I’ve realized that I don’t like my “COVID self” as much as I liked my “pre-COVID self”.
For a variety of reasons I have find myself to be less self-disciplined now. That was something I used to be pretty good at and something that I liked about being me; but my snacking and eating habits are not as good now as they used to be.
I’m also less motivated now than I used to be. For example, I don’t wake up as early as before … without the deadline of getting kids to school there is less reason to wake-up at the same time I used to.
I’m not as productive working from home. There are more distractions here. It’s just not the same as being in the office. An ability to really buckle down and get a lot down in a short amount of time was something that I liked about the old Dan. I miss THAT guy.
I’m not particularly proud of my parenting skills right now either. Yes, we’re getting by and making things work, but there is less of those little delightful moments when you do something really fun, and then feel like you’ve got this whole parenting thing. Now, parenting is more surviving the day.
I’m not particularly proud of my husband-skills right now either. Part of the old routine included a short but regular Friday afternoon date time. The kids were still at school, and Rachel and I both took Friday afternoons off in order to re-connect and communicate without children around.
When the crisis first hit us back in March and everything was closing, there was a lot of problem solving to take care of. I did work hard to figure out how to respond to the new situation, and learned some new technology too. Now, I’m tired of zoom meetings. Care-giving is harder with social distancing. Worship services aren’t the same on live-stream.
I imagine that there are some out there who are really thriving. Some who see the new opportunities and run after them. Some who are taking this time to learn new skills and improve themselves. I don’t put myself into that category.
However, as I’ve reflected on this lately—I’ve also realized that these are some new manifestations of old problems that have always been in my life. I’ve always been sinful. I’ve always been broken. My own skills and abilities have always been limited. I’ve never quite been able to live up to the high expectations that I set for myself as a husband, parent or professional.
And, while these problems come up in some new ways, there are still the same solutions. I do have to come to the end of myself. I do have to understand my brokenness and bring it to the cross. I do have to rely less on myself and more on God … more on the Holy Spirit that He has given me.
The spiritual lessons here are the same kinds of lessons I’ve slowly been learning my whole life. In different ways at different times I’ve needed to surrender to God. I need to stop trying to pull everything together by myself. I need to be honest and authentic before God and before others. I need to rely on God’s strength, God’s wisdom, God’s love and God’s acceptance of me.
The same gospel is still the solution to these new circumstances, and it is still the good news for this COVID version of myself. I will never be enough, but thanks to God’s grace, I don’t need to be.