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hang in there...it's all going to change


Last week it was almost 70 degrees. In March. In Wisconsin. The windows were opened, The patio furniture was uncovered and put to use. The grill came out. And the ten year old re-opened her mud bakery for the season. Despite there still being snow on the ground, we were outside in our t-shirts and bare feet appreciating that moment... Despite knowing that the warmth was fleeting...that more cold was upon us, we spent the day soaking it all in while drinking wine spritzers by the still frozen pool we didn't have time to winterize last year before the first snowfall. And even though the ground was soft and muddy, we found our way down to the creek to dip our toes in the water before realizing that anything more would have to wait.


We all had an extra spring in our step that warm day. We smiled a little bit more, breathed a bit easier...relaxed into that warmth and the good mood that it seemed to bring with it. Because after a long Wisconsin winter, a little bit of shining sun will do that to us Midwesterners.


It is sometimes that easy. Sometimes...


And then, as quick as the sun came out, it was time to close the windows, wash off our muddy feet and finish stacking the firewood to heat the house for the rest of this Wisconsin winter that was upon us. Which from what I hear, snow is expected on Wednesday.


Because around here, that is how quickly things change.


And this week? Well, you don't need me to tell you. Things have changed again.


Everyone seems to be a bit more on edge. Everyone is stockpiling for the just in case. Everyone is fighting, arguing, cancelling plans, staying home. Everyone is digesting what is on the news and getting scared. School is being cancelled, stores are shutting down, restaurants are bars are closing. And with all of this, everyone is slowly putting their lives on pause, and trying to find ways to avoid, well, everything...


And I get it. It's easy to go there. I started heading that direction myself for a hot minute. You know, down that dark tunnel of the what-ifs, the feelings of being scared and alone, the not knowing. I thought to stockpile, pull my kids out of school, lock the front door. I watched the news, scanned Facebook for the latest scares, distracted myself with Netflix (and finally finished the Breaking Bad series, thank you). But then I recognized that feeling....that familiar feeling that comes and goes. It has visited me from time to time. It's that feeling that I have worked so hard at stepping out of. Especially lately. You know the one I'm talking about...fear.


Yeah...that one.


The one that we have all visited from time to time. Maybe even got stuck in for awhile. Whether it's been about fear of love, acceptance, relationships, or divorce. Fear of abandonment, trust, being good enough. Fear of not having enough money, not being able to pay the bills, losing our job. Fear is all around us.


And the thing is...it always has been. We have all been here before. Many times. Maybe not in this exact situation, but we have all sat at this fork in the road and have had to make the choice about what is going to drive our decisions. How we are going to go forward. We have all felt the feelings of being scared before. We have all been worried. We have not always known what to do. We have felt alone. We have all stepped into this darkness, some staying a little bit longer than others, and then emerged on the other side. Maybe not always gracefully...but we have. Our whole life has been one challenge after another, put in front of us. One lesson, then another.


And here we are. Again.


Friends, we have a choice about how we see things. How we let all of this affect us. It's time to look ahead and make a decision about how we want to spend our energy surrounding this. It's time to look at the fork in the road that is right in front of us and choose to shift out of fear...just a little bit. That we breathe in some perspective and exhale out the chaos. That we make the right decisions based on what is best for the community, your family, yourself. And no matter what you decide, you go forward with less fear and more love.


Because that is what you have control over. This little shift, that's really not so little.


And sometimes, it can be that easy.


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