Who knew that it would take a pandemic for friends and family all across the nation to reconnect and gather several people together in one “room”…and actually enjoy it.
I’m talking about that Zoom “happy hour” I had a few weeks ago with my high school friends. It was inspired by a bunch of moms who have found themselves at home, all day, with their toddlers, babies, and husbands. Using an adult voice to talk about adult things is good for the soul, don’t you think? It was on this Zoom happy hour that we prayed, for the first time since our Regina high school graduation. It wasn’t a pretty prayer (I envy the people whose prayers sounds like they came straight from Jesus), but the fierceness behind it was definitely felt. In that moment, as we prayed for our beloved gym coach, I was grossly aware that I missed my friends, I missed human interaction.
How about the virtual Easter egg hunt that you might have had with your nieces, nephews, or grandchildren? It seemed like everyone put on slightly nicer clothes than normal, to run around the yard looking for eggs filled with candy (job security).
I’m also talking about that work meeting, the one that you didn’t really have to have (because honestly it could have been done by email). However, seeing the people you work with, in their own homes, going though the same moment in history…that makes you feel better. That lights a new fire, because now you remember why you do what you do.
I’m grateful that the older generations have been forced to interact using technology that can be uncomfortable. The nuisances of technology will become the way of the future as doctor visits, Bible studies, and even education will move towards a virtual platform. My gratitude expands beyond what is happening now, as I realize what I really have to be thankful for is that outside of a pandemic I have the opportunity to have human connection with the ones I love and appreciate most. My immediate and extended family, my friends, my colleagues, our patients.
After several internal monologues with myself I realized, now more than ever, that feelings are not facts. We’re all emotional right now, being emotional isn’t a negative thing. A lot of good comes from emotion…motivation comes from emotion. In my realizations I encourage you to remember that, as important as emotions are, feelings aren’t facts.
Feeling: I have no motivation. My triathlon/marathon/5k/(insert your activity) was cancelled and now I feel like a lazy slob. —VS— Fact: You’re motivation might be lacking, but it’s NOT gone. You got this far in your training and there is a lot to be proud of! Hell, you signed up for the damn thing, right? Your motivation is not gone.
Feeling: I’m not a good teacher, I could never homeschool my kids, and I’m tired. —VS— Fact: You’re kids ARE learning. The effort you put into making the days meaningful is not going unnoticed. Learning doesn’t only take place in a classroom, it takes place everywhere and with anything.
Feeling: I didn’t get anything done today. —VS— Fact: You DID get something done today, I absolutely guarantee that you did get something productive done, there is no doubt in my mind. (by the way this is the feeling/fact I have struggled with most this month).
Fortunately, Cody has had a chance to connect with several patients, both current and new. I can sense that he is feeling frustrated, he knows how much he could be helping patients. I also recognize an eagerness after each patient consultation, a desire to get back to clinical work.
May 1st (hopefully) will be our first day in the office … and it makes me wonder. I know some of you will be gun shy to come see us, at least for while…and that’s ok and understandable. I also think that the opposite is true. Now, more than ever, health is in the spotlight and there will be some of you that can’t wait to get in the door, because for some of you going to the dentist is the first step to optimal health.
Finally, I leave you with a consideration to reflect: what emotions and what realizations are impacting you right now? What are the facts that are associated or contradict those feelings? Share them with a spouse, a child, a friend— let’s actually talk through some of these things before it’s too late and we forget what we felt…before we only remember facts and forget the feelings.