In December, the title of my blog post was Look Inside Your Heart, and I talked about how I was drawn to stop and slow down a little, and ponder things, rather than panic. Well- Here we go again!
In February, my husband and I took a kind of spontaneous trip to Las Vegas, just to get away for a few days. It was a great stress reliever, and we got to see The Valley of Fire State Park, which was GORGEOUS! Then, the next week I accompanied my husband on his business trip to San Francisco, just so I could spend a few days with my youngest sister, who lives in CA.
These two trips happened right on the verge of everything beginning to shut down, due to COVID-19. Little did we know that those would be our last trips for a long, long while. Since coming back at the end of February, I’ve seen: colleges close (our daughter’s among them), helped make the difficult, yet necessary decision to postpone our community theater’s Spring show to the Fall (Hope you’ll make it- it’s great), have lived in a constant state of panic about everyone’s welfare, and have seen people I know lose their lives too soon, due to a global pandemic.
So much has happened in a relatively short period of time, and it continues to unravel at a frightening pace. I found myself having a panic attack on Sunday morning (the 5th), and I haven’t had a panic attack in YEARS. That’s when the little voice in my head started whispering, “Look inside your heart”. What does that phrase mean this time…?
Well, for one thing, that phrase means that I need to slow down, stop worrying and take a step back. It’s hard to do this! But you know what? Sometimes I need to turn the news off, put the sound machine on and just close my eyes for a few minutes. Or maybe I read a chapter of the new book I got from Amazon, or maybe I bake. Oh yeah- I BAKE. There’s something soothing about making dough, seeing it rise, shaping it, etc. It’s comforting to me, and I think that we ALL need to be comforted during this time.
There’s so much to worry about now, but there is still a lot to grateful for, and there are people, besides ourselves who need us, whether in prayer, in donation, in sending love and in holding them in our hearts, if we can’t hold them in our arms.
Look inside YOUR heart, and try to find the small blessings in every situation. Find the thing(s) that helps you to step away for a moment and reset yourself. Things suck- but your everyday life doesn’t have to, and it’s important to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally, as well as physically.
Stay safe, be well, and be good to each other. Better days are coming.
Love to all.
Jennifer Angarano Ricci is a wife, mother & creative soul-searcher. She is a musician, artist, and baker, and runs her home business Baked By Jen, in addition to running her local community theater group. She loves to sing, create and help others and tries to connect all three passions whenever possible.