Yesterday's email got me thinking about how some experiences transform the rest of a person's life. Maybe losing a job leads the person to find a career they truly love. Maybe not being chosen for a program helps them more clearly define what they want out of life. Maybe (as happened to me) an accident leaves the person with long-term physical annoyances but also makes them more aware of the needs of people who have permanent disabilities.
I think we're all going through such a transformative experience right now. COVID-19 has radically changed the way we do everyday things: how we interact with other people, how we make a living, how we spend our spare time, and more. Some of it's good; some of it's bad.
What's potentially more powerful, however, is the effect this experience has on the way we think. For example, my therapist believes that the entire world understands depression and anxiety at least a little better now. She and I both hope we'll see lasting changes in how people talk about and treat others with those conditions.
For my part, there are certain things that I doubt I'll ever look at in the same way again. For instance, my roommate "H" got engaged in February, shortly before COVID-19 became a major issue in the US. She and her fiancé, "B," initially planned to get married on June 27 in San Diego. Four months isn't much time to plan a wedding in the first place, but because the pandemic has gone on longer than anyone expected, it's forced "H" and "B" to arrange for things they originally didn't even have to think about.
See, most members of our faith get married in our temples. The ceremony is performed by whichever authorized person is on duty that day. The couple just has to choose a temple and reserve the date and time, and they have a beautiful venue and an officiator all set.
However, all our temples closed for safety early in the pandemic. Only a few have reopened, and we don't know when the rest (including the one in San Diego) will follow suit. So "H" and "B" have had to plan, essentially, two versions of their wedding. The temple is their preference, but in case it's still closed on June 27, they've had to figure out the details for a civil ceremony: where they'll have it, who'll officiate, how many guests can be there in person, and so on. (If this happens, they'll have another ceremony at the temple when it reopens.)
And I thought planning a normal wedding was complicated!
But I've realized three key things from watching this process:
Life is a lot less stressful when you learn to let go of the things you can't control and put your energy into handling the things you can control. ("B" and "H" are both good at this.)
Not every decision has to be made right away. It's okay to wait until you have more information.
Even for the most important events of your life, there are only a few things that you absolutely have to have. For a wedding, you have to have two spouses and an officiator with the proper authority. That's really it. Everything else is just window dressing.
So here's our starter for this Writing-Prompt Wednesday:
Based on your experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, what's one thing that you'll never look at in the same way again? Why?
Hop over to the Facebook page or comment below and share your thoughts with us!
(Thanks to Drew Coffman for sharing their work on Unsplash.)