It’s human nature to postpone making major life decisions, to spend time weighing the pros and the cons, contemplating the options, looking and looking and looking before you leap. It’s my nature to go beyond this all the way to procrastinating and distracting and sometimes even putting on blinders while kicking all those difficult, gut-wrenching, point-of-no-return cans down the road. Until life intervenes.
Case in point.
During one particularly hot summer, I was hit by a truck while standing on a sidewalk, got divorced and then fired in rapid succession. All of which backed me into corners I don’t think I would have willingly visited on my own, inspiring me to make decisions I’m still living with today. Like dating again and marrying again and after nearly 30 years, I’m so happy to be here with my husband. And starting a business, which led me to writing which led me to, well, telling you this story. (The truck thing is a little more complicated.)
All of which is to say that if all that could and did happen to one person in a few short months, then what does it mean when God, the Universe, Mother Nature, whatever you want to call a force greater than us teams up with a bat in China and brings the whole world to its knees?
For me, the pandemic demanded decisive actions, big and small, without time for procrastination. What should we do about my 95-year-old dad who had been living at home alone with the assistance of daily visits from caregivers? What about our daughter living in an apartment in the COVID epicenter that was New York City at the time? How will we get food and supplies? How will we exercise since the gym shut its doors? The questions kept coming and thankfully, so did the answers.
The life we’ve designed is different, no doubt, but we’re making conscious decisions to make the most of what’s available to us.
Within a month, my sister and I established a system of care for our dad that includes daily visits from family members since the caregivers could no longer come. We closed up the New York apartment and moved our daughter home until she can safely go on to her next adventure. We set up online ordering for all food and supplies to minimize the risk of exposure, especially to my dad. And I’ve been running outside for the first time in years. Sure has been cold lately.
The life we’ve designed is different, no doubt, but we’re making conscious decisions to make the most of what’s available to us. Brewing coffee in the morning instead of picking it up on the run. Girlfriend chats on the phone instead of girls’ night out. More elaborate family dinners instead of quick suppers after work. Online yoga in my office instead of in the studio.
Some refer to this time as “The Great Pause”. But sooner or later, the vaccinations will take hold and life will find its way back. All our favorite distractions will appear, some of the new demands will be lifted and we can finally move forward once again. Undoubtedly, we will be faced with a multitude of decisions. And I’m determined to embrace them using a tool that came to me on a beautiful June afternoon many years ago, a tool that’s often slipped my mind but not anymore.
Standing there on the corner, I was waiting to cross a busy city street to get to yet another meeting. That’s precisely when the accelerator of a pickup truck decided to get stuck propelling it onto the sidewalk and straight at me. Through a flash of sunlight and metal came darkness. Black. Silent. Nothingness.
I’m alive! Get on with those decisions. Create the life you want, the one you deserve. Do it now!
Lying there motionless in the street, a crowd gathered around me as the contents of my briefcase and the life I’d been leading scattered in every direction. That’s when I opened my eyes. That’s when I began to see through a new lens, a high-powered one with an incredible ability to make everything exceedingly clear. I’m alive! Get on with those decisions. Create the life you want, the one you deserve. Do it now!
I think it might be helpful for all of us to look through that same lens during the months ahead. We’re alive! Get on with those decisions. Create the life we really want, the one we truly deserve. Do it now!
About the Writer
Rita Lussier is a writer, runner, and optimist who writes and runs to stay optimistic. “For the Moment” is her way of capturing time before it slips away. Find more of her moments at ritalussier.com