter of time before our next round of restrictions would roll out.
When I started this blog it was created as a space where I could share tips on mindset and personal growth. Some of my stories are shared with the intent to shed positive light on what could be construed as negative, so this week, I am going to do my best to shed some positive light on something that is definitely not a positive thing. Two more things, I am not writing about Coronavirus from a medical perspective because I am not a doctor, scientist, pathologist, epidemiologist, or virologist, and because I don’t believe that public health should be political, I am definitely NOT writing about politics either. If those things turn you off, you can keep reading. This is a safe place for you to read a story and to read about something positive. It just may take a minute, so bear with me.
A year ago today, I was in Sri Lanka with 15 ladies. Some of us knew each other well. Some of us had never met. None of us had ever been to Sri Lanka, but we were on an adventure, and it was amazing. I have no idea how I actually got to go on the trip. I think it was mostly luck. Actually, I think that I just happened to see a Facebook post at the right time, and without thinking it through, I immediately signed up for the trip. I remember being on the trip, and I knew it was magical. Yes, we visited paradise, and over the next couple of weeks, I will write about Sri Lanka and the Maldives in more detail, but this week, I want to share HOW special the trip actually was. 15 ladies came together with no complaining, no drama, no pettiness, just happiness, joy, and gratitude. Some of the mamas may have come on the trip with some relief from kids. Some ladies escaped from thinking about kids going to college or upcoming military moves. Some ladies just took a break from the day-to-day grind that is life. We laughed. We ate. We saw elephants in the wild and sea turtles nurtured back to health. We saw magnificent sunrises and sunsets. More to follow over the next couple of weeks.
I woke up each day, and I mediated and journaled. I created time to move my body. I sat in complete gratitude because I knew that this was a trip of a lifetime. Little did I know that it would be the LAST trip for a long time.
Shortly after our trip, coronavirus popped up in Okinawa, and then all over the world, and then soon, the rest of my trips were cancelled. My sister’s trip to see me – cancelled. My trip to Bali with one of my dearest friends – cancelled. Any consideration of a trip to the Tokyo Olympics – cancelled. A trip to Texas for the summer – cancelled. The last trip of the year that I had hoped and prayed for – a trip to Texas for the holidays – cancelled.
The trip to paradise really was the last trip.
A couple of days ago, a new set of restrictions had been placed on our military community again. No eating with friends – not at restaurants, not in your home, not outside on a patio. No shopping – except for groceries. No gatherings of more than 2 people. Basically, all you can do are essential things and get fresh air with your family or one other person. We have been living in a world of restrictions on Okinawa for almost a year now, and these aren’t even the harshest set of restrictions. We have seen worse.
So where is the positive???
Before the latest set of restrictions were placed upon us, I could see them coming so I asked my friends if they have had anything positive happen over the past year. I knew that I would need to know that positive things had happened over the course of a challenging year, and the responses overwhelmed and delighted me. More time with family got the most responses. Other responses had to do with starting school, graduating, or earning certifications. Some people got jobs, got promotions, or got better jobs. Others created more time to talk to their moms (I am one of these people). Some people had babies. Other people developed stronger mindsets, more clarity, found perspective, and some made new friends. Some found a deeper sense of their spirituality and some found time for creativity. Now, I don’t know about you, but aren’t those the things we strive for: quality time with loved ones, new friends, mental strength and clarity, and personal and professional growth.
Yes, this year has been challenging, and restrictions are not fun, but when you think about the biggest of the big picture, what people have found over the past year are the things that make the greatest impact on your life. They are the things that really matter.
On a personal note…
This past weekend, during our serious lockdown, I spent 1 day feeling sorry for myself, because I just couldn’t help it, and I spent the other day doing some of my very favorite things. I spent a few hours reading, journaling, and time in spirituality. Then I spent a few hours running. I wrapped up my day spending a few hours cooking Sukiyaki with my guy and just enjoyed being out in the fresh air with him. I will never forget an epic trip like the one to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, and I will never forget days like yesterday when I got to do some of my favorite things.
When I was doing my favorite things, I forgot that I was in lockdown.