I've been missing for a few weeks

I've been missing for a few weeks

Looking for resiliency and compassion

The view leaving our campsite looking out across the desert

Martin Banks
April 5th 2021

I honestly don't know where to start this newsletter. A few weeks ago, on March 15th, was the last time I wrote. On the 16th, life events unfolded for the next couple of weeks. It's been a difficult couple of weeks.

I won't go into the details here. That's not what this essay is about. Rather, I want to talk about resiliency and compassion, resiliency to overcome life's obstacles, and compassion for both ourselves and others.

It seems that every single one of us has had to formulate new methods for resiliency over the past year. Pile a pandemic on top of coo-coo politics, plus all of the regular crap that happens, and resiliency can be hard to come by. The pandemic's one-year mark is a mile marker that is significant only in that we have made it this far. Anniversaries are to be celebrated, but the pandemic anniversary isn't something to celebrate. The vaccine gives us hope, but it would have done that no matter when it came into being. Thank goodness we have a vaccine, but we still need to be vigilant. So we dig deeper to find our resiliency.

This is where I need generous heapings of compassion, both for myself and those around me. It's easy to forget the whirlwind of covid related events around us when being self-critical about our careers or feeling beat up by all that's happened. The reality is that the world has changed enormously and to compare where we were this time last year to where we are now is just not fair. So, you take what would be a life-changing event in normal times, pile on the other "not-so-normal" situations we have now, and there is a lot more to take in and cope with than ever before.

Back a few weeks ago, I had decided to cut myself some slack and change course for a week. I dove into my art and was working intensely on learning new skills. As an introvert, it's my way of coping - by not dealing with social media or putting myself out there in my newsletters. One week turned into two weeks as I dug in deeper and cloistered myself away. I knew I needed to break the spell.

A neighbor wanted to go camping in the desert. We both own off-road trucks and our own gear so we could do a trip and maintain covid protocol. I thought this just might be what I need to get out of this funk and back on track. We had a great time exploring deep into the arid landscape and pushing our trucks to take us places most people don't ever go.

On our last morning out, we decide to hike to a palm oasis high up a mountainside canyon. Remember when I talked about normal life stuff that happens, and now it is not as easy to recover as it was pre-covid? Yea, well, I fell backward down a ravine. It hurt, a lot. It also extended my sabbatical by a week.

Recovering from the fall took a few days, at least. Recovering from the fall and adding in the whirlwind of our other current crises extended my recovery out until today, at best.

Today, I am digging a little deeper to bounce back and am keeping in mind that I should be kind to myself. This little essay is my way of rejoining the world and making my contribution.

And while I am thinking about being kind and compassionate to myself, it helps to remember how others are fairing in this crisis. Not that it helps me feel better because others are having just as crappy of a time as I am. But by remembering that if I am having a bad day, week, month, or year, some of the people around me are also having a crappy time of it. So while I am busy cutting myself some slack, I want to remember that others are struggling and could use some consideration also.

It's been a long hard slog. We have a way to go. Take it easy on yourself. And to the people you encounter as we emerge from this, remember, it's been hard for them too, maybe harder.

What ways are you finding to cope with our new-normal world? Are there ways you have discovered resiliency or compassion that surprised you? Let me know in the comments, or send me an email. I am curious to hear what you think.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate you.