“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
My oldest daughter and I have started the great undertaking in every childhood of reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.
This quote, a well-known, inspirational quip from Gandalf to Frodo stood out to me as we read it. It was one of those moments where I made a mental note to come back to this. We have been “surviving” through this COVID-19 pandemic now for more than a year and when I look back at the time since March 2020, I feel like I squandered the past 12 months.
Now, I am not saying that everything I did and the changes that have occurred and the positive steps forward are insignificant, but I feel like this pandemic has caused me in some ways to become complacent with my life. I feel like I have surrendered up some of the most important parts of who I am and what I want to do and be to a more comfortable (and boring) life. It’s so much easier to binge the latest movie or series streaming on my favorite service. I am content sitting on the couch rather than pushing into my next big project or stretching myself with some creative endeavor.
Getting out, going for a hike, seeing the wide world around me has become a chore at times. Figuring out the best time to pick up groceries, or get some exercise seems like a pain. Yes, there are a lot of restrictions and barriers to going to do some of my favorite activities and in some cases those places and endeavors are currently closed or prohibited. Touché. But I need to start again throwing (some) caution to the wind, planning out my future, heck, planning out my weekend, with things that I need to do and then things I really want to do. I need to get smart and creative to overcome those hurdles. I need to make the effort to do what I can, even if it is limited, so that I can get back to living.
Yeah, this whole pandemic thing sucks. It is a pain. It is frustrating. I don’t particularly like it. But enough is enough. I am sick of staying in and waiting for things to change. It’s time to go for it and live again.
Who’s with me?!