Making plans allows me to remember that this too shall pass. And though the world is on lock down, LIFE is not.

I ran the numbers, and chatted with my husband. I asked countless questions. Then I booked a flight for a yoga retreat in June. The airfare to Costa Rica was ridiculously cheap.

I am not a ‘yoga retreat’ kind of person, preferring solo trips and small groups. But I love this studio, adore Jen, and have found quite a few kindred spirits in the women I’ve met at Yoga Junction.

So I’ve been thinking about it, but Rob and I had so many other hoped-for trips that I hadn’t taken the leap.

Then Jen said, “Why don’t you come and be our photographer?” Hmmm. Let me think on that a minute.

This is a fabulous experience for me. I love portrait work and the opportunity to lend my hand to visually capturing the retreat atmosphere got me pretty damn excited. But these conversations began in the ‘before’ time period. I made my decision to attend in the ‘after’ period in the beginning of April.

Before I committed to the retreat, I rebooked my flights to see my daughters and granddaughter. The old flights had been mid-April, the new ones are for ten days at the beginning of May.

I have no idea if I’ll be going on either of these trips, but I feel hope when I plan for the future. The key is understanding that I need to be fluid, I need to respect the fact that everything could change on a dime.

Some say, “Why would you set yourself up for disappointment?” but I see it differently. 

The world is locked down right now. We cannot responsibly jump on a plane, move from state to state or drive into the mountains for a day of hiking or skiing. These restrictions are difficult, but we must remember these things will not last forever. There will be an after.

Making plans allows me to remember that this too shall pass. 

And though the world is on lock down, LIFE is not.

Life has changed; our ability to freely move from place to place has been restricted in order to protect ourselves and others. But living continues, life continues.

This life looks different for each one of us.

Not having the physical closeness I so love with my children is terribly hard, but we do connect every day even if just for five minutes.

My granddaughter continues to grow; first walking and now running with a hop-like gait. New teeth are coming in and her babbling resembles real language with words like DaDa and Mama, Hi and Bye.

Rob and I sent her a sensory table that is split in the middle, one side for sand and the other for water. She has a playhouse in the backyard and a toddler slide. I know this is tough for Hannah who has said, “Mom, I don’t know how you did it,” about my many years as a stay-at-home mom.

Ellie is becoming very attached to her mom which worries my daughter, but I know this is natural bonding. She loves her mommy and though this time is challenging, one day my daughter will look back on them and say, “we did it, though. We did it.” She will draw strength from these days in later years.

Ellie is in the moment, her life is not slowing down or faltering. 

I’m not sure how to look at my own days beyond working to be like Ellie, in the moment, trusting in a future, one that revolves around love.

When this all hit, we were days away from a planned vacation to Mexico and struggled to decide what to do. At the time, our biggest worry was that we might not be able to get home; the magnitude of this virus had not really hit us yet. It was while we were gone that everything exploded.

We came home to an empty super market, our stomachs unsettled and uncertainty in the air. Rob had to travel to Washington for orientation for his new job right after we returned and that definitely didn’t soothe me. Frankly, I was a mess for quite a few days.

We have now been home, quarantined for over two weeks (not counting two trips to the grocery store and one to the liquor store). I walk most mornings and we ride our bikes whenever we can. Such things provide comfort. Long baths with a beer or glass of wine do as well. 

We are all suffering in some way.

But it is the making of plans and putting my faith in a future that makes me suffer less.

Today the sun was out and the air was warm, and so I let myself cultivate hope.