• catherine stemper

getting better

I have always been skeptical about the phrase "everything will be okay". I understand why people say it, we must, despair is not helpful. Hope is powerful, but pragmatism is required too. I have led a very happy and blessed life. I have also suffered things that many people do, loss, loneliness, economic uncertainty. Yet, nothing I couldn't handle. I believe my sunny disposition is because it has never really been challenged. I have never gone hungry, I have never been homeless, never lived in a war zone or in a third world country, not even for a little while. Do people who live in those situations say "everything will be okay"?

The current pandemic has taught me the value of living in the moment. I thought I understood it before, but a new dimension of living in the moment has been revealed to me. I used to think living in the moment was about letting go of the past and waiting for the future. I have come to understand that anxiety is worry about the future and depression is worry about the past. I could soothe myself by saying I only have the power to change what is now, the past is gone, and the future is unknown. The pandemic changed my perspective about changing what is now, or put a macro lens on that requirement.

We all had glorious plans for 2020, didnt we? The letting go isnt quite over for me, and embracing the now has not been easy. I know some people who are thriving in this strange new reality. I am not sinking, but the "pivot" is reluctant. Yet, I am proud to say I have accomplished some of the goals I set when this world changed. I am blogging, somewhat sporadically, but I am. I toilet trained my kitty. I learned the phonetic alphabet. Some closets are better organized. My online presence is stronger. I have been creative and productive, new designs!

In the "before times", I could come up with one or two new designs a year, if I was lucky. Designing is my true love. Quality design rarely comes to mind all at once, complete and whole ready for production. Real quality design takes time, trial and error, a lot of research and development. I love to tinker and play with my materials, but I could not often afford that luxury when my business was in high operation/production mode. I had time to fuss with ideas a bit, but not intensely.

Then I was blessed with loads of time, and no production requirements. I was also cursed with massive depression. Creativity cures depression, but crossing the gap to get to creativity is a challenge. But my bench called, and I did respond. Not everything worked, but I could try again. I had the time and the room in my mind to try again.

My mind expanded in many ways, I had to look for new opportunities to sell my wares. In our neck of the woods, farmer's markets are allowed to operate. I joined one, and am so pleased! Why did I not consider them before? My prejudices were misplaced. My perspective has changed, my mind has broadened.

I am looking forward to the future again. I hope we can find new ways to "be okay", and I hope it surpasses all of our dreams. Possibility is beyond what we can imagine. Not limiting myself to my dreams, accepting the unknown and see how good it can be.

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