ah, the power of these One Little Words. As I prepared to write this post, I kept thinking about how I realized just about this time last year that AND (my 2020 OLW) was the perfect framework for navigating a pandemic. This year, it seems CHOOSE is ready-made for how I might navigate a (mostly) post-vaccination world, which is what my immediate family will be in by mid-May (yep, even Sara – she gets her first shot on Friday morning!)
It seems choices abound! My neighborhood bookclub did meet in-person and inside last week; I chose to stay home. My church is re-opening the sanctuary for one service on Sunday mornings, beginning May 2. Thankfully, I feel really good about the guidelines they’re following; everything adheres to the current CDC guidelines (not at all surprising considering the congregation … and one of the members of the “re-opening committee” works for the CDC). There will be limited capacity, social distancing, masks, no contact, and no communal prayer or song. I’m choosing to stick with the YouTube services (which are thankfully continuing indefinitely) because pretty much everything I love about communal worship doesn’t fit within the CDC guidelines.
I’ve already told y’all that my mom and I are having lunch on May 4. I’ve also scheduled a haircut for June 4 and I am 100% contemplating a pedicure (with Sara) before June.
Those choices were actually pretty easy. (and still, I was happy to see that this test in today’s NYTimes confirmed them all as LOW risk.)
The harder choices are going to come once more folks are vaccinated. when more things are open. when gatherings are going to be larger and likely include folks we (me) just don’t know very well (or worse, do know well, and know they’re not making similar choices). that’s gonna mean having the courage to say “no”. (more courage!)
I think it’s also going to mean giving grace to folks who make different choices. and that was not something I actually contemplated when I thought about “all this”. I remember a conversation with my next-door neighbor last August, just after my niece was married. I was sharing how much I loved that the whole celebration gave “grace and space” … she said that resonated with the things she was doing, too. and for me, that still does. Grace and Space.
After this last year, I am 100% confident that the folks I am in close relationship with get that (and I am beyond grateful to be able to say this).
and for the others, I am taking it slow. grace and space. and time.
Closing with a huge thank you to Carolyn for hosting this monthly check-in. and to all my other readers – these posts and our conversation around them are such an important part of my journey. Thank you!