Acknowledging the challenges

I talked last week about surviving the holidays. This is the first of the handrails I’m suggesting.


This is hard. I say that all the time. I stand in a room with a daughter in the chair and a mom in the bed, and say, “This. Is. Hard.”

We spend so much time, some of us, thinking that there is something wrong with us because we can’t remember simple things, like the address we’ve lived at for twenty years.

After 20 years, you should know your address, right?

I mean, the fact that the person who shared that address with you just died, that shouldn’t keep you from remembering that address, should it?

“I don’t know why I can’t think.”

I do.

You are trying to breath right now, and you have a hundred stories that just ended.

There is nothing wrong with you, in the sense that you aren’t losing your mind.

Because everything is wrong with you because you just lost everything else.

This is hard.

We are afraid to look in the mirror and acknowledge to ourselves that this is hard. If we look at ourselves, we might start crying. If we say that this is hard, we have to acknowledge that we may not have what it takes to tough it out.

Which ignores the fact that maybe we shouldn’t tough this out.

I don’t know whether you know this or not, but we are still in a global pandemic. That persistent virus has disrupted big things, like events, but also our daily habits.

About 40% of the things we do every day we do without thinking. And for the last few months we have had to think about things we hadn’t thought about for years, for decades. We had to think about covering our faces, about touching, about our spacing from one another, about being in groups for fun, for worship, for support.

As I said that, some of you felt angry about one part or another of what I just said. But regardless of what you believe, your life and attention were disrupted at very basic levels.

And if we had to start thinking about 100% of the things you do rather than 60%, no wonder we are weary and a little anxious.

And then, in that context of disruption, sometimes because of it, relationships have changed and many of you have faced unimaginable loss.

This is hard.

We are missing people.

We are missing routines

We are missing belongings.

We are missing out.

I’ll talk about the other five handrails, the other five suggestions, but I want to pause here. And acknowledge the challenges we each are facing. Please don’t rush yourself or other past this realization.


This is hard.