Bitter or better? Life hands us a curve ball every once and a while. Then we have the option of how we respond. I have had several of those opportunities in my life, and sometimes I grew bitter, but more often than not I became better because of the difficulty.
The coronavirus’ impact continues to affect our lives six months later. Normal life activities came to a screeching halt. Yes, it’s been horrible for those 193,000+ who have lost their lives or families who have lost loved one. Also, people have lost jobs, and businesses have suffered extreme losses. For many, it’s been a psychological affront causing depression and anxiety. I have been one of the fortunate ones, not experiencing the extremes of the pandemic.
But many, like me, who have not experienced the dire side of this catastrophe have been impacted in our own ways. It seems people have reacted in two ways.
Some have become bitter over mandated requirements like social distancing and/or masks. People dubbed as “Karens” or “Kens” have violently erupted at various store clerks asking compliance to safety measures.
Many worldwide bitter rebels have actively protested like one organized event on September 15, “World Antimask Protest.” Others continue to believe this is a hoax and vehemently denounce the virus and any of the safety requests.
Others have decided to look at this respite as a time to stop the crazy pace of a busy 21st century life, slow down and go deeper on a spiritual quest. That’s what I decided to do early on. Because I was fearful and anxious, I processed my feelings through poetry. I became proficient at Zoom and participated in and hosted a multitude of Zoom meetings which helped ease the isolation.
As the pandemic has lingered, I’ve written more and more poetry, and a friend specifically asked me to address the positive outcome this slow-down provided for me, so here it is:
Coronavirus Reflection: Bitter or Better? September 5, 2020 For six months The coronavirus rages Ebbs and flows Never have I faced Anything like this! I remember The polio-scare As a child But nothing like this. Quarantined Deaths Shelter-in-place Fear Confusion Who do you believe? My life style drastically altered NO dancing NO traveling NO interaction With people But the good news: I’ve stayed healthy My family has, too! It’s reflection time Has this focused time Made me Bitter Or better? Stripped Of normal life And activity, I sat quietly Listened Breathed I watched my husband Gather his strength In his garden Working with his hands His mind His soul Lin and I shared Cribbage games Numerous TV nights Watching mysteries Each trying to solve them Comparing our suspects I celebrate this man Who I was quarantined with. I focused on The Flippo biography Which helped alter the horrible state Of our world I gathered strength In words Working with my hands My mind My soul In this forced respite I reconnected with My God In a time of needed solace Myself Exploring reactions and feelings To this fearful situation. My husband A good person to Be quarantined with I cleaned out age old belongings I connected with people on Zoom I wrote poetry Diving deep! I had weekly phone dates With hurting friends Yes, I missed Monthly visits to our ranch And my brother Family gatherings Square and round dances Travel Friends But today, I relish all of those much more Hungry for their return I savor what they Brought into my life, How they enriched me. I had moments of bitterness Hot August Nights weekend canceled So, I scheduled a Zoom party Labor Day square dance weekend So, I scheduled a Zoom meeting With long time friends. I have flirted with bitterness The vile taste of bitterness Discourages My lingering there long. When this time of trial is over, I will step up and say It made me better! And that feels good! I savor this capsule of time That I used to benefit My growth Bitter or better The choice is yours!
Yes, I do have a choice anytime life deals me a blow—will the experience make me bitter, resentful and angry? Or will I take advantage of the opportunity present and plunge into a deeper relationship with myself and my God?
I choose better!
Here’s a poem to end on that is light, frivolous and courts with a genre of literature I love, magical realism, “. . .a style of fiction and literary genre that paints a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements.”
I Sunbathed in the Roses September 5, 2020 A petal floated on the breeze Slowly Settling on my forehead Another landed on my stomach Bright red in color Matching my sunburned skin A plush cushion of white rose petals Gathered as my supple pillow. Ivory-colored roses climbed The trellis Near my feet And tickled my toes. Salmon-colored roses Guarded my heart And created a Vibrant crown for my brow! Bright golden ones kissed The sun As their next-of-kin And brushed my cheek With their satiny lips. Peach roses danced In the gentle wind A soft waltz In a lavish gown To sunbathe In the midst of roses Soothes Every ache Every pain A galaxy of color These flower friends lift me To the heavens A multi-colored celebration Of life and love Surround me by a deep connection Hummingbirds dive bomb my head Enchanted with the color And the nectar I’ve invaded their sanctuary. Lay still! I can’t! I feel the prick of. . . Yes, thorns Slightly Careful where I lay But one foot strays A little And I jerk it back A reminder Sometimes pain hides in beauty But mostly A restful soul A quiet spirit Surrounded by A circle of roses My friends!
Did you giggle? Absurd—sunbathing in a rose garden! Let loose and laugh!
I hope I leave you better today for the reading of this than when you came!
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~On Wednesday, August 12, 2020 I wrote my 200th blog post. Be sure and check it out here: 200th blog post