Enduring to the End
The craziness of 2020 continues. My husband and I often quote a line from Forrest Gump whenever problems in our lives have been resolved. In the movie, Forrest Gump learns his partner in the shrimping business, Lieutenant Dan, has invested their earnings in a “fruit company” (Apple) that’s paid huge dividends. When he finds out he’s wealthy and doesn’t have to worry about money anymore, Forrest says simply, “That’s good. One less thing.”
What a relief to cross thorny issues off our lists! The problem with 2020? There’s always one more thing.
Thinking back to the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, who could’ve imagined how far-reaching the consequences of COVID-19 would be. (By the way, nineteen may have lost its status as my lucky number.) Churches, businesses, and schools were closed. Weddings, funerals, graduations, sporting events, concerts, conferences, vacations—nearly all of these were postponed or cancelled.
We were advised to stay home or wear masks and social distance if we did venture out, creating a sense of isolation and for some, hopelessness. Many people were also hit hard financially, losing jobs and homes to a merciless, microscopic virus. Not surprisingly, much of the country plunged into a gloomy funk as we mourned the joyous celebrations and family gatherings we’d missed.
When June arrived with warm sunny days, restrictions loosening up, and businesses reopening, we became hopeful our lives would soon return to normal. Except they haven’t. June turned into July, then August, now September, and the end seems nowhere in sight. Global events and COVID-19 continue to disrupt everything and divide everyone. We’ve experienced racial unrest with shootings, protests, and riots. We’ve had record-breaking heat and horrendous wildfires causing months of smoke-filled skies. Tornadoes, floods, and damaging hurricanes have plagued us along with dire predictions of more storms to come. It’s hard to feel positive about what lies ahead.
So how do we get through all this? How do we survive? The only thing we can do is endure to the end—one minute, one hour, one day at a time. It’s a lot like writing a book. It takes hundreds of hours for me to produce a book from start to finish. If I attempt to imagine the entire, gargantuan task all at once, it’s easy to get discouraged and give up. Instead, I start by writing one sentence, one paragraph, one page at a time until I reach the end. I don’t focus on how much I have left to write, but on how much I’ve already accomplished. As a wise person once said, you survive a challenge the same way you eat an elephant—one bite at a time.
Eventually, the skies will clear and the coronavirus will fade into the background—as viruses have throughout history. We’ll emerge from the darkness a bit battered and bruised, having endured to the end. And hopefully, we’ll go forth with the knowledge and strength we’ve gained and be grateful for many little things we once took for granted. Meanwhile, keep moving forward and try to stay positive!