Today I have a guest post from writer R.A. Johnson. Enjoy!
by R.A. Johnson
Here we sit at a standstill…a tethered world. In the midst of this crisis, you can find peace. Picture yourself back in time, perhaps as far back as the 1800s. In those days they played parlor games, knitted, read books, wrote books, made art, journaled, took long walks, and prayed for health and goodwill. Picture yourself as Emily Bronte or Jane Austen. Place yourself in character such as Jane Eyre. She made it through extremely harsh times and ultimately was blessed in the end. And she too went through a crisis such as us.
Being a wife, mom, and grandmother, I had to distinctively stop myself and see this is now the world we live in. The biggest difference is we have technology, which is an awesome way to keep in touch and work and stay busy. I pondered these thoughts well one morning when I awoke and felt as though I lived in Bleak House. I decided I couldn’t have my family feeling this way. Out of nowhere an epiphany hit me: Yes! I will bring life into this household in different ways. I put up a mini Christmas tree with lights, played inspirational music throughout the house, baked brownies to scent the air. I placed gel pens and crayons with paper and coloring books, sprawled out on the dining room table and coffee table (someone will pick them up if they get bored enough.) Books! Yes! These do not need batteries or electricity to work. How awesome a book is.
Since social distancing is now a part of our new tethered world, we can slip back and forth in time and place ourselves in a fantasy land or become a character in our favorite novels. It’s okay to pretend. It’s okay to let your mind, body, and soul be free for a moment in time. I, too, pictured myself as Jane Eyre walking the hills on our property, contemplating many aspects of her life and how I could intertwine them into my life. One event I remember indelibly is where she visits her dying aunt. The two sisters she was raised with were sitting in a parlor with Jane. The sisters began to get into a quarrel, one sister selfish and complaining, the other sister patient and kind. Jane Eyre sat quietly, too; no complaining, just reading and being patient. But the other sister just sat grumbling over and over. Just then, the patient, kind sister remarked that if she sectioned out her whole day of tasks to do, the day would be over before she knew it. I pondered that thought and how to use that same advice in my life and in my household. I section out the whole day. I still get up to shower for my day, even though I am unable to go to my job. My job now is to hold down the household and keep everyone safe, happy, and fed. Some of our schedule has dramatically changed, but it is helpful and working.
Writing this outline for each day and how each hour will have some type of structured task or fun time, outdoor time and a time for prayer and meals, has benefited us well. Just hanging out with each other showing we do exist and we can beat this. At first the tethered world did get the best of me. I felt as though I was slipping in and out of a bad dream, only to realize it was very real and that I had to do something about it to help my family as well as myself…and to help anyone else out there in our tethered world.