Appreciate the Pause

Appreciate the Pause

By Sarah Brinkley

 

When DVR first came out in the late 1990’s, my favorite feature was the PAUSE function. I loved that I could pause my show or movie to grab a snack, run an errand, or answer a call – all without missing a second of whatever I was watching. Hitting PAUSE was a relief because I could take as much time as I needed to get things done and then pick back up where I left off.

 

Before the ability of the PAUSE function, I would have to make a decision: stay focused on the story of my video so as not to miss any detail, or turn away to attend to another responsibility with the hope that I could catch up on my video later. In an effort to multitask, I would often have the TV on in the background while doing other things. In dividing my attention this way, I was never fully engaged in any one of my tasks. I would half-listen to my friends (silently shhh-ing them in my mind sometimes), distractedly clean the house, putz through my homework, or half-heartedly study for tests while trying to follow the plot and catch the jokes on the video playing in the background.

 

The coronavirus pandemic situation that we now face, as serious as it is for our society, has given some of us individuals an unexpected gift. In closing schools and limiting our freedom to go about our typical routines, we have been able to, in a sense, PAUSE life as we know it. I know it’s a different perspective for those who are scrambling to find childcare, those who are struggling to make ends meet while having their work hours cut, those who are feeling lonely and not able to see extended family, and those who are immunocompromised. My prayers go out to everyone in this challenging situation right now.

 

For many individuals, however, this perspective shift of PAUSE may be just what is needed to stop, breathe, look around, and choose a more intentional way of living.

 

  • Take this PAUSE to do projects around the house. Appreciate the change of daily routine to work on little things that need to be done: touch-up paint on the walls, replace lightbulbs, or clean baseboards. If you are like my family, you will have quite the list once you start taking inventory of what needs some attention!

 

  • Take this PAUSE to engage with your family. If you have children, rather than being frustrated with the constant noise and mess around the house, you can take this PAUSE to truly engage with them. I have personally seen photos on social media of families hiking through the woods, children creating impressive LEGO structures, and families cooking together. While there is a lot of fear being spread on social media outlets, you can also see how others are taking this time to more fully engage with the people closest to them.

 

  • Take this PAUSE to reengage with what makes you happy and what makes you feel alive. Have you been meaning to start an exercise program, learn a language, or practice a skill? Many companies are offering their online programs for free right now; do a search and check it out. After regular life resumes, you’ll have something more to show for this time of isolation.

 

  • Take this PAUSE to appreciate the beginning of spring. As the seasons shift, we are blessed with some quieter days to take notice of the gradual rise in temperature, the increasing warmth of the sun’s rays, the daily growth of the spring flowers in neighbors’ yards, the sound of birds, and the smell of fresh air and melting earth. Use your senses to take it all in!

 

We all know that there is little in life we can control, even though we resist that truth. The one thing you can control is your own attitude, and specifically, the perspective you have during this PAUSE in your life. Where you choose to focus your energy and attention has the greatest influence on your mood and outlook.

 

If Illness currently affects you or someone you love – or will in the near future – I pray for your strength, courage, and wisdom as you cope. Regardless, choose an attitude of peace and faith, of gratitude and hope.

 

Additionally, know that you are NEVER coping alone! Your God will never leave your side. Our God will NEVER take a PAUSE from us!

 

Please also consider that if you need some support getting through this unusual, challenging time, reach out to our counselors at Christian Family Solutions. There are people who care about you and are ready and waiting to help.

 

To learn more about our video counseling services, please click here. You can also get to know our counselors by visiting our “Meet Our Providers” page. Please click on each provider’s picture to read their bio and watch their video bio. Appointments with our counselors can be conveniently requested online through our Request an Appointment page.