Letter from Sue #4: Marathon not a sprint!

13 May 2020

Hello Everyone

Wow I am not sure if you have been feeling it this week, but the general feeling I keep getting is PRESSURE!

The children are “back” at School in many cases, – they are expected to do all these wonderful things on Zoom, and other online platforms, finish projects, do homework, submit in another way online. I hear comments like:

“I have three children, we are running out of devices, and I am struggling to keep everything balanced!!”

“This wonderful feeling we had of now being allowed out of the house to get some exercise is now added pressure as we are having to fit this in now at certain times, and be ready and available to start the above “School”!

“Not only that but we are juggling housework, meals, gardening, and then Work!”

“I also still have a list of things I wanted to achieve and do over this time – but somehow I am just not finishing any of them (or even starting)!! “

“I am so over all of this!”

“When, when will our economy be opened even more and how are we all going to cope?”

All sounds a bit chaotic – Right??

This chaos often goes against how we even want to run our Homes – these are not our values – so much screen time – how do we even begin to get into a routine? – how do we pay all our bills?- just all feels overwhelming and awful!!

Not easy at all! And certainly so so different to our normal! And of course for each one of us we could add different stresses and anxieties that we are all dealing with individually.

I am thinking that the first thing we need to remember as my daughter Sarah

so wisely said to me is that all of this “is a marathon, not a sprint!” This can somewhat immediately change our perspective!

Let’s slow it all down! We can only do what we can do and we need to try and “breathe” in the midst of it all! We are in this for the long haul and at this stage none of us can see the endpoint or what it will all look like!

It is helpful to keep asking what our priorities are for each one of us? What are the values we want to hold for ourselves and our families? How best can we try to achieve these, and what are the things we can control?  Allow ourselves to really think about whether it will be the end of the world if we don’t complete all the tasks for the day (even homework/schoolwork) and how best can we still just get through the day intact and centred!

Of course if we look a bit further we realise that underlying all this PRESSURE, is a huge amount of anxiety. Anxiety coming from all angles – ourselves, our spouses, our children, other family, friends, people in need, our teachers, employers, government, police, news bulletins, etc., etc.  All the unknown variables and all the uncontrollable situations!

Let us try to remain true to ourselves and our own values as we go through this time. This is not easy and it certainly may at times mean saying a firm “no” and putting our own boundaries in place. Try as much as possible to remain present to the moment and take the time needed to enjoy the moments and be grateful for all the small things and the things we can control.

Let’s remind ourselves of the loving care of our Father, Jesus our Lord, and God’s Spirit who are always with us and holding us close and whom we can lean on and trust to see us through all of this!