An eerie silence descends upon the world outside my window these days. No cars go off to work, tittering laughter of school children hasn’t been heard in nearly a year. We’ve been walking on the shifting sand of uncertainty and are attempting to turn our sights to the nervous pursuit of what is true and hopeful for 2021.
I’m a four on the Enneagram, and sometimes I want to finish that sentence with and I’m an alcoholic, just for a bit of added sarcasm. But in truth, we fours have an inclination to seek a deeper meaning. We feel things passionately. At our best, we support and love those around us with such vigor. At our worst, the depths of depression and hopelessness can destroy our best intentions to find meaning in every action. And I don’t know about other fours out there, but I want everyone to come along with me in the highs and lows.
Life for 2020 will have an asterisk by it, if only because our decisions are colored by uncertainty. Why clean out the closet. I pin hopes on a return to some normalcy where I can dress up, go out to dinner, laugh and talk with friends and now worry whether they smile or not behind the mask. Someday, I’ll return to the bucket list of places I want to fly to, and not be relegated to day trips that I tried so desperately to spin as vacations. And someday, my dog won’t fall asleep on my laptop during a Zoom game night forcing me to return to the silence.
How can we combat the inner demons of living an asterisk life? A few things to think about:
Remember that this too shall pass.
Learn something new every day.
Remember, the only person you can change is you, and sometimes the best change to make is none at all.
A quote attributed to Sun Tzu reads: “In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity.”
We see reason to hope, reason to be courageous and step forward in new ways. Find ways to soothe yourself when hope and courage escape you.
Listen to classical music.
Take an Epsom salts bath.
Challenge your brain.
Remember, if your issues don’t resolve themselves, always seek help. Call a friend, take a walk, be kind to yourself.