Can we just restart 2020? Asking for a friend..
Like most people, I have experienced a wide range of changes in regards to my thoughts and emotions during the time I've remained by myself, over the last weeks. On most days my mental health is well. I have embraced living in gratitude and being still. Other days, I spend hours on social media fighting the waves of sadness that plague my everyday life. It seems like they will never end. Apart from these changes, one of the constants in the midst of this pandemic has been the fact that I have spent a ton of time traveling on airplanes against my loved ones wishes.
As an inveterate flight passenger, I have flown on a countless number of flights. My last couple of trips have been overwhelmingly turbulent and unlike like anything I’ve ever felt though. So much so, that I began to do my research on aircraft engineering while on an aircraft. Why? Well, because surely there’s a reason why the wings were bending like they were about to snap, and I wanted to understand why.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, I’m a big baby. In order to be certified as airworthy, the wings must flex. For instance, a Boeing 787 must be able to flex as much as 26 feet without breaking, at 150% stress capacity. That is because, when a plane flies, aeroelasticity occurs. This is the natural tendency of the wings to flex or bend due to aerodynamic and inertial pressure. Prior to Coronavirus, many of us were having the best year of our lives. I know I was! And I still am, but with all of the fear and speculation surrounding the Coronavirus, keeping everyone at home with their loved ones and spouses, probably has many feeling like they are at their 150% stress capacity. These situations we are in have caused a lot of bending and some of us are even breaking. This is completely understandable. I mean, the world as we know it has changed.
Change can be disruptive considering we are creatures of habit. Because of this, people don't really like change. I mean seriously. We eat the same thing at the same restaurants, do the same workouts, sit in the same seats, go to the same places, and abhor letting go of old habits. As disruptive as this change has been, I honestly needed this.. We needed this. It has forced us to change. The government has stated that things will change and go back to normal on multiple occasions. Even so, dates are continued to be pushed back. Graduations, opportunities, proms, amongst many other things have been put on hold.
In my personal life, the previous weeks have been an absolute struggle as I have had plans of leaving the country to play football professionally, and that has been postponed. To make matters worse, many of the gyms and facilities I would have used to prepare for my season are closed. Like everyone else, many plans have been thwarted, leaving me to have to adjust and change on the fly. Pun intended*
For many, this has been a challenge and has caused people to give up on their goals and sit around complaining about how things have changed. However, if you’re reading this, you’re reading it for a reason. And I want to encourage you, because I know your 2020 was off to a great start too until you encountered some turbulence along the way. If you see things the way that I do, you may think,
“What a wonderful opportunity this time has been for us to “flex” or embrace these changes so that we make it to our desired destination!”
I know many of you do think this way because I have seen mothers, fathers, brothers, and daughters- finding creative ways to workout, teach, spend time with, and care for, loved ones, stay entertained, make due with the money they have, and press towards their goals vigilantly- instead of complaining! I am unsure when things will return to normal or what the new normal will look like. If I’m being honest, aside from being able to play football, I can’t say that I really want things to go back to normal. More people have embraced the changes as an opportunity and are exercising, smiling, living in the moment, being grateful, and prioritizing their mental, spiritual, and emotional health more than they might have been before. If you are reading this and you haven’t, you should too.
I would go as far as to say that I have been more positive and grateful than anyone I know during this time because God has walked me through stillness and gratitude over the last couple of years. Yet, I remain human, and find myself getting agitated about the changes that have come my way and made me uncomfortable. Through it all I have felt God whisper through the warmth of the smile of the cashier at a gas station, or other essential workers, that He is in control. We are all experiencing this turbulence and we will all come out on the other end okay. We will get through this and achieve those things that we set out to do. But in the meantime we all have to embrace the changes that the Coronavirus has forced us to make by remaining positive and giving our energy to the neglected things that should be priorities in our lives, by having a little “flex.” And if we do, I promise you, when we return to our regularly scheduled programming, we will be healthier and better off than we were before.