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Finding Balance

When this is Over: Promises to Myself

From a 50-Something-Year-Old Woman Working at Home in her Slippers

When this is over, I promise to hug my family and my friends for a moment too long.

When this is over, I promise to understand the difference between need and want more clearly.

When this is over, I promise not to miss a chance to hold the hand of the one I love, and just hold their hand…not wondering if they skipped a verse of Happy Birthday while they were washing.

When this is over, I promise to watch less Netflix and never to take for granted the experience of seeing a movie on a screen taller than my house, with the incredible sound system imaginable, with a bucket of movie theater popcorn. And I promise to clap at the end.

When this is over, I promise to see a live play or a concert and to feel the energy of a live performance deeply.

Promise Yourself at a Concert

When this is over, I promise to let myself weep openly, tears of inexplicable joy, the first time I hear the roar of the crowd in a sports stadium.

When this is over, I promise to work as hard for my company as I am when I am trying to save it, while never taking my job for granted.

When this is over, I promise not to skip class because I don’t feel like going.

When this is over, I promise never to take for granted the shaking of a stranger’s hand and to know who my neighbors are, so they are not strangers. And I will speak to them and ask if they are OK. Maybe I will roll their trash bins to the curb and know their dog’s name too.

When this is over, I promise never to miss the moment at a restaurant when the server brings the meal, and it looks fantastic. I promise to be thankful for that service, for me and them.

Promise Yourself while Serving Dinner

I will also not take for granted the first time I can once again taste my best friend’s dish at a restaurant by merely reaching my fork across the table, one that we are seated at together.

When this is over, I promise not to grumble when the alarm goes off, telling me to go to the gym. Well, maybe I will grumble, but when the group exercise instructor asks the class if we are having fun, I promise to whoop loudly as I am so happy to be there with all of you.

When this is over, I promise never to feel entitled to walk into an emergency room or clinic and feel like I am the one most in need of care – especially because it might actually be the staff who have been caring for others all day and into the night, and will do it again tomorrow.

Promise Yourself in the Waiting Room

When this is over, I promise never to feel inconvenienced by the invitation to a wedding, baby shower, graduation or funeral.

When this is over, I promise never to complain about the legroom on a plane or to be annoyed the internet is not working. I promise to remember I am flying 30,000 feet in the air in a tube with wings going 500 miles an hour, and I will be amazed by that.

When this is over, I will remember that I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am an American and a citizen of planet Earth.

When this is over, I promise to keep praying as consistently as I am now, thanking God for my health and realizing there are so many others with burdens and hardships far more significant than my own.

When this is over, I promise to sing songs of worship at my place of worship at the top of my lungs. My voice is terrible, but I promise to remember God doesn’t care.

I promise not to wait until this over. Some things I can start now before this is over.

Today I promise to have hope, for it is the only rational choice.

 

Love Roars Back,

Colleen Affeldt

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