How I Reclaimed My Life During Quarantine
Dear God, if there is anything distracting me from my purpose, remove it now.
It wasn’t a loud or long prayer. But those were the words. The next morning, I checked my Facebook account and couldn’t get in. I submitted a request for a password reset and waited. I tried several times over the next few hours, but it appeared my Facebook and Instagram accounts had been closed and permanently removed. I believe they were hacked. I submitted an appeal but was unsuccessful. Just like that, my 4,000 Facebook friends were gone.
A few friends urged me to fight for my account. I was tempted. I researched methods influencers previously used to back door their way into their accounts. But the elusive Facebook “Customer Service,” seemed to exist in a deep auto-response abyss. I didn’t feel compelled to push any further and let it go.
After a few days, I was less irritated, more curious. Then remembered that cursory prayer. Now, I’m not sure if this was God or not. But He allowed it and if I suspect God is up to something I pause. The only other thing I felt led to do was to set up a new account and add a few family and friends for emergency sake. (This was quarantine season). I missed many friends but realized we’d eventually connect. And it became painfully obvious, I wasn’t sure who half of those 4,000 people were. In some instances, I was merely accepting requests and adding numbers. (That’s a sermon right there, but we’re going to keep it moving). Regardless, I took this “social shutdown” as God’s strange, yet purposeful will. During my quiet time of meditation, the words “fresh start” dropped in my spirit. Wow.
A Fresh Start Indeed.
I know it took a minute to get here, but I thought the backstory was important. My “divine” social media shutdown was a reminder. God often jolts us into a shift or detaches us from people or things to get our attention. I was fine with that. Why? I was in survival mode, waving the white flag that appeared to be invisible. I was proactive about nothing and living on autopilot. In my defense, a lot had happened. My husband had gotten sick and in and out the hospital over a two-year period with multiple procedures. The result was an emotionally and spiritually drained me. I didn’t even have the time or energy to use the spa package my husband had gifted me during the holidays. A fresh start across the board was well in order.
I needed the world to stop so I could put parts of myself back together.
I’m no theologian, but I believe this was a season of divine disruption. The entire world seemed to be doing its’ thing, its’ way. But the pandemic was a holy and physical pause. This pandemic is such a dichotomy. On one hand we welcomed the slow down, the grace, quality time with family and divine rest. On the other end of the spectrum the sickness, death, loss of income has been devastating. Every norm has been interrupted and it has impacted us each in a personal way. I pray every day for the tide of this battle to turn. As we walk through this season, I am also aware this is a personal time of restoration, reflection, and spiritual renewal. Part of that journey has included finding “me” again. Of course, this is not the way I would have planned it, yet here we are. My goal is to come out on the other side of this pandemic better, stronger, healthier, wiser, and more purposeful than ever. I’m praying the same for, family and friends. In the meantime, I want to share some of the things that I’ve done to rediscover “me” in this quarantine season:
1. I Prayed
I knew immediately that I needed a personal word for this season. I am a believer, but I can
honestly say I was not reading the word and praying daily. It was more like, “Let me listen to a
sermon while speeding up the highway because I was disorganized and late…again.” I made daily
prayer, meditation, fasting and home worship a priority. My spiritual practice became joyful and
I felt more connected to God than ever. I felt that sweet spirit I’d been longing for and it flowed
throughout my day.
2. I spent quality time with my spouse
My husband and I ate our meals together. We prayed and talked more often than we had.
Our bond became stronger. We had sweet fellowship, but honest conversations. We still
had moments when we worked each other’s nerves (smile) but we navigated our quarantine
space with joy.
3. I moved my body
I rode my treadmill regularly. Worked out with my husband. I lifted weights, hit the punching bag, and dusted off some of those old workout DVDs. My husband temporarily set up a television in my unfurnished reading space. (insert side eye – smile) We put down exercise mats and did yoga, Brazilian dance videos and attempted to get through one of those Insanity workouts. So glad no one was there to witness that, but we had fun. We rode bikes in our neighborhood.
4. I laughed and cried
I allowed myself to feel every emotion in this season. I laughed at throwback television shows. I especially indulged in some of my favorite sitcoms from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.I looked through pictures, wrote in my journal and meditated on my ancestors. It had been a long time since I cried about anything. I had a couple of good “cleansing” cries. Those are prayers too.
5. I played in the sun
I gained a greater appreciation for my backyard. Although I don’t have a lot of outdoor furniture, I improvised. I had tons of blankets! So, picnics and falling asleep in the grass became a habit. I’d just lay there with my puppies, and a book. It’s amazing what you notice just taking in nature. Red birds chirping and butterflies fluttering called me back to God’s playground.
6. I ate healthy
My husband is an excellent cook so if I’d get the groceries, he would cook. No more fast food. By the way, he’s lost over 50 lbs. and doing well so healthy meals are on the menu. Fruits and veggies became our staples and we’re working on that vegan life! I took vitamins and stayed hydrated. I started a detox tea drinking ritual using beautiful dishes.
7. I limited communication
I made sure family was okay one way or another but outside of that I chilled. This season was personal. I was able to function without the energy and pressure of needing to be somewhere on someone else’s time. As an introvert this is 100% energizing.
8. I found inexpensive and simple joy
I purchased flowers. I nurtured plants and discovered 99 Cent store treats. A big sun hat. Badminton, bubbles, a new coffee mug; I treated myself to any little in-expensive gift that brought me joy.
9. I focused on a more sustainable lifestyle
I reaffirmed my commitment to less waste and environmentally friendly beauty and home products. I’m still doing regular purging and donating to Goodwill. Prior to the pandemic I relied on thrifting and had not purchased any new clothes since 2019 and don’t miss it. I’m not pressuring myself, just taking little steps for a healthier and cleaner environment. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my eye on a few sundresses but I have plenty to work with.
10. I went barefaced and stopped straightening my hair
I challenged myself to work with what nature gave me! Skincare has become my focus. I found simple fuss free hairstyles and focused on conditioning and minimal effort. I rediscovered my inner and outer glow. I started drinking more water for those hydration goals! I know how to beautify my diffused water!
11. I rewrote my personal mission statement
Prayer and meditation provide more clarity. I was able to reassess what was most important and seek a divine strategy to address it. My favorite mantra is, “Clear answers float over calm seas.” I identified what was and wasn’t working for my life. I took responsibility for less than stellar outcomes with grace. Then sought God for Holy help. I cle