Tempe Tuesday Talks 6/16

Good morning Tempe! Hope you are doing well today in these uncertain times.

In a class I attend on Sundays, we discussed “navigating uncertainty”. My realization in the midst of the conversation was not about the uncertainty but about the navigation. What I mean by that is that all of life is pretty uncertain, if you think about it. Not to be dreary but we really don’t ever know what is going to happen next in our lives, our families, with our jobs, in our world. A cancer diagnosis, a car accident, a pandemic, riots in the streets. A winning lottery ticket, a birth, a visit from an old friend. Bad or good….life is always uncertain. Perhaps the uncertainty that we are in right now is our opportunity to wake up and realize just that. And then, with that in mind, it’s the navigation, that is the key. How we deal with it all.

Every Sunday, my husband and I have the same lunch at the same restaurant at pretty much the same time. It’s a tradition, a ritual, a routine. But during the quarantine, we couldn’t. We had to grieve our weekly trip to Zipps for wings (for him) and a chicken Caesar focaccia (for me) and our favorite saucy waitress, Brie. In the past couple weeks, while we aren’t first going to church around the corner (it’s still just online church), we get in the car and drive to Zipps for our regular lunch routine. Sometimes putting that tradition back in life, kinda keeps us going. Comfort in the regularity of it. But then, we turn on the news, listen to the stories about the latest shootings, spike in COVID cases and are reminded at how uncertain everything is. So we nestle back into the routine of dinner in front of 60 Minutes, a game or two of cards after dinner and off to sleep to prepare for another week. Trying to fit some routine into our uncertain week. Zoom calls, takeout lunches, working from the home office.

I think as creatures we desire the comfort of routine. Our bodies and minds crave it, respond best to it. But it’s the uncertainty that strengthens us and makes us grow. We need the uncertainty to flex our muscles, show our ability to weather the storm, and remind ourselves that we can be resilient. We either can succumb to or grow in these times. It’s our choice.

Ok, so feeling rather philosophical this morning, but that’s where I am.

Our Coalition is thriving through these uncertain times. Online presentations sometimes having to be rescheduled due to extraneous circumstances. City council meetings in the midst of protesting in the streets. City office reopenings being postponed. We are weathering the storm. Regrouping. Plan B.

Today I leave with a version of the Serenity Prayer which is a cornerstone of the recovery movement. This version always gives me the perspective I need to navigate uncertainty.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (which is everything outside of myself); the courage to change the things I can (which is how I approach things) and the wisdom to know the difference. It’s all about perspective!

Have a great week!