Embracing the Obstacle

The strength of a tree lies in its ability to bend.” – Zen Proverb

The other day my two-year-old found a Q-tip and he picked it up and started to swab the inside of his nostril. I know that kids frequently put things up their noses. After all, I wrote about the funny time my daughter put popcorn up her nose and I had to lay her on the floor, plug her other nostril and blow into her mouth. And then my toddler thought it looked like so much fun, he lined up next to her for his turn. 😊

But back to the nose swab, I’m sure it isn’t just a kid putting things up his nose – it’s all about COVID. As I was telling him not to do that, it reminded me of all that is driving me crazy. And also of the wisdom of embracing the obstacles in front our of ourselves that are our teachers.

I think the last two weeks might have been the most uncomfortable weeks of this pandemic for me. With the surging numbers that are off the charts, the constancy of COVID on the news, and with everything open so we are trying to live more or less as if its business as usual, it has brought so many decisions to my door. Trying to make friends with my experience, I am attempting to lean in to listen to all the things my discomfort is teaching me.

Uncertainty. Right now, when I am incredibly uncertain if I can schedule meetings and work because school or daycare could be cancelled, I accept that certainty has always been a mirage.  Uncertainty makes me feel disoriented but I’m coming to realize that the cure is not grabbing for more certainty but instead bending my knees as if I’m learning to surf.

Responsibility. My awareness of my responsibility to fellow humans has never been so heightened. In this era of contagion, it’s so obvious that we can spread love and light as well as disease. Smiling, laughing and joy are so infectious, especially when we are in the throes of a major surge. And learning the integrity of keeping my kids home from school, testing them, cancelling things myself when needed has been a huge takeaway for me.

Flexibility. This coming weekend we had two big things planned – a kids birthday party and a sleepover at Nana. Both had to be changed because of COVID and then all the other plans we had for the holiday weekend rearranged around them.  And it worked because everyone else is flexible too. I’m learning to accept that if they have to shift again, that too will also be fine.

 I look at what I’ve written and it’s a lot of “trying” and “accepting” and “learning.” It’s all so uncomfortable – kinda like putting a swab up your nose. Which, unlike my toddler and regardless of this attempt to embrace the obstacle, I will never do for fun!

14 thoughts on “Embracing the Obstacle

  1. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job bending like a tree. 😊🙏👍 This new Omicron wave has really pushed all of us to our limits and I’m sorry that your plans this weekend have had to change. Hopefully the time just the kids will be a relaxing one. And yes, no no no to qtips up our noses!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Over the Christmas break, I did my first rapid antigen test. The first time was done wrong so I had to do it twice! Very uncomfortable. Can’t wait till QTips are for ears only!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post, Wynne.
    I love how you always see “a light at the end of the tunnel” in each situation.
    “And also of the wisdom of embracing the obstacles in front our of ourselves that are our teachers.”
    Keep safe and no self testing with Q-tips please!
    Have a lovely weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, ha! Yes, no self-testing indeed! I definitely am following the “write what you need to read” maxim and often times it’s the process of writing that gets me to the light at the end of the tunnel. And wise readers like you who comment. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is all so true, and it’s nice to see it laid out there so well. Like, something you know but never really thought about or put into words. This pandemic is breeding a more resilient generation, I should think, one more capable of dealing with difficult circumstances. So I guess there’s that… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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