Quarantine Wisdom: all the lemons

Updated: Apr 19

We all know that when life gives you lemons you’re supposed to make lemonade, but what happens when you’re thrown dozens of lemons and can’t go outside to buy the sugar? Lemon juice cuts right through and is a little more difficult to swallow. I end up dreaming of oranges or pineapples and wishing the situation would just go away.

It’s day 18 (19?) of Virginia’s quarantine, and we’re not even nearly halfway. I’m only just now finally settling into the idea that this is going to become a new routine, one that I will probably be comfortable with in a few more weeks. Everything is foreign, nothing can be predicted, and if we’re not aware of our day-to-day, time moves so incredibly slow.

Don’t worry, though, this gets better.

New basil is always happy.

I feel like my metaphorical self is standing on the edge of a cliff, ready to jump but unable to move. I finally feel so ready but now I’m stunted, truly on the brink. I’m currently less than 2 months from my wedding day, halfway between moving to a new home, and 90% of my work or income is gone. I have absolutely no idea when this is going to end or HOW the next part of my life is going to start. I have no control over my future whatsoever.

The nice thing about having no answers, though, is that you have to look outside yourself. Surrender becomes much easier when there’s literally nothing you can do.

Even though I know we’re only getting started here, I can already see the Lord’s work within me. He’s teaching me to be taken care of, to stop relying on my own efforts. He’s showing me that I can be loved anyway. And He’s reminding me of moments in the past when I had no answers, only questions, and had no choice but to give it to Him. The most beautiful things in my life have come from the times when I stopped trying to fix it or control it or make it work, but put my situation in hands that are far more capable.

I still have no answers, but I know the One who does, and some days that truth is the only thing I have to cling to. Some days are very hard, some are more relaxed, some are (dare I say) even exciting. It’s getting easier and easier; I bet I’ll have this thing down just in time to go back to work.

So anyway, back to the lemons. Turns out you can do a lot with limited items in your pantry; it’s like your own episode of chopped. Things don’t have to turn out the way they were in your head, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be beautiful. And on that note, here are a few ways I’m letting this time be beautiful:

1.Giving myself a break: if you ever needed an excuse to cut yourself some slack, welcome.

2.Making a special breakfast on Sunday mornings. Online church allows time for fresh granola.

3.Not being productive every day.

4.Letting myself be loved by those around me. I don’t like to show a need for help, but once it’s out I can feel the burden lift a little bit.

5.Remembering that this Christmas is going to be awesome.

6.Keeping ongoing artistic projects that I can work at throughout the week.

7.Getting some form of exercise every day. Indoor yoga and garden walks have been good to me.

8.Sudoku, like I’m very good at it now.

9.Not wearing makeup, my skin has never been happier.

10.Developing fun ideas for projects that don’t exist yet. Be on the lookout for an exciting new development here on the blog!

Josh made me laugh, he was all "look at that beautiful flower standin over there!"

So yes, while I still have no answers, each day is getting a little easier. When I stop trying to map out the next few months and let today just be today (easier said than done), it’s much more enjoyable. When I start each day by receiving new joy from my Source, I can be kinder to myself even when I’m not meeting the expectations I have in my head.

And yes, sometimes I still feel disappointed that the months leading up to my wedding (that might have to move, no idea) are not playing out the way I envisioned. But I remember that this was not a surprise to Him, and He already put the provision in place before I ever put that ring on my finger. Whenever I do say “I do”, we’re gonna party (responsibly) like never before, and it will be sweeter than if I had planned it all myself.

I still don’t know how to make lemonade, but I did make margaritas last week. Better than I expected.

If you need something new or fun to listen to, this album has been good to me lately.

Stay safe, jazz on.