Hello, family. You are some of the most amazing, most resilient, most incredible men and women that I have ever had the honor to know. That is the truth.
What a turbulent ride! I don’t know about you but, I just want this all to be over with. I’m ready to recoup some semblance of the normalcy that we once knew. This week has been the longest decade of my life!
Yesterday was another hard week. I received message after heartbreaking message of job loss, furlough, marital frustrations, financial fears… And then, as I prepared to go to bed, we received word that the plane that my husband used to fly not so very long ago went down on the route that he used to fly it on. It was just another punch in an already bruised and battered heart.
I have to be completely honest with you, this is so hard. Not just for me…but for every single person I know, aviation or not. I have tried without much success to wrap my head around how something so tiny could reap so much havoc on the world. It’s pretty incomprehensible, isn’t it? I know that it often times leaves me feeling helpless, small, and alone. I am a compulsive fixer. That is my inner nature, for those of you who couldn’t tell. The problem is, there is simply no fixing this.
However, despite the chaos, we have to find ways to keep our sanity during these confusing and frustrating and yes, scary, times. I obviously can’t speak for everyone because we are all experiencing different things right now, but I am listing some things that are helping me get through the days. Maybe they will help you too.
1. Journal. Keeping a journal is a really great way to let out your feelings and frustrations and organize your thoughts in this very confusing time. And it will also be interesting to look back in a few years and remember what this period looked like (and be grateful for everything we have then!). You can use good old fashioned pen and paper or the Day One journaling app, which I really enjoy for it’s ability to add photos, videos, and it’s ‘on this day’ feature that shows you what was going on this day through your journaling history.
2) Crank up the jams. One of the best medicines right now is distraction. If I allow my thoughts to run away from me, they are not all that pretty right now. Creating fun distraction is very useful for keeping your brain from playing a game of worst case scenario! I have lots of playlists that range from fun dance music to rap to country…but I am finding worship music really useful because it also pours positive truth into my heart as I go about my day. I’m going to share my Spotify worship playlist HERE for anyone that wants to tune in. Spotify also has a free version, (though the ads do sometimes annoy me). Or go ahead and break out those ‘ancient’ compact discs and get your dance on.
3) Binge movie or television series. As above, distraction, distraction, distraction. This is not the time to be parent of the year by limiting screen time. Go ahead and binge some movies/shows with those kids, or your spouse, or by yourself! Star Wars, Marvel, Lord of the Rings, Great Baking Championship, The Office, Grey’s Anatomy… There are lots of long series that can be watched (or rewatched) together. And as a bonus, Hallmark is binging back the Christmas movies as we speak to give everyone some holiday cheer during this mess (for those of you who love those).
4) Grow something. There is little else that can give hope like seeing life spring from a tiny seed! All you need is some dirt, some water, and some seeds and you can watch as Mother Nature shows us that life is still flourishing in this world. If you have kids, it’s also a great science lesson. Bonus? If you choose a vegetable plant, you get some yummy food out of the deal.
5) Community. While we are perhaps more physically isolated than ever before from the general population, that doesn’t mean we have to be socially isolated. Technology has given us so many amazing options for communication. Video chats, group meetings, social media pages/groups… There are so many great options. Even Netflix has created a group movie night option where you can enjoy a movie ‘with’ your friends…from afar! Take advantage of modern technology and spend some extra time talking to the people that matter and the ones that understand you. I have probably spoken to my best friend more this month than I have since she moved away several years ago.
6) Exercise. Exercise releases natural endorphins in our bodies that combat stress. Boy do we need to combat stress right now! It also keeps us healthy so that our immune systems are able to combat illnesses more efficiently. There is no time like the presence to take care of our bodies, minds, and spirits. There are lots of options available either alone or communally (from afar, of course). One of our own Pilot Wife Sistas is hosting an online yoga lesson this Saturday! See photo for information to join!
7) Sex. Like exercise, sex is a great way to build up some endorphins and release some stress. It’s also a wonderful time to bond with your spouse and enjoy some much needed time together. Most of us spend a lot of time apart, so this is a great opportunity to spend some time together.
8) Unplug. This constant flow of negative and scary information is suffocating. I encourage you to set aside an hour or two per day (or even longer, but I’m being realistic here!) when you intentionally turn off the media and reconnect with your family, nature, and God. Sit on your porch and breathe. Participate in any of the activities listed above. Let yourself have a break from the media to reboot your soul. I promise the chaos will still be there waiting for you when you return.
9) Learn a new skill/finish that project. There are lots of worthwhile skills to be learned, and most of us never get an opportunity to pursue them because we are so busy. Use some of your extra time to learn a new language, read music, write a book, crochet toilet paper (just kidding…mostly), paint a picture, complete a cross stitch, whittle, code…or a million other really cook things that we’ve always wanted to do! Or pick up that half completed project (I know we all have some) and finally get it finished!
10) Read your Bible and Pray. Right now, like no other, is a time to draw close to God and spend time concreting that relationship. Without my daily prayers and conversations (and yes, sometimes crying and screaming) with Him, I really don’t know how I would get through each day. But knowing the promises of the Bible and the true character of God has given me hope beyond any of these temporary circumstances. It has been my saving…well, grace…in these times of trial. As always, if anyone needs to pray or wants to chat more deeply about these things, just drop me a message anytime.
I would be lying if I said these current circumstances were easy. They are not. Every single person I know has been affected deeply by the state of the world. However, I know that allowing ourselves to sink into a pit of despair will not make anything better. No matter what, I am going to intentionally continue to choose faith over fear. Is it easy? No! But you can do it! Nothing lasts forever, even though it sure feels like it sometimes. Whatever it is that sustains you, whether on this list or off it (okay, as long as it is legal and doesn’t hurt anyone else!) do it. Take care of yourselves. Take care of one another.
It may be hard today, but better days will come. There is always a horizon beyond the storms.
I love you, family. Praying for you fervently every day. Be brave and stay strong.
Angelia (a fellow pilot wife)
Just Winging It: Prayers for My Pilot Wife (autographed)
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