Depending on where you live, you may or may not be going through what we are here in Houston.
We are open for business. That means reentry for some of us, in some capacity.
This opening up has come with some scary statistics. More than just the escalating COVID-19 case numbers, the hospital beds and ICU occupancy numbers are up. Way up (as of yesterday, each day for the past week has set a new one-day high).
Because of this dichotomy, I’ve got friends in my circle who have responded in a number of ways.
FROM: Embrace the openness, do as much as they can, and don’t live in fear.
TO: Completely terrified of the dangers the virus can wreak and the escalating numbers so they are nearly agoraphobic, unable to have social interaction even with family members outside their home.
And then everything in between.
We’re in between. (And where ever you land, I feel you. This is all brutally hard to navigate.)
The kids have been fortunate since we have a family farm and ranch that they have been able to get out of the house and ride horses or work cows or bail hay in very remote locations.
But we have begun reengaging. The slow process of reentry.
A week ago, we spent the weekend with our friends at the lake. It was wonderful to visit a new area of Texas and the kids absolutely adored tubing.
We ate out at a restaurant to celebrate 4th grade graduation.
We’re doing more with friends outdoors – swimming, backyard drinks, biking, etc.
I went to one of my dearest friend’s house in Fort Worth and hung out with her crew in the backyard for two days.
I took little bit to run a couple of errands with me this weekend, in our masks, her first outings to stores since pre-Spring Break.
I’m far more comfortable doing things outside so we maximize those activities (of course with 100% humidity and feels-like numbers topping 100, it’s getting tricky).
Next week, I go back to the office full time. A fact over which I’m really sad.
But as I’ve said previously, there’s a lot from our time in quarantine I want to keep.
We’re all reading so much (I’ll talk books and cooking tomorrow!). I can’t keep the baby and me in books (I really need to move to Kindle, because our house has stacks of them everywhere). We’re less scheduled. We have interesting conversations about topics that range from challenging to silly.
We have gotten a ton of work done on our backyard remodel. The deck and corner trees are gone, the flagstone is laid, the pergola has been ripped out, and the turtles have been relocated back to Louisiana (more on this later).
Things will not be “normal” for a very long time, I believe.
My guess is things might not even look “more normal” until next summer.
So this gives us the opportunity to rethink American life.
This gives us a chance to evaluate how we can give back more authentically and connect more meaningfully. How we can extract value from our time instead of wasting it on television or technology.
We’re still in the reentry phase. And I’m in no hurry.
I’m willing to let this move forward at a pace that both protects the most vulnerable in our community and allows our family and our church and our companies and our communities to set important guardrails. Guardrails which I hope will serve our children well. Ones to give them a pace and lifestyle that is less rushed and more meaningful.
Praying for your reentry, and for all of us, as we navigate the unknown.